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What are you listening to right now?

Feb 4, 2006 @ 7:33 PM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 119
Sinner - The End Of Sanctuary
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Feb 4, 2006 @ 11:59 PM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 7,922
The Action "Action Packed" CD

Review by Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

Beginning in the fall of 1965 with their single "Land of 1000 Dances" b/w "In My Lonely Room," the Liverpool-based quintet the Action graced the world with some of the best R&B and soul ever to come out of a white British band, so utterly convincing and sung and played with such conviction that some listeners today can't believe they were white, much less English. They only got better with their next few singles, including "I'll Keep on Holding On," "Baby You've Got It" b/w "Since I Lost My Baby," and "Harlem Shuffle" (which wasn't even released until the 1980s), but somehow never made it to the charts. The 17 songs here overlap with the contents of the Ultimate Action CD, except that they've all been newly remastered in 24-bit sound from better sources, so the action on the drums is audible and the guitars, bass, and vocals are practically right in your lap (and they never sounded better, to boot). That new digital transfer, coupled with the extensive annotation and the array of group photographs, picture sleeves, advertising art, and original single labels all combine to make this CD an essential upgrade from the earlier release. Further, although it is a compilation of singles (and, thus, a bit unfair to stack up against individual albums by other bands), the music on Action Packed is every bit as essential, bracing, and enjoyable a listening experience as, say, With the Beatles, Rolling Stones Now, the Who's original U.K. My Generation album, or any of the other iconic music releases of the British Invasion. Even the one non-soul number here, Shadows and Reflections," which reflected a change in direction for the group and closes the collection (and also surfaced on Rhino's Nuggets II box), is one of the catchier unknown pieces of British psychedelic pop you're ever likely to run into.

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Feb 7, 2006 @ 6:31 PM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 7,922
Do the Pop!: The Australian Garage-Rock Sound 1976-1987

Transferred the CD's to my 'puter so I can hear while I'm typin'.

Review by Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

This isn't quite a compilation of highlights of Australian punk rock's first decade, though in some respect this two-CD, 50-song set dovetails with that concept. It's more an anthology of a strain of alternative/underground rock that flourished in Australia after the onset of punk. As the title indicates, there was a good deal of garage pop influence from the '60s and '70s involved, though it wasn't as faithfully imitative as the American garage revivalists of the '80s, or as arty as the paisley underground groups. Only one of these tracks has really achieved international recognition as a significant groundbreaker, and that's the very first cut, the Saints' "(I'm) Stranded," the 1976 recording now acknowledged as one of the first punk records.

Plenty of other names that populated obscure fanzines in the late '70s, and then college radio play lists in the 1980s, are represented too: Radio Birdman, the New Christs, the Scientists, the Hoodoo Gurus, the Lime Spiders, the Screaming Tribesmen, Died Pretty, the Hard-Ons, the Eastern Dark, the Exploding White Mice, and the Celibate Rifles. Radio Birdman and spinoff bands are especially prevalent, and there are a couple of tracks by obscure bands whose lineups included Hoodoo Gurus (Dave Faulkner was in the Victims, and Brad Shepherd in the Fun Things).

There remain plenty of artists that even most alternative rock collectors might be unfamiliar with, from the Psycho Surgeons and Johnny Kannis to the Psychotic Turnbuckles and Decline of the Reptiles. Generally, these are energetic punk-pop hybrids with the emphasis on the punk half and trash-swampy pop traits of the blend, admirably brash but often rather samey-sounding in their brazen guitar riffs and aggressive vocals.

There are some tracks that fall well outside the prototype, like the Stems' mix of power pop and the folk-rock of the Byrds on "At First Sight"; the raw edginess of the Victims' "Television Addict," which more than most tracks has an early British punk influence; the Passengers' "Face With No Name," which recalls early Blondie (and it's nice to hear a woman's voice in the midst of all these studs); or the Sunnyboys' two tracks, which sound inspired by those morose mixes of folk-rock and '60s garage heard on much of the Pebbles series. The 28-page booklet offers detailed rundowns on all the tracks, albeit in eye-straining small print.

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Feb 8, 2006 @ 12:09 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 1,207
I am currently listening to the late great Rich Mullins
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Feb 8, 2006 @ 4:51 PM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 10,055
Take A Picture ~ Filter
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Feb 11, 2006 @ 12:08 AM What are you listening to right now?    

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Mouse and the Traps "The Fraternity Years" CD Comp.

Biography by Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

This Tyler, TX, group from the mid-'60s is most known for their uncanny imitation of Highway 61-era Dylan, "A Public Execution." Featured on the Nuggets compilation, it is to Dylan what the Knickerbockers' "Lies" is to the Beatles: one of the few rip-offs so utterly accurate that it could easily fool listeners into mistaking it for the original article.

Spearheaded by singer/songwriter Ronnie Weiss, the group actually recorded quite a few decent singles between 1965 and 1969 without approaching any sort of national recognition. "Mouse" never got as explicitly Dylanesque again, but there's no doubt that Weiss often recalled a non-atonal Dylan with his nasal delivery, and several of their singles were a much more melodic, pop-oriented extension of Dylan's mid-'60s sound.

Recording almost exclusively original material, they were one of the better regional groups of the time, and also waxed some capable Texas punk-psychedelia and good-time pop/rockers.

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Feb 11, 2006 @ 12:50 PM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 441
KT Tunstall ... Eye to the Telescope


Kelly Clarkson .. Breakaway
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Feb 11, 2006 @ 3:41 PM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 10,055
Bad Valentine ~ Transvision Vamp
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Feb 14, 2006 @ 12:03 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 7,922
Keane "Hopes and Fears" album

Review by MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide

The English music press can never let anyone be. They're always quick to hail the next big thing and, in this case, the next big Coldplay is Keane. Lowgold briefly held that title upon its debut release in 2001, but U.K. critics rushed to give that crown to someone else just because that's what they like to do. Keane didn't ask for it, but perhaps it's the overall majestic presentation of the band's debut album, Hopes and Fears, that does it. That and the fact that the Sussex trio doesn't rely on a formula of lilting melodies and feverish guitars to carry the weight of the album.

Keane haven't positioned themselves to be kings of anything, let alone the next Coldplay. They sound nothing like Chris Martin and Co. Sure, Coldplay's biggest hit to date, "Clocks," included only pianos, and they released the Safety EP on Fierce Panda, which is also Keane's label, but those are the only things Keane have in common with Coldplay. Alongside their beautiful, emotive dalliance of instrumentation is one thing that'll separate Keane from all the rest, and that's drive.

The band's heartfelt ambition on Hopes and Fears is right there. It's impossible not to reach for it, really. Lead vocalist Tom Chaplin's rich vocals are as vibrant as any choir, and songs such as "This Is the Last Time," "Bend and Break," and "Can't Stop Now" reflect Keane's more savory, dramatic moments. Confidence bursts throughout, and for a band that has been around seven years and has never released a studio full-length album until now, achieving nearly epic-like status is quite impressive. Keane obviously have the songs and they have a strong voice leading the front; however, Tim Rice-Oxley (piano/keyboards/bass) and Richard Hughes (drums) allow Hopes and Fears to come alive with glamour and without the sheen of slick studio production. Even slow build-up tracks like "Bedshaped" and "We Might as Well Be Strangers" are just as passionate, if not more so, than some of the bigger numbers on the album.

Some might find Keane's debut a bit stagy, or too theatrical at first, but that's okay. Listening to "Somewhere Only We Know" alone a few times is more than enough to convince you that Keane stand next to Coldplay, challenging them, and it's a respectable match at that.

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Feb 14, 2006 @ 1:45 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 1,233
"Fourever Rainbow" -Rainbow Dome Musick - Steve Hillage
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Feb 18, 2006 @ 12:10 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 7,922
Fountians of Wayne...various songs taken from all their albums on my MusicMatch mp3 playlist.

Biography by Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

The New York City-based power pop band Fountains of Wayne was anchored by the singer/songwriter duo of Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood, who first teamed in 1986 while studying at Massachusetts' Williams College. Sharing a mutual affection for melodic British pop, they formed a series of short-lived bands before recording an LP under the name Pinnwheel; legal hassles blocked the album's release, however, and the duo went their separate ways, with Schlesinger resurfacing in the NYC indie-pop band Ivy and Collingwood joining the Boston country group Mercy Buckets. They reunited in 1996 as Fountains of Wayne (so named in honor of a New Jersey gift shop), issuing their acclaimed self-titled LP on Atlantic; that same year, Schlesinger also enjoyed success as the author of the title theme to Tom Hanks' rock'n'roll movie That Thing You Do!

"That Thing You Do" went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song in 1997. Their sophomore effort, Utopia Parkway, followed in 1999 and single the "Denise" was a hit at college radio. Four years later, the band issued Welcome Interstate Managers, the biggest popular success of their career thanks to "Stacy's Mom," a hit across several charts and their first Top 40 entry. Two new songs, plenty of unreleased material, and all the fan favorites were collected on the double disc Out-Of-State Plates in 2005.

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Feb 18, 2006 @ 12:16 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 14
The Delfonics' Didn't I Blow Your Mind. A sloooooow jam!
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Feb 18, 2006 @ 12:37 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 7,922
Gawd, LUV the Delfonics!

For the benefit of those that have no idea who they were, here's a review of arguably their best album (released in 1970)...

Review by Lindsay Planer, All Music Guide

Although self-titled, The Delfonics was actually the fourth long-player for the Philly soul vocalists. The album would not only be the band's entrée into the Top 100 pop album chart upon its release in 1970 — peaking at Number 61 — it would also sport five hit singles over the course of two years.

The success came with a price, however, as the album would be among the final collaborative efforts between the original trio — which consisted of brothers William Hart and Wilbert Hart, and Randy Cain — and their mentor Thom Bell. In two unrelated and evolutionary incidents, Cain would be replaced by Major Harris. While Bell — who was just beginning to receive the international acclaim so deserving of his work — would begin recording with the Spinners, Stylistics, and even established artists such as the O'Jays.

All of the individual elements that helped create the distinctive "smooth grooves" sound synonymous with the Delfonics coalesce on this album with undeniable intensity. Indeed, the material has arguably never been stronger — with nine of the album's ten tracks composed by either Thom Bell and/or William Hart. The performances are likewise ideally scored, incorporating string and brass sections without overpowering the vocal blend or seeming pretentious.

Stylistically, the extroverted up-tempo arrangement on tracks such as the psychedelic "Funny Feeling" is equally as potent as the intimate ballad "I Gave to You." Several sides on this disc are among the group's best-known works, as well as definitive entries into the distinct Philly-brand soul music scene. The leadoff track, "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)," would not only become a staple of Top 40 and R&B radio in 1970, but nearly two decades later inspired the 20-volume soul music compilation Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind. Additional crossover pop/R&B chart hits include: "Over & Over," "Trying to Make a Fool of Me," and "When You Get Right Down to It."

The Delfonics also includes several "sleeper" tracks that would remain somewhat obscured by the overwhelming strength of the rest of the album. It was not until the disc was issued on CD by Buddha Records in 2001 that "Delfonics' Theme (How Could You)" — a timeless showcase for the unmistakable, soaring falsetto of William Hart — as well as the slinky syncopation of Hart's "Think About Me" were rediscovered. Again, considering the power of the rest of the release, it is easy to see how they were relegated to becoming deep cuts.


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Feb 18, 2006 @ 12:50 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 14
Oh, wait a minute. Let's give credit where it is due. Don't forget about The Dells. My favorite is Nadine. Oh, a man with a deep voice (his sweetness is my weakness). Barry White. Just call me an ol soul sister.
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Feb 18, 2006 @ 1:16 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 7,922
I love all the great soul artists from that era -- O'Jays, Spinners, Chi-Lites, Harold Melvin, Stylistics, Dramatics, solo Teddy Pendergrass, Barry W.

There was even a local band, The Detroit Emeralds, that had a huge R&B hit, "You Want It, You Got It" (I've got the album!).

I need to get more Dells. The best anthology is on an obscure label called Hip-O.

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

The Dells were one of the few groups that rode the transition from doo wop to smooth soul without missing a beat and without falling off the charts. Just as remarkably, the group did so without declining much in quality, as Hip-O's definitive double-disc Anthology proves.

Throughout these 36 tracks, the music changes, from street-corner R&B to string-drenched disco-soul, but in all their incarnations, the Dells always sound wonderful. There are a handful of minor hits missing, but all the big singles — including both the Vee-Jay and Cadet versions of "Oh, What a Nite" and "Stay in My Corner" — are here, assembled chronologically. As such, it tells an epic story of a group whose history mirrored the story of R&B vocal groups from the '50s through the '70s.

The latter-day material may pale somewhat in comparison to the band's early classics, but it holds up well against other '70s soul. The final cut, the group's surprise 1991 hit "A Heart Is a House for Love" — their contribution to Robert Townsend's The Five Heartbeats, which was a loose tribute to the Dells themselves — illustrates that the group sounded terrific well into their third decade of performing, which is a true sign of greatness.

Anthology is a testament to their greatness, offering solid proof that they were one of the greatest vocal R&B groups of their time.

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Feb 18, 2006 @ 1:26 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 1,817
tommy edwards here: please mr sun. jayne, i grew up on all of that, but my true heart lies with rocknroll: fats domino (aint that a shame i couldn't have been onstage with him), the moonglows, lee andrews and the hearts (long, long and lonely night and p.s. i love you). i could go on.

did my tunes get a little too old for u, mo?
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Feb 18, 2006 @ 1:36 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 7,922
Lecri, too old? kiddin'...NO

If it's not already apparent, I love music and have an extensive music collection (why do you think I post so much on this thread, and give so much info?).

Moonglows are awesome. Fats is King!!

Some others I have: Flamingos, Drifters, Orioles, Olympics, Del Vikings, Coasters, Five Royales, Frankie Lymon, Clyde McPhatter, Penguins, Cadillacs, Hank Ballard, Johnny Ace, Sam Cooke, Johnny Otis, Etta James, Little Willie John, Big Joe Turner, Wynonie Harris....the list is virtually endless.

Keep swayin', Lecri.
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Feb 18, 2006 @ 4:25 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 7,922
The Trashcan Sinatras...."Cake", "I've Seen Everything", and "Weightlifting" albums in mp3 format on my 'puter.

Biography by Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

Scottish indie-pop stalwarts the Trash Can Sinatras were founded outside of Glasgow in 1987 by singer/guitarist Frank Reader (the brother of ex-Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader), guitarists John Douglas and Paul Livingston, bassist George McDaid and drummer Stephen Douglas.

Initially formed as a cover band, the group was performing in a local bar when they were discovered by Go! Discs label representative Simon Dine; their first single, the superb "Obscurity Knocks," appeared in early 1990, evoking the jangly guitar-pop crafted by Scottish bands like Aztec Camera, Orange Juice and Josef K a decade earlier. A second Trash Can Sinatras single, "Only Tongue Can Tell," preceded the release of the quintet's debut LP Cake, which met with a positive response on both sides of the Atlantic; in the U.S., it became a particular favorite on college radio.

McDaid left the lineup in 1992, and was replaced by bassist David Hughes; by the time the Trash Can Sinatras' sophomore effort I've Seen Everything finally appeared in 1993, however, the ascendance of grunge essentially derailed whatever commercial momentum the group still had left, and 1996's A Happy Pocket was not even released in America. A new single, "Snow," followed in late 1999.

The band made a truimphant return to the scene in 2004 with their Spin Art release Weighlifting and a world tour which had them wowing old fans and gaining new ones with their stunning display of melody and emotion.

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Feb 18, 2006 @ 9:39 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 35
Believe it or not, but I actually LOVE Gospel music and also Christian music. I am a strong Christian, so that music is very inspirational and uplifting for me. I currently have Kirk Franklin in the CD player now. Gotta love it!

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Feb 18, 2006 @ 10:53 AM What are you listening to right now?    

Posts: 7,922
Maximo Park "A Certain Trigger" album

Biography by Heather Phares, All Music Guide

Newcastle's angular pop quintet Maximo Park consists of singer Paul Smith, guitarist Duncan Lloyd, bassist Archis Tiku, keyboardist Lukas Wooller, and drummer Tom English. Like their friends and neighbors the Futureheads, Maximo Park craft smart, sharply catchy songs inspired by post-punk and new wave legends like the Jam, XTC, Wire, and the Smiths. The group issued their debut 7", The Coast Is Always Changing/The Night I Lost My Head, in 2004; it caught the ears of Warp Records, who despite being a mostly electronic label, signed the band and released their second single, Apply Some Pressure, early in 2005, it made the Top 20 in the U.K.'s national charts. At that time, Warp also released the Apply Some Pressure EP, which featured tracks from both of the band's singles, in the U.S. Maximo Park also finished recording their debut album with producer Paul Epworth (who also worked with Bloc Party and Babyshambles) that winter, and spent the spring touring the U.K., Japan, and the U.S., making an appearance at South by Southwest.

The Graffiti single heralded the arrival of the band's full-length A Certain Trigger late that spring. More tours of the U.S. and U.K., including gigs at Glastonbury and Reading, kept the band busy that summer.


The best, pure Gospel music is really transcending, isn't it, Jessa?

I've got a few gospel albums by Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and The Soul Stirrers....sublime.

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