Week 18 – Tuesday 30th Apr – Monday 6th May
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
I’m starting this month off with a real classic. If ever there is an album people will judge you for (not) knowing it is this one. One gets the impression that if you haven’t listened to this album then you didn’t really have any adolescence to speak of, but were taken out of middle school directly to work in a grey office park in the suburbs and had to regularly attend Monday Morning Meetings.
I was familiar with the mythology of this album before going into it, most notably the idea that it syncs perfectly with the Wizard of Oz, and The Force Awakens. But I hear things like this with increasing frequency, and I am sure pretty soon someone will tell me that Allen Ginsburg’s dramatic reading of Howl syncs up perfectly to Debbie Does Dallas. Frankly, I am skeptical of this nonsense, and I think it is nothing but Stoner Aural Paradolia (SAP). But I decided to give it a whirl while listening to this, and I have come up with a handy list of things the album does not sync up to:
- My commute
- Traffic more generally
- Driving from Richmond to DC and back
- Writing a paper about sociolinguistics
- Trying to fall asleep, sober
- Blogging (excepting this post)
- Creative writing
- Worrying about my future
Not attempted were getting stoned and watching 2001: a Space Odyssey, but only because I lacked time.
The album itself? Meh.
Week 19 – Tuesday 7th May – Monday 13th May
The Fugees – Greatest Hits
Obviously I knew who the Fugees were going into this, because the rock I grew up under wasn’t soundproof. Pretty much every song on here was one I had heard before, and the best I could really say about them is that they are plenty talented, which is why I had head about them in the first place.
I can’t say I was at all blown away by the second disk, which was entirely remixes. I don’t think I really know what to do with remixes. For the most part they do little more than make me want to listen to the actual song.
I think I will be keeping the first disc of this album on my phone going forward.
Week 20 – Tuesday 14th May – Monday 20th May
Tim Maia – Racional
What? Wasn’t this supposed to be a list of albums people recommended to you as ‘must listen to’.
Yes, largely. But I made an exception. Not because the music is superb, but because I find the character so utterly fucking fascinating (well, funny really), and now I can share a little bit of it with you.
Tim Maia was a Brazilian musician from Rio de Janeiro who began his career as a Samba hippy in the 60 or so. And like many other people of that generation, he greeted his early success with every vice under the South American sun. He did this for very many years, until at some point he ended up joining a weird 1970’s cult called The rational Culture.
That’s what this whole album, Racional (Rational) is about. Its his album of religious cult music.
And while he was in this cult he not only made some pretty awesome music, but he also got his life together. He began donating money to charity and kicked all his vices. He was all in with this cult.
Until he wasn’t. He at some point denounced the cult and its leader, claiming they he was a charlatan. He went right back to the vices, and this ruined his family life so much so that he ended up emigrating to the United States, until he was deported back to Brazil on a marijuana possession charge.
So, while everyone should know Tim Maia’s story, should people get to know his music?
Its super weird to be listening to someone else’s church music, and you really get that feeling from listening to this, even if you aren’t a Portuguese speaker. But it is still more or less enjoyable, if it isn’t the most 70’s thing you will hear all day.
Week 21 – Tuesday 21st May – Monday 27th May
Easy All Stars – Dub Side of the Moon (reggae cover of Dark Side)
Yea, I set this up intentionally. I liked the idea of ending the month as it began (sort of).
I think one concern that I have had listening to all this music is that none of it would stay with me in the long run, but listening to this kind of reassured me. I felt a lot of familiarity listening to this, and it made me realize just how much the Pink Floyd album really stuck with me. I may have to revisit both of these in the future.