Bands From My Youth I haven't Seen Live 2019 Edition

So let's see, the 2019 version of this list is probably something like:

Duran Duran
Gary Numan
The Smiths
The Police
Soft Cell

The Police and Soft Cell reunions are done and over and I missed that boat. Partly because I didn't get to see The Police when they played Phoenix. Partly because Soft Cell's reunion consisted of a London gig only.

The Smiths I don't hold out hope for. And let's be honest, Morrissey's recent questionable take on life has left a sour taste anyway. Would I even go? Dunno.

So I hold out hope for Duran Duran and Numan. Both still tour. Could happen.

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Isolated Vocals

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Listen While You Work

When adding this to my pinboard links yesterday I had a wry smile on my face.

Starbucks music is driving employees nuts:

Earlier this year, irritated Starbucks employees took to Reddit to rage about how they had to listen to the same songs from the Broadway hit musical Hamilton on repeat while on the job. One user wrote that if they heard a Hamilton song one more time, "I'm getting a ladder and ripping out all of our speakers from the ceiling."

Was in some shop or another at the weekend and it played continual country music. Over and over. In the time we were in there I wanted to punch myself in the face. I can't imagine how the employees feel all day every day.

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One Word Album Review, Muse – Simulation Theory

Good.

Over the years I've had an on and off relationship with Muse. The Black Holes And Revelations album from 2006 is great, Map Of the Problematique one of my favorite songs of all time. Their albums following that had a couple of songs I liked, but as a whole they were all a bit lackluster. So when I heard they had a new album out it was a bit like hearing U2 had a new album. You know, mildly interested for nostalgia value, but in no hurry to actually listen to it. This week I decided to give it a whirl.

First a little note. About 18 months ago I wrote about how I'd discovered the music genre known as retro electro or synthwave. Kids making albums that sound like soundtracks to 80s movies & TV shows. Since then I've become fully enamored by all those bands and they're on high rotation in my headphones.

So yeah Simulation Theory. The first thing I noticed was the album cover. It's is almost an exact copy of everything in the retro electro genre. I wondered if that was a teaser for what was to come. It was. It seems Muse have also listened to a lot of those same bands I have in the last year.

And that's not a bad thing at all. I'm only on my second listen through but I'm really liking it so far. Seems like a welcome return to form.

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Walking Videos

Friday's JWZ mixtape post got me thinking about compiling my own list of favorite music videos. As I'm trying to figure out which ones make the short list I'm surprised at how much I like walking videos. You know, where the protagonist just takes a bit of a stroll. Be it down the street, across a field, wherever.

The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
Bruce Springsteen – Streets Of Philadelphia

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jwz's Mixtapes

For as long as I can remember I've been a fan of Jamie Zawinski's mixtapes. He initially started with streaming mp3s and in recent years switched to compiling videos on YouTube. I've discovered a lot of new bands this way over the years.

This week marked a milestone as he hit the 200th mixtape. This one a little different as it's a 3 hour ride of what he considers the best videos ever made. There is some good stuff here.

I wanted to do something to commemorate the bicentennial (bicentapial?) so here's a double-length mixtape (a pair of C90s) comprising The Greatest Music Videos Of All Time.

Ok, it's not really that, because there are two fundamental problems with that concept:

• First: How is a mixtape of The Greatest Music Videos Of All Time not merely Duran Duran's "The Wild Boys" playing on infinite repeat?

Because really, that's it, you can stop there, that's the one.

There's a rule about recording a cover song: "Never remind the audience that they could be listening to a better band than yours." So let's say you sit down to make a music video. How do you even do that, knowing that The Wild Boys exists, out there, in the world? How do you top that?

• But Second: I am paralysed by choice. My first draft of this mixtape was seven hours long, and it still felt woefully incomplete.

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If You Ever Plan To Motor West

If You Ever Plan To Motor West

Flagstaff, 2018. 

It was cool driving down an iconic piece of Americana.  The kicks I got on this particular route was an awfully nice IPA in a Mexican restaurant.  Yum.  Of course I had Depeche's version of the song in my head while taking this shot.

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The Same Deep Water As You

Quite possibly my favorite Cure song of all time. Atmospheric, moving, depressing, dreamy, dark, and otherworldly all at once. It's the kind of song that gets into your soul. Listening with headphones with your eyes closed the best experience and you can really get lost in it. First listened 29 years ago (what?) and still listen to it today.

If I had to choose a song to die to it would be this one. I don't know what scenario I'd ever be in where I'd need to pick a song to die to? But if I did, and I had to pick, this would be it.

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My Ultimate Cure Setlist

The Cure are one of my favorite bands of all time. Had all their albums on vinyl, posters on the wall of my bedroom as a teenager, you name it. For one reason or another I didn't get around to seeing them until 2008 when they played in Phoenix. I'll never forget that night.

The Cure

(yeah, cameras weren't the best in 2008)

Fast forward to this weekend, and they played their 40th anniversary show at Hyde Park in London. By all accounts a great gig to be at. The setlist was actually pretty good, albeit a "safe" greatest hits endeavor.

If I were picking the setlist it would consist of gems they rarely play live anymore. Depending on mood this would likely change but it would resemble something like this.

Plainsong
Shake Dog Shake
One Hundred Years
Disintegration
Dressing Up
This Twilight Garden
Push
From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea
The Big Hand
Sinking
The Perfect Girl
Faith
Killing An Arab
Primary
Pornography
All Cats Are Grey
Harold And Joe
The Same Deep Water As You
Just Like Heaven
A Forest
All I Want
Short Term Effect
Wendy Time
Want
A Night Like This

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