Album Reviews artists interests

My Top Favorite Music From 2016

In no particular order, these are my favorite music releases from this year:




Angel Olsen……My Woman

Car Seat Headrest……Teens Of Denial

David Bowie……Blackstar

Kristin Kontrol……X-Communicate

Melanie Martinez……Cry Baby

Nice As F*#K……Self Titled

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds……Skeleton Tree


Radiohead……A Moon Shaped Pool

Savages……Adore Life

Sunflower Bean……Human Ceremony

Pink Floyd……The Early Years, 1967-1972 (Cre/ation)


interests Uncategorized

The Song That Changed My Life Forever



For most people, this is a difficult thing to truly know. I mean, think about how many songs are out there. How can you possibly narrow it down to that ONE song that altered your perception, changed your fate, opened up your mind? Woke you up to a new world forever? It depends on a significant event perhaps. Or maybe it was repeated exposure to a song on the radio. Was it at a concert? Maybe during a music class lesson? For me it always seems to relate to my father and I listening to classic rock on the radio in one of his pickup trucks while I was growing up.

Whether we were driving to a ball game, camping trip, vacation or just around the corner to the store; classic rock was playing either through a cassette tape, cd player or simply on the radio. At home on the stereo pumping through vintage Allegro speakers, he would crank out records and cds of various artists. Most of these consisted of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, CCR, The Cars, ZZ Top and finally Pink Floyd. Something about the latter struck me the most.

I remember being about 5 or 6 years old in the back seat of my  mom’s Plymouth Horizon. One of her many errands she would run during the day while I am intently listening to the radio. Usually it was WLS in Chicago AM radio. This disco sounding, rock jam song would play every now and then. It was actually Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd. At that age, this song sounded really strange and yet quite interesting even though my young brain couldn’t quite understand its meaning. Then in 1987 another song by the Floyd was on MTV and the radio again. This one was entitled Learning To Fly. Another bizarre and artistic song by this enigmatic band that I did not know much about.

At age 11, I still was not collecting music really other than occasionally trading tapes with neighborhood friends or hearing what my dad played. It wasn’t until the late 80’s and early 90’s that I started feeling that “change” within me. This occurred in 2 stages. Stage one was when I was in his truck one day (I can’t remember the specific year but I guess I would have been in my early teens) probably when I was 13 or 14 and he played Dark Side of The Moon. This album blew my mind. Clocks ticking and then erupting into this loud chaos followed by these percussions keeping a steady beat with wailing guitars and these deep prophetic lyrics about “Time” and life & death. My dad played that album a lot and that song Time really spoke to me the most. Slide guitars and great vocals were enough to sell me on the band finally.

The second stage occurred a few years later. In the summer of 1994, my dad surprised me and bought 2 tickets for us to go see Pink Floyd live. It was my first concert ever. I was 18 years old. I was so pumped. The band takes the stage. I am among a crowd of 50,000 people with my dad screaming and shouting. They open up with this cosmic sounding, very British and aggressively massive sounding pop song. It was really rocking! I never heard it before. I was actually so turned on by this song! I kept thinking,”what was that?” While the concert was great, that song was festering in my brain. My dad and I did some research later on that week. Then one day I am in my bedroom and over hear that familiar song pumping through those Allegro speakers and I immediately ran into the living room and inquired about it. My dad was holding a disc in his hands. It was entitled “Piper At The Gates of Dawn” by Pink Floyd, featuring original singer, guitarist and song writer-Syd Barrett.


I learned of Syd Barrett in that moment. I never knew about him or the amazing body of work he contributed to that band. The song that I fell in love with is called Astronomy Domine. Totally spacey and cosmic and psychedelic! That song changed my life forever because I knew there was more Pink Floyd music out there that I never even knew existed before. I started to realize that every band has its beginnings before they become popular. Before they reach stardom, they have a starting point. Something that inspired them to make music to begin with. That night at the concert while standing in front of my chair gazing up at the stage I experienced something like never before. At age 18 that summer, I became educated that there’s this amazing story behind the band Pink Floyd. That it all began with a man named Syd. Syd Barrett’s experiments with sights and sounds and his eventual madness is what created albums like Dark Side of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. Without his genius and absurdness, Pink Floyd would never have become as great as they did.


That single song, Astronomy Domine, shaped my life because I learned how to embrace all sides of life and music. There’s more than meets the eye and ears. I learned to go deeper than the surface. To explore beyond the obvious. I began to embrace the deep cuts and the hidden treasures of my own life each and every day.


#Vinyl …a new series on #HBO


There’s a new series on HBO. It’s called VINYL and takes place in New York City.

The year is 1973 and it was an important time in music history.

Plenty of sex drugs and rock & roll and lots of cocaine!

The blues, birth of  hip-hop, punk rises and disco started to emerge as well.

American Century Records vs German Polygram

Led Zeppelin cheated out of a contract and there are money deals to be made.


Its about discovering new artists, making promises and telling lies to your clients within the music industry.

It’s  about NOT making friends with your clients. Just crack out those hits and make us money because its a business.

Fashion and graffiti sprays the streets of NYC while buildings collapse and people rushing through dirty areas to check out bands like the New York Dolls playing at small clubs.

Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger produce this series…and they do it well!!!


Wild parties, orgies, loaded on cocaine, loaded with guns, murder, cover ups and drinking your problems away because deals gone wrong.

It’s a greedy business with butterfly collars, bell bottoms, platform shoes, trendy sunglasses, a desk drawer full of various uppers, downers, screamers, laughers, joints.

The spirit of the hippie 60’s still exist during a new wave of punk, but in order to keep a record company from “tanking,” you need to make deals and sell, discover new talent, bring them in and get them to record with you to get noticed because otherwise you’re gonna bomband you don’t want to sell your soul for rock and roll……


Pie AND Vinyl #records #music #pie #cafe #vinyl

Kate’s Pie Shop Cafe & Records located in Rockford Illinois




It’s such a great combination of pleasant activities. Conversation. Coffee. Sandwiches. Soups. Shopping for records. But then most of all….PIE!! AWESOME Pie!! Strawberry Rhubarb and Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, for example!

Even though this record wasn’t for sale, it was pretty awesome looking!!! Long live David Bowie!!!


I recommend this place. Good service. Nice pie. Decent record collection.


Signing off….C-Note




artists debates interests Uncategorized

What’s The Best American Band Of Our Generation? #generationx #music #debate #nirvana #mixtape



I am bringing back something that a friend of mine mentioned two years ago: What’s the best American Band of our Generation? But I want to clarify….Speaking on behalf of Generation X and Y (Millennial’s too)…what band has defined this place in time occurring from 1980-2010. A band that began in the 80’s and is still relevant. Longevity and sales play a key roll. It needs to define us!!! So FRANK brought up Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I will add to that Green Day and Nine Inch Nails…..Let’s Debate Folks!!!

The following conversation has been edited for focus and clarity: 



FRANK:I view Nirvana like The Doors. Amazingly influential but too short lived.


PAULI agree with the “short-lived” thing.

MARY: Definitely WuTang is in the running. Very influential in both music and life.
PAUL: If I were to ask 10 random people our age who Wu Tang is….would they know? I’m not saying I don’t like them or think they are good but are they at the top of the list?
MARY: I think so. Look at the rapper that came out of Wu-Tang. Ghostface killah, method man and old dirty bastard. Ghostface and Method are still relevant.
FRANK: For sure. They influenced multiple cultures. Not just one culture like most of the bands we have listed. For sure more than Green Day. Just saying.
PAUL: The only thing is, their longevity doesn’t trace back to the 80’s.Wu-Tang Clan, ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was a great album but beyond that release, I’m not convinced that it “defined” our generation. IMHO
MARY: Wu-Tang is one of the most influential hip hop artist. That stupid pharmaceutical guy bought the ONLY copy of their latest album. So they are still relevant enough to garner that type of interest. They also started a clothing line and soon many rappers like puff daddy would follow suit. ODB was the original Kanye, interrupting the Grammys when Puff Daddy won best Rap Album and Shawn Colvin when she won Song of the Year.
BOB: My only vote would be for Nirvana. I know they don’t qualify based on the parameters, but their influence and effect rippled across the ENTIRE music industry in the early 90s. All at once, Hair Metal (your Warrants and Wingers of the world) were done. Grunge was the new sound for better or worse. Even thrash metal bands like Metallica and Anthrax were affected; if you listen to 90s records (post-Nirvana) from these bands versus 80s records (pre-Nirvana) you can hear the change. I can’t go with the Pumpkins (even though I am a huge fan) because they weren’t CONSISTENTLY good. Same thing with Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.
PAUL: You make a good point Sir.
JOEHa! Me and Geff have a long standing debate on this. Green Day vs Metallica. I say Metallica, he says Green Day. Ironically I’m in a band that plays lots of Green Day. So….Can of worms opened. I contend that without the Black album paving the way for heavier music in popular music there is no grunge or 90s metal.No nirvana, Pearl jam, Alice in chains, tool, Korn, or green day. Ergo Metallica had the most effect on the music of our generation. You must look back to what was on the radio and mtv before Aug 12 1991. It was a huge shift when they started playing a lot of heavy stuff on the radio and more kids at school liked Metallica than didn’t like that bunch of satan worshipping burn outs as they were previously referred to.
BOB:It’s very interesting to note that both the Black Album and Nevermind were released within weeks of each other in 1991. You could argue that the Black Album was one of the first grunge album, though that album did piss off a LOT of their hardcore fans due to the sound change from the first few records. I still think the music scene’s overall “sound” changed more as a result of Nirvana than the Black Album. Also, I still view the Black Album as the “buffer” album between Justice and the Load period. Therefore, I don’t hold it up as much; though there are some great tunes on that record.
JOE: Metal had to rise so it could die and grunge could rise up. I still maintain. If not that then yes Nirvana changed the world.
PAUL: Nirvana’s Bleach came out in 1989 and so did NIN’s Pretty Hate Machine so…
BOB: True, but in fairness, Bleach didn’t have anywhere near the impact that Nevermind did. I doubt Metallica was influenced by Bleach that much.


PAUL: probably not…..I just disagree with Joe on this one. Plus Mudhoney arrived in 1988 using” grunge” to define their style.

PAUL:The Gen X soundtrack is a mixtape. It consists of dance. punk, pop, glam rock, new wave, alternative and rap. At the heart of it all is the music that erupted from Seattle in the early 1990s.
FRANK: Agree 100%. But still, need to add the East Coast and West Coast Hip Hop scene. They paved the way for what I’d consider to be the dominant form of American music today. I have been contemplating this and I still have Green Day as a tier 2 in this debate. I don’t think they were very original. They might have influenced the cheapening of punk. Sort of how Metallica made metal mainstream by watering it down. Which makes them successful in pop culture and also eligible for a “greatest” list. Given a choice, I’ll take Slayer and Fugazi over Metallica and Green Day but that’s a different list and different discussion.
PAUL: I tend to gravitate towards Green Day! Dookie went 10 x Platinuum and it was basically considered a Diamond record as opposed to a Gold record!
FRANK:I’ll stick to Metallica and RHCP as the greatest American bands of my generation.
PAUL: Perhaps we are the “mixtape” generation.
BOB:I’m a fan of Green Day, but they have put out a couple stinkers. The Warning album was godawful. It should have been titled Warning: This Record Sucks.Though I think Green Day’s first three records, 39 Smooth, Kerplunk and Dookie were all amazing! The follow-up to Dookie was underrated too. Insomniac, I think? I can’t remember.
PAUL: A good band/artist puts out stinkers! Even David Bowie managed to release some duds. He put out 27 albums but not ALL of them were Golden! 
BOB: That is true, but if we’re talking about generation defining artists, I like to keep the stinkage to a minimum.

PAUL:I suppose Nirvana wasn’t around long enough to stink too much. I still believe that longevity and sales play key factors.

BOB:Eh, I’m not so keen on sales. People buy a lot of crap. I’d be interested to know, which is the WEAKEST Nirvana album in your opinion?
PAUL: I guess none of them. you got me stumped. But I will say, does it define our generation? Or is this a mission impossible?I’m willing to bet that its a “mixtape” generation.
BOB: I think Nirvana defined the generation best with the lyrics to Teen Spirit: Here We Are, Now Entertain Us! If that isn’t the slacker Gen X anthem, well, I challenge you to top it!
PAUL: Actually, Beck, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and Radiohead all presented “anthems” for our generation too: Beck’s Loser? Sonic Youth’s Teenage Riot? Radiohead’s Creep?
BOB: I like “Here We Are, Now Entertain Us” better than “I’m a Loser, Baby, so Why Don’t You Kill Me?”Not a huge Radiohead fan, but I like Creep. Love Sonic Youth, especially Daydream Nation. Love it. But I think it more defined the Hipster generation, which I don’t consider myself a part of.
BOB: You could also make an argument that Dinosaur Jr. was making grunge records way before Nirvana. Listen to You’re Living All Over Me; if that ain’t grunge, I don’t know what is…
Nirvana, “Nevermind”
Pearl Jam, “Ten”
Dr. Dre, “The Chronic”
Radiohead, “OK Computer”
Rage Against the Machine, “The Battle of Los Angeles”
Sublime, “Sublime”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”
No Doubt, “Tragic Kingdom”
Smashing Pumpkins, “Siamese Dream”
REM, “Out of Time”
Depeche Mode, “Violator”
Jane’s Addiction, “Ritual de Lo Habitual”
Alanis Morissette, “Jagged Little Pill”
Soundgarden, “Superunknown”
Green Day, “Dookie”
Beastie Boys, “Ill Communication”
U2, “Achtung Baby”
BOB: I forgot about REM. Perhaps they should be in the conversation as well? They had a gift for reinvention that was unique. Monster is one of my favorite 90s records.
PAUL: Losing My Religion really spoke to me
BOB: That’s definitely an anthem for a lot of us.
PAUL: So perhaps R.E.M. vs Nirvana?
FRANK: REM for sure. They were around 30 years – not comparable with Nirvana.
PAUL: Would you say REM is more relevant?
BOB: REM probably is more impressive in that they were so good for so long. I loved all their records until like, the late 90s. No obvious stinkers.
STEVE: While mother love bone birthed grunge music, nirvana definitely defined it. In a pop dominated era, rem defied the boundaries along with bands like the cure. However, I cannot find any band to compare to the boys from Ireland (U2). Imo, they’re on an island all their own.
PAUL: I think I’m convinced that it’s not Metallica or red hot chili peppers because there were too many stinkers and I don’t feel they spoke to everybody or at least the majority but what do I know?
FRANK: As for the Metallica and RHCP stinkers – that is due to longevity. I don’t think it discounts them. But to each his own. As long as we all love music and the great (or sad) memories it evokes, the world is right. Now go watch the AIC Would video, put on some docs and a flannel and transport yourself back to the 90s. And share it with a millennial. Poor saps. Sap. Good album.
Maybe we’ll never know for sure. Let’s ask the blog followers to participate. What’s your opinion on this matter? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section. 
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At a loss

I am overstimulated with music

Seems difficult for me to stay focused

I want to press the reset button

There’s too many choices


It’s funny how my attention drifts

all over the place


drinking coffee  from my kitchen


a band named Girlpool plays on the stereo

Cleo and Harmony are from Los Angeles

I like their voices playing in harmony

no drummer

bass and guitar

kinda folky and punky

it’s coffeehouse music

or really just a rainy day album

its called “Before The World Was Big”


a bird chirps next to me

just got text

i am eating eggs and toast with cheese and bacon

for now this is my moment with music




I’m still here

I’ve been listening to a lot of the Grateful Dead lately.

It’s no surprise since it is their 50th anniversary as a band.

Jerry Garcia left us 20 years ago but the music has carried on.

No I won’t be going to see their “Fare Thee Well Tour” at Soldier Field 4th of July Weekend.

I will attempt to stream one of the shows through pay per view

and have some friends over while knocking back some brewskies.

I’ll write more later because I’m still looking for my “miracle” muse…….



RSD 2015

we did it again standing in line outside in front of the record store waiting to get a ticket to get inside to get a good spot to search through treasures while spinning wax in our brains! Lots of cool stuff, there were too many choices but I chose a few worth talking about. I am posting pictures here and I will say something about them.


The above is quite a rare Grateful Dead tribute treasure for all of us kids to jam out to in our playpens!


Awesome “side by side” 45 series featuring R.E.M. and Syd Barrett! Purple record containing 2 versions of Dark Globe. 

St Paul & The Broken Bones doing some funky work on Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song” and a stellar version of “Moonage Daydream” by Bowie!!! The record is in the shape of Alabama!!! Unbelievable 12 inch record !! 


Lots of fun goodies and overall an exciting time hanging out at my local record store and celebrating the joy of vinyl!!!!

artists interests

Top Five Records To Save From A Burning Building

So these are five cd’s or vinyl records that I consider, at least the mood I am in right now, to be a few of my favorite ones. This list consists of albums that would make me cry if I lost them or got them stolen from me. I have played these records constantly. I would consider these to be currently my “desert island” discs.

1. Beck….Odelay (sampling masterpiece)
2. Black Sabbath….Paranoid (Original Heavy Metal Genius)
3. Beach Boys….Pet Sounds (So far ahead of its time)
4. Smashing Pumpkins….Siamese Dream (Listened to this one everyday after school in high school)
5. Neko Case….Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (I just listened to this one again a few hours ago… “ALWAYS” makes me cry…..because it’s that good!)


Album Reviews interests

Treasures From Record Store Day


About ten days ago I went to a local record store called Kiss The Sky at 5:30 in the morning to get a lottery ticket. My number was 63. What does that mean? (You might ask) Well when the doors officailly opened at 8:00 a.m. I had the right to be the 63rd person to be let into the store and buy records. Not just any records but rare limited editions of various vinyl pressings. 45’s, 7 inches, LP’s and special box sets.

I went and had breakfast after I got my number. Then I returned to the shrine of pressed wax that us enthusiasts enjoy spinning on our turntables. It was really crowded inside the store. But I struck up some conversations with other fanatics, like myself.

I walked away with a 45 of Frank Zappa’s “Yellow Snow,” a special Joy Division record containing their first 4 songs and a small box set of eight 45’s entitled “The Space Project.” This box set featured artists like Youth Lagoon and Beach House. It was a rare find and definitely was a limited pressing.

My questions for my readers out there……Did you go? What did you buy? Where did you go? How much fun did you have?

Long Live Vinyl!!!!