Peter Gabriel – Games Without Frontiers

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Video still from Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers" video

On the surface, this is a catchy pop song. Just beneath the surface, it’s a blistering commentary on social and cultural norms that perpetuate war. “Jeux Sans Frontiers” was a French game show that pitted people from different European countries against one another, and “It’s a Knockout” was the British version of the same show. Gabriel uses silly game shows… Read more »

Meute – Hey Hey (Dennis Ferrer Rework)

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Video still from Muete "Hey Hey"

Meute is a German marching band that understands the essence of electronic dance music. Their rendition of Dennis Ferrer’s classic “Hey Hey” embodies everything that is wonderful about house, then takes it to the street and celebrates everything that is wonderful about live music in public spaces. Bob noted how the best covers bring the right amount of both the… Read more »

Saxon – Inspirations

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Cover albums are pretty common despite being a difficult feat to pull off. Really, it’s not simple to cover a single song, let along a whole album of them with most being in the generic style of a genre rather than a band. Saxon’s Inspirations is the latest attempt to sell records by regurgitating the band’s influences. Despite the band… Read more »

Is Rumours overrated?

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Every music lover has lists. One that I’ve revisited over the years has been the Most Overrated Albums. For years, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours found itself on that list. The Danny Kirwin era of Fleetwood Mac was probably my favorite (who can argue with “Jewel-eyed Judy?”) and the Buckingham/Nicks era my least. There is a lightness or breeziness once Buckingham and… Read more »

Hopeton Lewis – Don’t Take Your Guns to Town

Old reggae covers of old country songs are a trip. This 1972 recording of Johnny Cash’s story song moves the setting to Jamaica, where the cowboy named Billy Joe becomes a young stupid boy named Joe and the dusty cowpoke is a big dread man. This is a very different, and very cool, way to hear a classic country song…. Read more »

Daniel Lanois – Heavy Sun

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Album cover for Daniel Lanois' Heavy Sun

Heavy Sun is a well-intentioned album that leans on Daniel Lanois’ long history with gospel. The lyrics preach a message of hope and love that cannot be preached enough. The production is beautiful, because everything Lanois produces is beautiful. The album is boring though. It lacks everything that defines great gospel. The opening is promising, with haunting organ and impassioned… Read more »

Michigander – Everything Will Be Okay Eventually

The thing about sadness is that it is not all the same, but too often artistic representations of sadness treat it is as a one-size-fits-all emotion. Sometimes, sadness can even be coupled with optimism. Not to beat the Covid theme to death, but with some hope on the horizon, mixing optimism into our sadness seems apropos right now and, at… Read more »

Israel and New Breed – Feels Like Home, Vol. 1

Released: February 26, 2021 One issue with a lot of religious music is that the message is more important than the music rather than the music being part and parcel of the message itself. There is a saying that when you sing, you pray twice. If that’s true, when instrumental music is part of that offering, maybe you pray four… Read more »

Foreigner – February 9, 1982, Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque NM

I was 12 years old and I was enamored with “Juke Box Hero.” Not just the song, but the story. That one guitar that blew him away and felt good in his hands and was a one-way ticket to the top. My mom drove me through the Southwestern snow to the local Sears. We stood among the tents and the… Read more »