June Music Challenge

Week 22 – Tuesday 28th May – Monday 3rd June

Chris Butler – Museum of Me

This album was given to me by an eclectic friend many years ago. That particular person was music obsessed, and recommended tons of album to me over the time I knew him. I listened to many of them, but not all. With a few of them, I found myself with one song in particular that I liked, and I would just play that song over and over again, not really bothering with the album as a whole.

But at some point I could no longer recall which albums I had listened to and which I hadn’t.

But for some damn reason I had kept this album on my phone for years. This would suggest that I hadn’t listened to this album yet. And of course, as I listened to this album some of the songs felt sort of familiar. So I likely had listened to this at some point.

Honestly, I feel I had the right idea by treating this album as nothing but a vessel for the one song I liked.

It is now all but purged from my phone.


Week 23 – Tuesday 4th June – Monday 10th June

Vinicio Capossela – Rebetiko Gymnastas

Damnit! I really wanted to like this album.

Vinicio Capossela is an Italian singer-songwriter and eccentric. He’s the type of weirdo that came out during one of his concerts first dressed up in a bull mask and fur cape then in an outfit that made him look like Napoleon. He does emotional and eclectic songs that get him often compared to Tom Waits (‘No love songs’ is the name of one of his biographies). After reading one of his famously inaccessible novels, I got the impression that he spent some time traveling the Mediterranean, and specifically Greece.

He decided in 2012 to release an album called ‘Rebetiko Gymnastas’. Rebetiko is a type of traditional Greek music that is often sorrowful in tone and deals with the tales of those people who fall through the cracks of society.It is played with certain traditional Greek instruments (like the Bouzouki).

These are all things I like and approve of. So how was the album?

By no means was it bad, but it was a little boring. I was really hoping for an album in Greek, while only one song was really in Greek. Thinking on it now, that makes sense. I mean, how are you going to sell a Greek album to Italians?

But more disappointing was that there weren’t all that many original songs on here. A lot of them were many of his old songs just done in a Rebetiko musical style.

I will say this much to the artist’s credit: the Greek-ified remixes of these songs aren’t just the same track as from the older albums with just new stuff thrown in. The songs are redone head to tails, and I could tell that he ever rerecorded the vocal tracks. In some of the song you can really hear how much he has aged.

I don’t know. I just wanted something more from this.


Week 24 – Tuesday 11th June – Monday 17th June

Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R

Despite having heard of the band by name, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into with this band. Music of this time period / genre all kind of sounds the same to me, and so a lot of this was forgotten as soon as I heard it.

I did walk away from this with the impression that the lyrics were really bad.

Not for me.

Also, this was another example of an album with an extra CD that was completely unneeded. In this case it was full of live tracks, none of which I cared much about.

EDIT: Looking at this post a couple of days before publishing, and I well and truly remember very little about this.


Week 25 – Tuesday 18th June – Monday 24th June

Led Zeppelin III

I kind of wish I had had an advisor with me while making this list. When someone suggested it to me, I was pretty sure that I had never listened to this whole album. And while that might be true, its only true in that I never sat down and listened to this album in a single sitting. But truth be told, you’ve heard this album. I get the feeling everyone has. Or at least everyone has listened to the constituent parts of the album before. The songs are all that fucking famous. And there were even a couple which I may not have known all that well. 

The album well and truly deserves the classic status it has received. I don’t really know what else to say about it. Solid work boys. Clearly, you weren’t fucking around when you made it. Pats on the back all around.

Ok, but for some god damn reason this also came with an entirely superfluous second CD of remastered versions. Maybe its because I am not an audiophile, but I heard precisely zero difference between the two version of some of these songs.


Week 25 – Tuesday 25th June – Monday 1st July

The Verve – Urban hymns

If you stop and think about it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that ‘one hit wonder’ is used as a pejorative. Most of us will never in our lives get that far, or anywhere near it (the closest thing I have come to fame of any stripe was once being dogpiled on Twitter by Mike Cernovich, thus cementing my ‘cucking libtard’ status. True story). Despite my feeling this way, the minute I saw this on the list, I though to myself – Yea, they made that one song, Bittersweet symphony.

So, on the one hand:

In college I met an Air Force guy stationed in Northern Italy who told me about the time he got into a brutal car accident while listening to ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’, and sat in the wreckage bleeding (with his key still in the ignition and the engine still running) till the fucking song ended. My reaction to the story was, and is, “Yea dude, makes sense”. The song *is* that good.

But on the other hand:

There might be something rather sad about the fact that at some point I said to myself “Wow, I actually know more than one song from these guys”, as if that were an accomplishment of any kind. After I realized that I knew more than one song by these guys, I kinda just shrugged and went about my day. It was a pretty stark contrast from Led Zeppelin, when I was saying “Oh fuck yea, these guys made this too!”

It’s pretty fucking weird.

I’ll be deleting this album. Except for bittersweet symphony. I’ll keep that one.



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