Music on the CD Player
Although this may be rather quaint in an era of iPods, MP3 players, and downloadable content, I still have a CD player in which I place five CDs and usually set to random play. After work, I like to come home, turn on the CD player, lie flat on my back on the rug, and either have a power nap for a half hour, listen to the music, or drift into a kind of hypnagogic combination of the two.
Mostly I play rock or pop, although I do like some jazz and classical, and even country. I play new finds sometimes that’ve been lauded in reviews on such sites as Metacritic, but often I like to listen to music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Why am I making a page about this? I’m interested in discussion and comments about any of the music I’ve got on, or any other music it may remind you of. I’ve got a couple of good reference books: “musicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide” and the second edition of the “All-Time Top 1000 Albums”, not to speak of the entire Internet, to delve into some of the background if the whim takes me.
I tend to leave the same five on for awhile, until I get tired of them, or I buy a new one. So my selection may only change at random intervals. Anyway, this is an experiment so here goes…
1. Hymns of the 49th Parallel, by k.d. lang
For those who don’t know her, k.d. lang began as a kind of country-punk singer who insisted she was the reincarnation of Patsy Cline. Her voice is so good, she just might be. On this album, which is a tribute to Canadian singer-songwriters (hence the name), she’s chosen many tunes which have meaning to me. They include Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush, Bruce Cockburn’s One Day I Walk, Joni Mitchell’s Jericho, and Leonard Cohen’s Bird on a Wire.
2. Highway Companion, by Tom Petty
This is the new Tom Petty album. Apparently he’s said he won’t be touring any more, so who knows how many more albums there will be. I like Tom Petty a lot, and although there isn’t any one song that pulls you along by the ear, there are many here that grow on me as I listen to it. Jeff Lynne helped produce, of Electric Light Orchestra fame, and a few years ago, a collaborator with Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison in the Travellin’ Wilburys. As an aside, I’ve been looking around for Volume III (which was the second album) of the Travellin’ Wilburys and it’s hard to find. How did it compare with the first, anybody? (The great Roy Orbison died after the first one.)
3. Films About Ghosts, the Best of Counting Crows
Counting Crows is a band that I don’t know a lot about other than they are originally from the San Francisco Bay area. They have a distinctive sound and they rock – that’s usually good enough for me. I bought one of their albums a couple of years ago, and on the strength of that, I got this one. They cover Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” which I like.
4. Another Fine Day, by Golden Smog
This is a new band formed from members of the Jayhawks, Wilco and Soul Asylum, among others. The Jayhawks to me were one of the finest bands of the 90s. I have one album (Summerteeth) of Wilco’s I like, and I know nothing of Soul Asylum, which I should rectify. I haven’t had a chance to give this a real good listen yet, but I’m enjoying what I’ve heard so far.
5. Tim O’Reagan, by Tim O’Reagan
This is another alumnus of the Jayhawks, the drummer. One reviewer has said this album is more of a Tomorrow the Green Grass follow-up than how the Jayhawks actually did follow-up that great album. It’s getting rave reviews. Another one I am just starting to get to know.