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July 22, 2014

Album Review:

Journey: Journey (1975) 11/15

Concert Review From Almost a Year Ago:

Roger Hodgson Live in Snoqualmie, Wa (August 12, 2013)

Well... I used to spend about 3-4 hours every day walking. Now that I've injured myself I had to end that. Which, for me, means more time spent sitting on my butt all day and ... insomnia. Which means I've been catching up with these reviews! Also... I wrote my first full length album review in......... I don't know how long. (Erm, I guess I could look at the history on this page, but ....... I won't.)

My thought for the time being is to focus on doing only two pages at once: One, sort of a big classic rock act (like Journey); and then two, a more modern band (like Zero 7). Also, check out the queue for my up-to-date concert schedule (and daunting number of shows I attended over the previous year I still have to write about).

--M.L.

July 17, 2014

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band Live in Woodinville, Wa (August 2, 2013)

I'm going to start posting my updates on Facebook. So FRIEND ME if you're a Facebook type. (For best results, please tell me you know me from this website when/if you submit a friend request!)

https://www.facebook.com/michael.lawrence.393

Welp... I went on a three-day camping/hiking trip last weekend, and I thought it went well. I had fun. Then, Monday night I was EXTREMELY tired. Such that I rolled over in bed that night totally fell out of the bed. I hit my temple on the night stand (not a bad injury), smacked my left funny bone on something (an injury that healed within 24 hours), and then pulled a tendon on my right calf (very painful and completely put me out of commission). It's a walking muscle, so it was probably a combination of the fall and the three days hiking. Trying to piece together the logistics of how I fell to get those three injuries is like trying to figure out the Magic Loogie from Seinfeld. ...Anyway, the injury is considerably better now, thank goodness. Yesterday and the day before it was a constant, throbbing pain.

I still went to see Ringo and his All Star Band last night, even though I probably shouldn't have. (But how could I miss it?) Walking around there like I had a wooden leg wasn't much fun at all! But it was an interesting show... It was like buying one of those 5-DVD collections of random comedies you can get at Best Buy for $11.99... Ringo was there, of course. But we also got Todd Rundgren, someone from Santana, someone from Toto, and someone from Mister Mister. Each of whom played songs from their respective bands. (There was also someone from Bloodrock in that line-up... but no Bloodrock songs? What a gyp!)

...I could never quite get myself excited about Mister Mister or Toto, but they did have very recognizable songs. The Santana stuff was great, of course, even though I'm going to see the namesake Santana in a couple of weeks. ...Todd Rundgren is someone I would really like to see sometime as star of his own show. Does he have a hard time selling tickets or something?

(By the way, I'm stealing these paragraphs for my real review, whenever I write it.)

--M.L.

July 8, 2014

Paul McCartney Live in Seattle (July 19, 2013)

My dad and I have been talking about going to SXSW next year... though by no means is that definite right now. If this actually happens (and maybe I would still go if he decides not to), I think a good strategy would be to limit the number of popular bands to see to just a few, but then get to know some relatively unknown bands that will be there. Which are oftentimes just as good as the popular bands, and they'll most likely be easier to access. For that reason, I would probably like to do research by way of writing some reviews of these relatively unknown bands. I would probably sample their albums and cherry-pick ones that catch my ear the most. ...I would probably go back to the full-length reviews (probably even with track-by-track commentary) if I do this. ...No promises of course right now.

But first I need to get caught up with the concert reviews! Let's see if this lights the fire under my tush.

This Paul McCartney review, I probably spend too much time talking about what I was doing before the show and not enough time talking about the actual show. Nonetheless, I am nearly a year late with this! I am posting it already!!! Aggghhhh!!!!!

--M.L.

July 6, 2014

David Byrne and St. Vincent Live in Woodinville, Wa (July 18, 2013)

Well sorry for being so far behind schedule again. I had a small crisis with my website... My main account got deleted and so I had no way of updating this website for awhile. Now, the problem is solved! I am coming at the very end of a busy week going to concerts, having five of them in the span of only eight days. Given that one of them was not the Fourth of July, I have had a long series of late nights recently. Tonight, I will go to the final concert of this crazy string--New Order. Then, I get a week and a half break.

If you're curious all the concerts I've been to since June 20 have been: Sarah McLachlan, Devo (playing Hardcore Devo), Steve Winwood, Kraftwerk, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Sharon Von Etten and Courtney Barnett. I've been having a whole lot of fun, of course, but I am completely worn out! (Courtney Barnett seems to be catching fire... if you like garage rock you should check her out.)

Regarding these old reviews, I am very slowly catching up on the first drafts of them. I think I am still able to recall a lot of this stuff (while sparing some of the mundane details), only because at this point in my concert-going life--July of last year--I was already very behind on my concert reviews and I was going to have to retain them for long-term memory! But rest assured, I am catching up! ...Regarding some of those smaller event reviews (that resulted from my season subscription to Edmonds Community Center for the Arts), I think I will do full reviews of only some of the shows--such as Rufus Wainwright, Judy Collins, Great Big Sea, the Turtle Orchestra and Nellie McKay, Pink Martini, Indigo Girls--and just lumping together the other events in a single review, which made less huge impressions on me.

Lastly, I have managed to secure a very prog-heavy remainder of this year! I have tickets to see Yes, Ian Anderson, King Crimson and Steve Hackett (the latter two I've secured extremely good seats).

Anyway, activity on this site might be slow, but I have not abandoned it yet!

--M.L.

June 13, 2014

The Go Go's and The B-52's: Live in Tulalip, Wa (July 6, 2013)

Yet another addition to my series of extremely late concert reviews!

--M.L.

June 4, 2014

Don Ignacio Visits the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame (June 28, 2013)

Uh oh! I'm almost a year late again!!

--M.L.

April 11, 2014

Boz Scaggs Live in Seattle (June 9, 2013)

Message for Mark Smith: I tried to send you an e-mail but the address you supplied me with bounced back the message. Thanks for giving me permission for using the photo (even though I used it without seeking permission). If you want something else attached to that credit (such as a website or company), please send me another message with that info.

Message for everyone: My trip to San Diego went great! I kept on thinking it would somehow devolve into disaster, but it never did. The Willie Nelson concert was nice, and the Bryan Ferry concert I went to when I got back was fantastic. I have some (gasp) new concerts on the horizon. Santana, Jeff Beck/ZZ Top, Ringo Starr, New Order, and the Counting Crows. ...I guess this is turning into a live music blog, isn't it?

March 30, 2014

Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus Three Live in Seattle (June 4, 2013)

Looks like there's going to be a Kraftwerk show in town, which is definitely something I should try to go to (...These concert events keep stacking up!) And then I guess Devo is going to do a concert where they play exclusively their early, experimental stuff. And then... Justin Hayward is doing a solo show, but I haven't yet decided if I'm going.

--M.L.

March 27, 2014

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Live in Snoqualmie, Wa (May 27, 2013)

So... that concert review isn't very detailed, which might be unfortunate. But I don't remember being particularly detail-oriented during the show! I did have a lot of fun, though, and it made an impression on me: I was listening to a lot of Joan Jett that summer. (Geez, I'm so behind.)

Oh, and guess what, Internet: I have a ticket to see Kate Bush! As you might have noticed, I go to a boat-load of concerts. But this one is the Holy Grail. I signed up to her mailing list a number of years ago, and that gave me special privilege to snatch up a pre-sale ticket. They went on sale at 9:30 a.m. in England, which means they went on sale 2:30 a.m. where I live. As I successfully predicted, I wasn't able to fall asleep that night! I went into work anyway that morning, because of the adrenaline that was still lingering in my system. ...I ended up with an eighth-row seat, though a fair ways off to the side. (As a bonus, this is the same theater where David Bowie appeared in Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture.)

So, I'll be going on Sept. 3. And I guess while I'm there, I might as well take in some of the city. I also would like to take a day trip to Paris. People say it only takes two hours to get to Paris from London. .......Crazy. I can't even get to Portland from Seattle in two hours. At certain times of the day, I can't even get from one side of Seattle to the other side of Seattle in two hours.

My other vacation, a short one to San Diego, is also coming up. Next week, actually. I wasn't planning on going to any concerts at all. But then I thought it would be nice to try to tie in something I could write about for this website. So I took a look a few hours ago and... Hey! Willie Nelson is playing at a venue a short walk away from my hotel! Somehow, decent tickets were still on sale, so I snagged one. It's at a famous venue, too: Humphrey's By the Bay. I could also have seen The Cult there, but... nah. I'd rather see Willie Nelson. This is also good, because I feel like I need to redeem myself a little bit for that Willie Nelson concert review I wrote back in 2004. That was when I was still professing to hating all country music. (He was touring with Bob Dylan at that time.)

I'll also go to the San Diego Zoo, Coronado Island, probably the anthropology museum and the art museum, the USS Midway Museum (just to shut people up who are always telling me to go see the aircraft carrier), and take some long walks on the beach. (And then I'll open an account on match.com.)

I'm a bit concert happy lately. I wasn't originally planning on going to see Neil Finn this Sunday, but I ... well ... have a ticket now. How was I supposed to pass up on the Crowded House guy, anyway?

I don't have tickets for these yet but I will soon: My dad and I are planning to revisit Yes. And that's because they're playing Fragile and Close to the Edge in their entirety, which as far as he is concerned, are the only albums they ever cut. We're also planning on seeing The Eagles and ... Fleetwood Mac again (the latter of which was my idea, because I wanted to see the full classic line-up).

--M.L.

March 25, 2014

Fleetwood Mac Live in Tacoma, Wa (May 20, 2013)

Catching up! Catching up! (By the way, I put the Sparks concert review on its own page mainly because I thought I would review the albums. Mostly inspired by the fact I've been reading John McFerrin's recent Sparks reviews, and I'd be a little more kind to their '80s output. But then again... HOLY MOLY, I HAVE A WHOLE LOT OF CONCERT REVIEWS TO WRITE AND UPLOAD!!! ARRRGHHHH!!!)

--M.L.

March 23, 2014

Sparks Live in Seattle (April 22, 2013)

The prospect of potentially going to a Kate Bush show must have motivated me to start pumping these out a little faster. Although I realize I'm going to have to get up at 2 a.m. the day those things go on sale. I'm a nervous sleeper so I probably won't even sleep.

Also that review reads like fan drivel! But ... what do you want from me??? I'm a fan!!!!!

--M.L.

March 21, 2014

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Live in Seattle (April 7, 2013)

Well, I'm almost one year late. I've got to catch up! Is there a trophy for procrastination?

Actually, April 7, 2014 is the date I will be seeing Bryan Ferry! (Incidentally, literally the day before the Bryan Ferry tour-dates were announced, I had booked a trip to San Diego for April 7. ...I had to reschedule immediately!)

I'm also planning on making a genuine effort to see Kate Bush in London, who just announced a bunch of live shows. If I'm not in London in late-August/early-September, it is because I was unsuccessful securing a ticket.

I also some recent tickets I bought: I'll see Ian Anderson later in September, Sarah McLachlan for the second time in June, and also Steve Winwood in June (who my dad really likes, and I like, too).

--M.L.

January 16, 2014

Janis Ian Live in Seattle (April 6, 2013)

Holy moly, am I ever behind. I am working all night to alleviate this. I was flirting with the idea of writing a novel (which is an ambition that surfaces every once in awhile) but I am back to catching up with these concert reviews. Stay tuned.

--M.L.

December 24, 2013

Michael Nesmith Live in Seattle (March 30, 2013)

Capsule Reviews:
Elvis Presley: His Hand in Mine (1960) 5/5
Frank Sinatra: A Swingin' Affair! (1957) 4/5
John Lodge and Justin Hayward: Blue Jays (1975) 3.5/5
The Beach Boys: Concert (1963) 2.5/5
Paula Abdul: Shut Up and Dance (1990) 1/5

Another small, small dent in everything I have to upload! Also, a small change (that I hadn't fully implemented yet). I decided I didn't like that skull-and-crossbones thing, so I'm converting those to one star.

Also. HAPPPPPPPPPPPY HOLIDAAAAAAAAAAAAAYS!!!!!!

--M.L.

December 19, 2013

Capsule Reviews:
The Beach Boys: All Summer Long (1964) 4.5/5
The Supremes: A Bit of Liverpool (1964) 3/5
Talking Heads: Remain in Light (1980) 5/5
Jackson 5: Jackson 5 Christmas Album (1970) 3.5/5
Grace Jones: Muse (1979) 2.5/5
Eurythmics: 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother) (1984) 3/5
Kate Bush: Lionheart (1978) 4.5/5

Well so goes my idea that I was going to update this site more frequently with album reviews! Truthfully, the next few reviews I have to upload are so poorly written that they'll have to be practically rewritten. (And that's not to mention these reviews I uploaded today, which undoubtedly aren't as well written as they could be.) But I shall forge ahead with this. Also, these billions of concert reviews I have to write... yikes..

I added B.B. King, Pink Martini, and Keb Mo' to the list of concerts that I'm going to see within the next four months or so. I'm also thinking of seeing Neil Finn and Bruce Cockburn. Hopefully, I'll be caught up by then. (I'm sort of living my life right now wishing that I had 40 hours in a day. This music reviewing hobby is usually, unfortunately, what has to be lopped off those nonexistent hours.)

--M.L.

December 5, 2013

Capsule Reviews:
Polvo: Cor-Crane Secret (1992) 3.5/5
Jackson 5: Third Album (1970) 2.5/5
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (1979) 5/5
Polvo: Today's Active Lifestyles (1993) 4/5
Carly Simon: Carly Simon (1971) 4/5
Free Design: You Could Get Born Again (1968) 4/5
The Supremes: Meet the Supremes (1962) 4/5
Fred Schneider: Fred Schneider and the Shake Society (1991) 3/5
Elvis Presley: G.I. Blues (1960) 3.5/5
Bruce Springsteen: Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) 4.5/5
The Supremes: Where Did Our Love Go (1964) 4.5/5
Voice of the Beehive: Let it Bee (1988) 3.5/5
Heaven 17: The Luxury Gap (1982) 4/5
The Human League: Dare (1982) 5/5
Paula Abdul: Forever Your Girl (1988) 1.5/5
Roxette: Look Sharp! (1988) 1.5/5

OK, I finalllllly unloaded some of these reviews that had been piling up. One benefit, though, I've discovered in creating such a lag is I think it makes for a better editing process. So much time has passed that I forget what I wrote, so I get a purely fresh re-read of these reviews.

As these reviews trickle in, you'll notice that I do actually finish discographies. Though some discographies get finished faster than others!

I have a crazy dream of writing short reviews of 20,000 albums. Which is technically possible, if only I wouldn't take months-long breaks in between working on them!

I am keeping track of these short reviews on a spreadsheet, and I am averaging together the ratings. Right now, the average rating is 3.36. I have (another) admittedly weird thought in my brain that my average should be 3.00. This explains why I review some albums that I suspect I won't like. Although in the case of Bonnie Tyler, this has backfired. (I'm not sure at what point in the distant future the edited version of that review will make it onto this website, but I awarded her Faster Than the Speed of Night album 4 stars. And I stand by that rating with every breath in my face.)

Also, I really need to get around to uploading some live concert reviews. I don't think I'll be too heavily active in the concert scene next year as I was this year (I'm getting a little tired of it). But I did manage to score fourth row seats to see Sting and Paul Simon in February. I'm also seeing Journey and The Steve Miller Band in ... July, I think. (My dad wanted to see the latter.)

--M.L.

December 1, 2013

Paper House: Whistles and Missiles (2013)
Troy Meadows: Love Songs for Astronomers (2013)

Well, I've really let everything pile up. I have about 25-30 concert reviews to write and upload. About 250 short reviews to upload. (And I'm not kidding about that number.) Good thing I don't treat my kitchen sink like I do my website, or I'd be living among rats right now.

I finally finished these two request-reviews. Which I am officially not doing anymore; however, these two guys are regular readers of the site.

As far as regular reviews go, I think I'm going to keep focusing on the short ones. At this particular stage of my life they're more suited to how I listen to music. (That is, I sit around at work all day and have to drown out the annoying voices SOMEHOW. If I combine that with my reviewing hobby, I can keep a fresh variety of things going, if I only have to write a paragraph each about them.)

--M.L.

September 8, 2013

The Residents Live in Seattle (February 23, 2013)

So I just got back from seeing The Psychedelic Furs (for the second time) and also Adam Ant. ...This reminds me continually how far behind I am with my concert reviews! But hey, I uploaded one today!

--M.L.

August 25, 2013

Ed Asner as FDR Live in Edmonds, Wash. (February 9, 2013)

So this update isn't even remotely music related! But... that's the way we roll...

That My Bloody Valentine concert was nuts, by the way. I don't really understand this, but there were A LOT of college kids there. Maybe even high school kids. It got very crowded in there, couldn't breathe hardly, and some of them don't shower! But it was worth it. ...I'm not sure if I'm going to regret this, but the day after that concert I got a ticket to see Janelle Monae at the very same place.

I've been working on these live reviews better than I have in the past... I hope I'll get some more uploaded in the next weeks...

--M.L.

August 19, 2013

Bob Newhart Live in Snoqualmie, Wash. (January 24, 2013)

Well I would say I'm doing a pretty good job trying to catch up with my concert reviews if only I didn't attend two concerts between now and the last update. But I am at least making some progress (behind the scenes) writing some first drafts!

The Monkees concert was great and easily one of the year's highlights for me. If I am kind of a major '60s pop guy, The Monkees have some of the best material! ...It's sort of funny that I could tell pretty easily that Michael Nesmith was the more seasoned musician (because simply because he acted like one), and Peter Tork seemed more like a Broadway actor. Tork was quite formidable at banjo, though.

Steely Dan was good, too, but they're, well, you know, jazz.

Wednesday I have My Bloody Valentine. Thursday, I am going to be unconscious. If not dead. (As people have commented to me, they're somewhat out of my reach. I do like their famous album, though, I swear!)

--M.L.

August 14, 2013

Zappa Plays Zappa Live in Seattle (December 23, 2012)

Well! This website certainly wasn't what it used to be! ...But it is still in my thoughts. And I am still listening to music. And and I am still going to concerts.

Actually I'd been spending the past month doing far more outdoorsy things than I usually do. I bought a pretty expensive camera and started taking it on hikes. Since I live in Washington State, there are tons and tons of hikes to go on. ...Seriously--even though it basically rains constantly for 10 out of 12 months here--I live in the best state of all the states.

So, I've gone to a whole buttload of concerts, and I am more behind on writing reviews on them than I ever could have imagined. I went and saw Roger Hodgson again on Monday. It was pretty much the exact same concert I saw last year, but I think I overall had a better experience with it. I also saw David Byrne and St. Vincent again a few weeks ago, but I didn't think the experience was quite as good (that is in spite of the nice addition of "Wild Life" to the set-list).

By far the most notable concert I'd been to since my last update was none other than Paul McCartney! I will have to write an especially long review of that one. And don't worry that this review will be undoubtedly late... because those memories aren't about to leave my memories anytime soon! But also surprisingly great (i.e., one of my top favorite concert experiences of this year) was The Go-Go's. They were great in their own right, but it also helped that they had The B-52's open for them (a highlight of that concert was, unexpectedly, Cindy Wilson performing an extremely rousing rendition of "The Girl from Ipanema Goes to Greenland!" ...Wow, they never perform that song!)

I'm in the middle of a bit of a concert frenzy at the moment--I have three to go to that are within the next seven days. They are Steely Dan (fifth row seats, center!), The Monkees (quite close up, too), and My Bloody Valentine (er, general admission, so I'll probably end up standing in the front).

And then in September I'm seeing The Psychedelic Furs again (who I see have significantly altered their set-list... to still not include "Until She Comes Again"), Adam Ant, and Neko Case. In early October, I'm seeing The Pet Shop Boys. And October is also when my season subscription to Edmonds Center for the Arts begins. ...One of these acts I'm seeing is The Indigo Girls--which is going to be very awkward, because I slagged them off royally in one of my reviews! Well, we'll see if seeing them live somehow changes my opinion of them. That they are BORING. (You never know... I remember thinking, once, that Kate Bush was boring.)

Still having trouble figuring out when I'll start writing album reviews again. ...I had that outdoorsy phase lately... but that seems to be simmering down a bit, so maybe my reviewing activity will start up again. But first... I must attempt to catch up with these concert reviews!

--M.L.

June 26, 2013

John Cale Live in Seattle w/ Cass McCombs (December 6, 2012)

Hello again. I've been generally doing pretty well getting caught up on my concert reviews. Or at least more caught up. I have first drafts written of Zappa Plays Zappa, the Bob Newhart show, the play called Ed Asner as FDR, and The Residents concert. I am in the middle of the first draft of the Michael Nesmith concert I attended in late March, which will be kind of a short review. It looks like going to the R'n'R Hall of Fame is on. It would be good to review that since it would sort of immortalize this vacation I'm on! (Similarly to how those David Byrne and Elton John live reviews immortalized my Vegas trip...)

--M.L.

June 24, 2013

Alice Cooper Live in Tacoma Wa. (November 18, 2012)

Hello everybody! So, my cousin got married (most of the reason I'm in Michigan in the first place) and will remain here for another week. There's some talk that we might go to the R'n'R Hall of Fame. And if I go there, why not review it? (I guess now that Genesis is in there, I'm no longer boycotting it on principle.)

The John Cale live review shouldn't be too far away...

--M.L.

June 21, 2013

Neil Young Live in Seattle with Los Lobos and Everett (November 10, 2012)

Better late than never! (Which is what I am going to say for every single concert review I update from now until the end of time.) I've nearly gone through editing the Alice Cooper review (which I'd attended Nov 18) and will post it maybe tomorrow or the day after.

I am in Michigan right now on vacation, dying in the incredible heat. (Living in Seattle since 2007, I've gotten used to the cool air.)

This site is probably at its 10-year anniversary by now ...That's crazy-hard to believe! I remember at least I had it running in August, because I got pet gerbils that month and remember working on those earliest David Bowie reviews.

--M.L.

June 2, 2013

Capsule Reviews:
Elvis Presley: Elvis is Back! (1960) 4/5
Bobby Darin: 25th Day of December (1960) 3.5/5
The Beach Boys: Shut Down Vol. 2 (1964) 3.5/5
The Bay City Rollers: Wouldn't You Like It? (1975) 2/5

--M.L.

May 29, 2013

Capsule Reviews:
Jackson 5: ABC (1970) 3.5/5
Frank Sinatra: Close to You (1957) 2.5/5
Grace Jones: Fame (1978) 1.5/5

...Well, I guess that's not much of a crop today from those who would rather see me review more "artistic" acts. (I get e-mails occasionally from people who seem frustrated at my weird fascination with mediocre pop music.) But hey. I reviewed these quite a long time ago (New Years' Eve, to be exact). So talk to my previous self about this.

(With that said, someone sent me an e-mail and prompted me to order a bunch of cheap CDs from a band that's like Arabesque but probably worse. ...I'm horrible, I know.)

--M.L.

May 28, 2013

The Del McCoury Band and Dala Live in Edmonds Wash. (October 27, 2012)

Capsule Reviews:
Motorhead: Bomber (1979) 3.5/5
The Beach Boys: Little Deuce Coupe (1963) 2.5/5
Gary Glitter: Touch Me (1973) 2.5/5

Oh man, I started out Memorial Day weekend so well... working on my concert reviews and even writing a few new capsule reviews. (And these capsule reviews I am *VERY* behind on posting... this is mostly due to the shoddy writing quality in initially writing these reviews... I hope I at least made the three I posted today readable!) But then Netflix posted Arrested Development. And when I wasn't watching those, I was watching Kitchen Nightmares. (God only knows how I've become addicted to reality TV. I used to completely snub reality TV.)

Anyway, since we last talked, I went and saw Fleetwood Mac last week (great show!) and I saw Joan Jett & The Blackhearts last night (another great show!). Sort of an odd coincidence I happened to have Gary Glitter's Touch Me next to post when she sang a song off that album...

My parents and I also decided to buy season tickets to our community theater (which is the place I saw Del McCoury). The three shows I'm very excited to see there (a long time from now) are Judy Collins, Rufus Wainwright and Nellie McKay. The others are usually plays or comedy shows that I may or may not decide to review... Not that I've been finishing those timely, anyway!

So! I've been excessively lazy, and trying not to be is like pulling teeth.

--M.L.

May 18, 2013

The Steve Miller Band Live in Everett, Wa. (November 10, 2011)

Yes! I am late with this review by 1.5 years. (It was a work event and I hesitated to write about work.)

I have a lot more work to do with these live reviews. And I have yet another concert to attend this Monday (Fleetwood Mac). That's gonna be a zoo!

--M.L.

May 17, 2013

Capsule Reviews:
Elvis Presley: 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong (1959) 4.5/5
Billy Joel: Cold Spring Harbor (1971) 3.5/5
The B-52's: Good Stuff (1992) 2.5/5

Hello. It's my half-birthday today. I am now 30 1/2 years old. Once I hit 30, I stopped worrying about getting older. (Because that's when you realize that you cannot possibly get older.)

By the way... there are short Justin Beiber reviews coming some point. Oh, I see you there gaping at your computer screens. Mmmhmmm. Yes I did.

Also, I have *A LOT* of concert reviews to post. All of which are in various stages of completeness. I am vowing that I will post at least one of them tomorrow. (Which means that I'll either post one or not.) It isn't going to be five pages long.

Good day.

--M.L.

January 11, 2013

Capsule Reviews:
The Beach Boys: Surfer Girl (1963) 4/5
a-ha: Stay on These Roads (1988) 3/5
Richard Harris: A Tramp Shining (1968) 4/5
Frank Sinatra: This is Sinatra! (1956) 5/5
Elvis Presley: A Date with Elvis (1959) 4/5
The Bay City Rollers: Once Upon a Star (1975) 1.5/5
Bobby Darin: For Teenagers Only (1960) 4/5
Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run (1975) 3.5/5
The Jackson 5: Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 (1969) 2.5/5

I probably should have posted more, but I run out of energy to edit after awhile. I have this massive word document filled with these hastily written reviews, so there will probably be more tomorrow. (If not, then I probably got caught up in some TV show or YouTube videos or something.)

--M.L.

January 6, 2013

Capsule Reviews:
Elvis Presley: King Creole (1958) 4/5
Bruce Springsteen: The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (1974) 4.5/5
Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978) 4/5
Frank Sinatra: Songs for Swingin' Lovers (1956) 4.5/5
Jessica Pratt: Jessica Pratt (2012) 4/5
King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King (1969) 5/5
Bobby Darin: Darin at the Copa (1960) 3.5/5
Elvis Presley: For LP Fans Only (1959) 4.5/5
The B-52's: Cosmic Thing (1989) 4/5
Kylie Minogue: Enjoy Yourself (1989) 2.5/5

So I started to work a 4/10 schedule meaning that I work 10 hours a day for four days a week with Friday off. This probably means I'll only be updating Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That is, depending on if I can keep this momentum going. By the way, I have a large backlog of reviews that I haven't post. What I'm posting today were written between 12/27 - 12/29... (yes I'm keeping track of that on a spreadsheet). The reason for waiting like that is to give me a fresher approach to these reviews so I can edit them more efficiently (although I know I'm still letting quite a few mangled sentences get through). More unintended, it also lets me get some sense into an artists' future releases so I can more easily go back and tweak earlier reviews if I need to... (Like Elvis or Sinatra, whose albums I'd never listened to before now.)

I'm also openly taking requests for full discographies. Someone e-mailed me and asked for John Lennon, and I wrote the review of the... er... naked people album yesterday. Although note that I'm sort of stabbing at them as it is. Just reviewing whatever I feel like. I've started the Polvo discography thinking that was requested a long time ago, but then I remembered that it was actually Primus I was supposed to do! (Polvo, I was only supposed to review the reunion album! But now I'm listening to their earlier stuff. And, somehow, even though it's noise-stuff, I actually like it.) So I'll also start to review Primus sometime. But I haven't started yet.

...I'm not sure when I'm going to get around to those concert reviews! Maybe I'll just skip 'em? ...Ah well, they're already distant, permanent memories; I'm not going to forget anything else about them.

--M.L.

January 5, 2013

Capsule Reviews:
The Beach Boys: Surfin' Safari (1962) 2.5/5
Frank Sinatra: Swing Easy! (1954) 4.5/5
Sparks: Sparks (1971) 4.5/5
When in Rome: When in Rome (1988) 3/5
a-ha: Scoundrel Days (1986) 4/5
The Beach Boys: Surfin' USA (1963) 3/5
Elvis Presley: Elvis' Golden Records (1958) 5/5
The Bee Gees: Horizontal (1968) 4/5
Frank Sinatra: In the Wee Small Hours (1955) 4.5/5
Grace Jones: Portfolio (1977) 2/5
Gryphon: Gryphon (1973) 4/5
The B-52's: Bouncing off the Satellites (1986) 3.5/5
Kylie Minogue: Kylie (1988) 2.5/5
Eurythmics: Touch (1983) 3.5/5
Bobby Darin: This is Darin (1960) 4/5

Phew! Lots of updates today. Ideally I should have updated these gradually over the last few days. Though that Sparks review was poorly written initially and was hanging me up a bit! (I seemed to hit my stride a little better after that.)

--M.L.

January 1, 2013

Capsule Reviews:
Talking Heads: Talking Heads 77 (1977) 4.5/5
Elvis Presley: Elvis' Christmas Album (1957) 4.5/5
Bobby Darin: That's All (1959) 4.5/5
The B-52's: Whammy! (1982) 4/5
Elvis Presley: Loving You (1957) 4/5
The Lucy Show: Mania (1986) 4/5
Frank Sinatra: Songs for Young Lovers (1954) 4/5
Bruce Springsteen: Greetings From Asbury, NJ (1973) 3.5/5
Frank Sinatra: Sing and Dance with Frank Sinatra (1950) 3/5

Happy New Year!!!! ...(Uh oh, it's back to work tomorrow! Back to the world of lousy computer models, monster spreadsheets, and endless documentation!)

--M.L.

December 31, 2012

Capsule Reviews:
Elvis Presley: Elvis (1956) 4.5/5
Eurythmics: In the Garden (1981) 4.5/5
Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (1982) 4/5
Elecronic: Electronic (1991) 3/5
Jason Mraz: Waiting for My Rocket to Come (2002) 2.5/5
Frank Sinatra: Frankly Sentimental (1949) 2.5/5
Frank Sinatra: Dedicated to You (1950) 2/5

The final update of 2012. And somehow the world didn't end?

--M.L.

December 30, 2012

Capsule Reviews:
Heaven 17: Penthouse and Pavement (1981) 4.5/5
The Belle Stars: Belle Stars and Stripes (2011) 4/5
Gary Glitter: Glitter (1973) 3.5/5
Maroon 5: It Won't Be Soon Before Long (2007) 3/5
The Bay City Rollers: Rollin' (1974) 2.5/5
Maroon 5: Songs About Jane (2002) 2/5
Frank Sinatra: Songs By Sinatra (1947) 2/5
Frank Sinatra: Christmas Songs By Sinatra (1948) 1.5/5

...Ha, OK, I hope no one gets too upset over those early Frank Sinatra reviews. Rest assured, though, he'll start getting some overwhelmingly positive reviews by the time the mid 1950s rolls around.

--M.L.

December 29, 2012

Capsule Reviews:
The Like: Release Me (2010) 5/5
Cat Stevens: Tea for the Tillerman (1970) 5/5
Elvis Presley: Elvis Presley (1956) 4.5/5
Psychedelic Furs: Forever Now (1982) 4.5/5
Carly Simon: No Secrets (1972) 4/5
a-ha: Hunting High and Low (1985) 3.5/5
Bobby Darin: Bobby Darin (1958) 3/5
Frank Sinatra: The Voice of Frank Sinatra (1946) 2/5

--M.L.

December 26, 2012

Capsule Reviews:
The Passions: Thirty Thousand Feet Over China (1981) 5/5
Bee Gees: Bee Gees' First (1967) 4.5/5
A Band Called Quinn: Luss (2006) 3.5/5
Susanna Hoffs: Susanna Hoffs (1996) 3/5
Charlie Sexton: Charlie Sexton (1989) 1.5/5

Well, I hope you all had a merry Christmas! ...I know I did.

--M.L.

December 24, 2012

Capsule Reviews:
The Lucy Show: ...undone (1985) 4.5/5
Stephen Duffy: I Love My Friends (1998) 4.5/5
Curiosity Killed the Cat: Keep Your Distance (1987) 2.5/5

Hi! The Dweezil Zappa concert was excellent, although it reminded me that I know next to nothing about Frank Zappa's discography. That is, I reviewed a handful of them awhile ago, but apart from Freak Out!, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, and--more recently--Hot Rats, I hadn't been listening to them so extensively through the years. (Part of that is to blame for his discography being unavailable to purchase until recently.) ...But that's OK, though, because I'm inspired now to perhaps look into it a little more deeply. The same thing happened to me when I saw The Psychedelic Furs last October.

I have been quite busy with the short reviews over these past two days, reviewing some things I doubt I would have otherwise. Notably in there is some Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. (I'm letting them fester for a bit so that I can make a few passes editing them before posting them.) I've also been reviewing a bunch of albums I've been listening to heavily in the past few months, including three of them which I'm deeming five-stars. Two of those albums weren't even on the radar in my original estimate that there are probably only 200 five-star albums in existence, and the fact I've discovered new ones so quickly is a wonderful thing! (...Yes, my brain is very excited about this.) Even a wonderful, semi-obscure find like that Lucy Show album--even though I wasn't quite ready to deem it five stars--was a fantastic, recent discovery.

--M.L.

December 23, 2012

Capsule Reviews:
FolkLaw: Tales That They Tell 3.5/5
The B-52's: Mesopotamia 3/5

FolkLaw were a band that sent me a CD to review that I've FINALLY gotten around to. (Though I'd only promised a capsule review...) I have three more of these to go.

(I guess I'm doing band-request reviews again... but only the short reviews and only if I can understand/tolerate it.)

--M.L.

December 22, 2012

Capsule Reviews:
The B-52's: Party Mix 3.5/5

So the old reviewing bug seems like its starting to come back to me although I seem to be more in the mood to continue building up the short reviews page. It's also becoming somewhat obvious that I'll have to start separating that site onto separate pages by letter so that it doesn't get too large. Since I get a week and a half off work (at long last!) this is as good of a chance as any to do this.

I also have some concert reviews that are long past due that I hope I'll get to over this break! I still have the Del McCoury Band review to write (which is halfway finished), then Neil Young, then Alice Cooper, and then John Cale. All excellent experiences. However, I suppose going to concerts has lost a bit of their excitement, which would explain why I'm no longer as inclined to try to commit to memory every single intricate detail to memory about them. So I'll likely be keeping these reviews short. ...I also have a new concert I'm going to tomorrow: Dweezil Zappa!

A few other tickets I had purchased recently were for The Residents in February, Janis Ian in April, and (the big-ticket item!) Fleetwood Mac in May.

--M.L.

November 24, 2012

David Byrne & St. Vincent in Portland (October 18, 2012)

OK. I'm really not into working on the site at the moment I guess. ...This review I kind of had to finally force myself to finish! (And even then, I'm going to want to read it over again and polish it some more. But for now, I want to move on.)

The Alice Cooper concert was fantastic. I sat very very close. So close that he pointed at me during the show and called me "Poison." (He might have been pointing at either of the persons next to me, but I am declaring that it was exactly me he intended that for.) That song, by the way, I still have fresh in my mind tortured me to death during my linear algebra final four years ago. As I was taking that test, the room was quiet as a mouse, but that song was SCREAMING at me.

I have two more concert reviews to write before I get to that one! The bluegrass one, I really should just write a few paragraphs. One reason for that is I didn't recognize any of their songs. The Neil Young concert will be longer, but ... considering I'm so late on these things, I'll cut down some of that B.S.

--M.L.

November 13, 2012

Elton John Live in Las Vegas (October 11, 2012)

...I'm kind of mortified that it's been taking me so long to write this review. Especially since I now have three other concert reviews to finish. And making matters worse, this review isn't even done yet. I'm posting it now, because I'll read it over again tomorrow and get so embarrassed by my awkward phrasings that I'll go in and edit it far quicker than I would have otherwise.

And if I don't get my next concert review published by Sunday, there will be four concert reviews outstanding! That's when I'm going to see Alice Cooper. (The Neil Young concert was last Saturday, by the way. It was a mite headache-inducing, since he was definitely in an Arc kind of mood. It also didn't help that the two opening acts--one of which was Los Lobos--were also extremely noisy. ...Er, don't worry, I'm going to write an overwhelmingly positive review.)

So I might have been going a little insane with the concerts this year. And if all of that wasn't enough, there are two other ones I've bought tickets to recently. One is John Cale next month. ...I originally didn't think I'd go to that, but then my good senses took over when I realized that guy is awesome, and how could I ever pass that up? (After buying the ticket I listened to his new album, which---wow---is excellent.) Another one I'm going to in February is in response to people who think I shouldn't only see old bands. This is a singer-songwriter named Ellie Goulding. Now, I didn't buy the ticket randomly: I like her two albums. They're quite poppy, though, so I'm sort of curious what audience she's going to attract. (I'm, by the way, a neutral figure at concerts. Nobody in the crowd sees me as anything.)

Lastly, I'm a little peeved that I missed the announcement for a Sufjan Stevens concert next month. The concert is sold out. But! Can't win them all. And I can't complain considering all I've seen this year.

Anyway, hopefully I'll get that David Byrne/St. Vincent concert review out by the weekend. Portland is way less interesting than Vegas, so that review shouldn't be nearly as wordy. Also, there were only three Talking Heads songs performed (and a few St. Vincent songs I was familiar with but of course they weren't as deeply rooted as a Talking Heads songs). So I'm thinking--with a little bit of luck--I can keep that down to three pages. But it'll probably be four.

--M.L.

October 30, 2012

The Psychedelic Furs Live in Seattle (October 6, 2012)

Apologies for being a lazy bastard! But at least I finally got around to finishing and uploading the review for the concert I attended three weeks ago. Since then, I've been to three OTHER concerts, which I still need to finish writing and posting. The first is Elton John in Las Vegas, the second is David Byrne/St. Vincent in Portland, and the third is The Del McCoury Band in Edmonds (i.e., just down the street from me). ...It turns out Del McCoury is kind of a bigger deal than I was giving him credit for, so maybe it was a good thing I went to that. (Though truth be told, the Canadian folk-duo Dala, their opening act, was far more up my alley.) Maybe I'll try to be a little more diligent in writing for this website this week. Maybe there'll also be a few capsule reviews, since I do have a few new opinions of things I've been listening to lately.

--M.L.

October 8, 2012

Capsule Reviews
The Cardigans: Life (1995) 4.5/5

Apologies for the lack of updates! The whole purpose of the capsule review page was to get me to update daily, but... Blah...

At some point I'll take whatever requests anybody wants for that page. There have been a few common requests lately, so I'll one-by-one start to tackle them there I think. And STILL at the same time, keep up with the long reviews.

Anyway, as I mentioned in a post on my forum, I saw The Psychedelic Furs on Saturday, and a review (I hope!) will be posted tomorrow. If it's not posted tomorrow then it'll be posted in two weeks! (I'm going on vacation. FINALLY. After almost two years of never going on vacation...)

I also got a ticket to see Dweezil Zappa who's coming by here a couple days before Christmas! That would make a grand total of 15 concerts this year (I've been to nine so far.)

--M.L.

September 30, 2012

The Sundays: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic (1990) 13/15

Capsule Reviews
The Sundays: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic (1990) 4.5/5
Greenslade: Greenslade (1973) 4/5
Motorhead: Overkill (1979) 4/5
The Hollies: Stay With The Hollies (1964) 3/5
Maroon 5: Hands All Over (2010) 3/5

...And my pointless and unattainable quest to review every single album ever released before I die continues. (I'm a little bit shocked I'm enjoying Motorhead so much, though...)

--M.L.

September 29, 2012

Blondie and Devo Live in Woodinville, Wash. (September 7, 2012)

Capsule Reviews
Kate Bush: The Kick Inside (1978) 4.5/5
Icehouse: Great Southern Land (1989) 3.5/5
John Paul White: The Long Goodbye (2008) 3/5
Neil Sedaka: Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits (1963) 2.5/5
Mike Love: Looking Back With Love (1981) 2/5

Here's an example of my whims... I listened to Mike Love's one and only solo album on a whim who covered a Neil Sedaka tune. I had only really known Sedaka by name and not anything else, so I listened to one of his albums a couple times and gave some quick impressions on it.

Also, I've decided that when I write a long review I'll also upload a capsule one... Just to help beef that page up. (Eventually I'll have to separate these reviews into pages in alphabetical order... But that day won't come for awhile...)

That Maroon 5 I posted a few days ago, I had to rewrite. I noticed something about the album they'd released prior to that in 2010: It's actually pretty good. (Review that zero people care about: Coming soon.)

I have a full-length review ready to be posted tomorrow. The Sundays. Why? Because tomorrow is Sunday. Then. Probably that Peter Gabriel live album. That is. If I don't die from boredom.

--M.L.

September 28, 2012

Capsule Reviews
The B-52's: Wild Planet (1980) 4.5/5
Margo Guryan: Take a Picture (1968) 4/5
Kim Wilde: Kim Wilde (1981) 3.5/5
Motorhead: Motorhead (1977) 3/5

Oh yeah... wasn't I supposed to finish a concert review or something? (I have the Psychedelic Furs concert in about one week... So I'd BETTER at least finish it by then!)

--M.L.

September 27, 2012

John Paul White: The Long Goodbye (2008) 11/15

Capsule Reviews
Susanna Hoffs: Someday (2012) 4/5
The La's: The La's (1990) 4/5
Maroon 5: Overexposed (2012) [SKULL]

OK. So I'm starting to settle down and thinking I'll keep both sites running at the same time. I think all I was lacking was a vehicle to service all my silly whims, and that's exactly what the capsule site would hopefully provide. (For example, I remember once wishing I could review every single Willie Nelson album. That would have been way too much of a daunting task to write full-length reviews of them.) So I'll keep the main site, I guess, for the 'serious' reviews. Or whatever you want to call them. ...I also believe eventually I'll have capsule versions of every review that's on the main site. And if time were infinite, vice versa. Some readers do prefer short reviews to long ones, and this is a way to have my cake and eat it too.

I also think I was getting a bit tired of re-listening to so much stuff on my queue a number of times that was more than necessary... I should keep the number of listens to a minimum unless I'm actually addicted to something there...

--M.L.

September 26, 2012

Capsule Reviews
Procol Harum: Procul Harum (1967) 5/5
Monica Queen: Ten Sorrowful Mysteries (2002) 4.5/5
Charlie Sexton: Pictures for Pleasure (1985) 2/5
Crabby Appleton: Rotten to the Core (1971) 1.5/5

I find it amusing that the minute after I told someone on my board that I was thinking I would never use a 1.5 rating, I discovered an album that deserved a 1.5 rating. (Hey and guess what? Crabby Appleton only had two albums, so I reviewed an entire discography already... yay...)

I'm not sure how much this capsule site is a phase, but I'll keep adding to it until my heart says otherwise...

--M.L.

September 25, 2012

Capsule Reviews
Crabby Appleton: Crabby Appleton (1970) 4/5
Marillion: Misplaced Childhood (1985) 4/5
Sophie Zelmani: Sophie Zelmani (1995) 3.5/5

Well... I'm seriously thinking about contradicting everything I said about the capsule site being only a side-project. I mean come to think of it, I honestly don't think the content of reviews is diminished a whole lot when they're only one-third the size. Above everything else, it saves me from having to pad some of these reviews with tons of B.S. (The Jepsen album I reviewed yesterday, for instance, I didn't have to mention once that I'm not a teenage girl! Wasn't that something?)

I also listen to music far more than I used to when I was in college, and so I am actually able to review three or four albums per day if I want to. Moreover, a lot of what I've been hearing lately I don't think the WRC has ever reviewed before. So why not get a little more variety? ...There's also something very appealing to me about being able to review three albums in the time that I only used to be able to review one.

It's also a fact that I'm REALLLLLLLLLY getting tired of trying to finish pages. It might have something to do with the fact that I happen to be at the troughs of all the artists I'm reviewing right now. But I do start to feel a little sick to my stomach at the notion of coming up with 1,000 words to say about some of this stuff. ...Maybe I'll come out of that mentality, but until then, I might just work to beef up that capsule page for now. (I'm also going to have to figure out how I want to organize that.)

Anyway, I'll wait to see if there's an uproar, but I don't think there'll be one. I'll continue on with this for now. I won't make any major changes to the main site for awhile, because there's always a strong chance I'll change my mind about this and go back to the old ways. This website is only a means of entertainment for me, so I guess I should just do whatever I feel like...

--M.L.

September 24, 2012

Capsule Reviews
The Cardigans: First Band on the Moon (1996) 3.5/5
Carly Rae Jepsen: Kiss (2012) 3/5
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (1993) 3/5

Phew! So I'm trying to be somewhat more tough with my ratings that I am on the main site. ...I kind of got into this trap where I would always default to an 11 whenever I reviewed a 'respectable' album, even if I didn't particularly enjoy it. On the capsule site, I'm trying to be a little more... er... curt. (Mazzy Star is respectable but not very enjoyable, so it gets three stars. Jepsen's album is enjoyable but not very respectable, so it gets three stars. Three stars is still a "Good" rating, by the way...)

Yeah, I didn't forget about the main site although I don't appear to be working on it much! Well... I'm having too much fun quickly reviewing random albums. Maybe it'll wear off...

--M.L.

September 23, 2012

Capsule Reviews
The B-52's: The B-52's (1979) 5/5
Caravan: In the Land of Grey and Pink (1971) 4.5/5
Billy Joel: 52nd Street (1978) 3.5/5

...And I guess this was the danger of launching that capsule review side-project: It lets my mind wander. If my mind is allowed to wander, then it will definitely wander! (...Eh, I figure the important thing is that I'm writing something. It doesn't matter what it is, really.)

I've also been pretty busy working on the Blondie and Devo concert review, which is mostly done, but it might be a few days or so before I complete it. (I never used to fret over grammar and structure. Why can't I go back to my old ways?) Another review that I'm halfway finished with is John Paul White's album... He's the male half of Civil Wars. He looks like Johnny Depp.

Has anyone ever heard of a band called Slowdive? I'm listening to their debut right now for the first time, and it is sublime...

--M.L.

September 22, 2012

Booker T. & The M.G.s: Soul Limbo (1968) 11/15

Capsule Reviews
Bee Gees: Idea (1968) 3.5/5
Animotion: Obsession (1984) 2/5

That new capsule review page takes me back to when I used to write those movie reviews. I started those before Netflix, so I only reviewed whatever came up on TV or whatever happened to catch my eye at Hollywood Video. (I'm obsessed with reviewing things, by the way... 14 years later, I'm still at it. I think I have a disease...) There's no structure or planning to that thing whatsoever. Which is good!

--M.L.

September 21, 2012

Capsule Reviews Update
Camera Obscura: Underachievers Please Try Harder (2003) 2.5/5

Just a tiny update today with the statement that I'll probably have much more for tomorrow. I have the next Booker T. & The M.G.s album written completely, but it just needs editing. I'll also write a handful or so of short reviews for tomorrow. That's not to mention the concert review I have to write, but I'll save uploading that for Sunday. (I'm dead beat tired right now! Give me sleep!!)

--M.L.

September 20, 2012

Supertramp: Free as a Bird (1987) 10/15

Mini Reviews Update
Furniture: The Wrong People (1986) 4/5
The Free Design: Kites are Fun (1967) 4/5

OK, this weekend it's time to write that Blondie & Devo concert review. Maybe the reason I'm stalling is because nothing particularly noteworthy happened to me there, and I'm less compelled to try writing down every detail of everything that happened there. Also neither band really talked to the audience much... I'll also get around to revising that ZZ Top review, which is rife with awkward sentences and--as I found out later--the opening sentence or two I don't believe is technically correct. (They were in their 30s when the bearded look was adopted.)

--M.L.

September 19, 2012

Mini Reviews Update
Shocking Blue: At Home (1969) 4/5

OK! The next full review is getting close to being finished (which is Free as a Bird by Supertramp), and I suspect I'll have it uploaded tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's a glossed-over mini-review of an album that I probably never would have been able to touch otherwise... (Although, I wish I could write more about that album! ...Well, maybe one day.) There are so many more albums I've been listening to lately that I could include on that mini-reviews page, but as I said, I really shouldn't let that side project have priority. I'll just let them trickle in whenever I feel like writing about them.

--M.L.

September 18, 2012

Natalie Merchant: Motherland (2001) 12/15

Mini Reviews Update
Miss Li: Dancing the Whole Way Home (2009) 4.5/5
The Move: Message From the Country (1971) 4.5/5
Missing Persons: Best of Missing Persons (1987) 2.5/5
M: New York London Paris Munich (1979) 2.5/5

Major insomnia tonight thanks to the relatively hot weather. (If it's warmer than 70 degrees, it's curtains for me. Well, the miserable Seattle weather will return to me shortly, and I'll be able to sleep again.) One thing that's probably going to be painfully obvious about this new mini-reviews page is that I listen to a lot of synth-pop.

--M.L.

September 17, 2012

Mini Reviews Update
Slapp Happy: Slapp Happy (1974) 5/5
Planet P Project: Planet P Project (1983) 3/5
Sheena Easton: Take My Time (1981) 2/5

So an idea I've been kicking around for about a year was to start writing extremely brief reviews of albums that I've sort of been listening to on the side. Now, I've finally decided to give it a try. This page would never replace the main site, and my main concentration will always be on the main site. This new page is only for breezed-over impressions of albums that I happened to be listening to. A few of these albums I really haven't listened to very much and thus I might not have even formulated concrete opinions of them in my mind. (Hence, my hesitation to assign full 15-scale ratings for them.) However, I might also write short reviews of albums I've already written full reviews of.

...I was planning on writing a full review today (Natalie Merchant!), but given that I spent most of my day working on formatting that page that seems unlikely! But I'm going to work on it at least!

Also I went to a Blondie and Devo concert 10 days ago, and I haven't written my review of that. (The ZZ Top review is godawful, and I also need to edit that pretty badly.) ...The Psychedelic Furs concert is coming up in three weeks, which means I probably won't be able to get around to that page, so I'm going to go ahead and cancel it for now. The concentration for updates will continue to be rewriting the old site.

--M.L.

September 1, 2012

ZZ Top Live in Snoqualmie, Washington (August 26, 2012)

I almost didn't update, but at the last minute (9 p.m.) I decided to just push through with it! (I probably published it way too prematurely, and there are a few things I still need to fix with it... so check back again tomorrow, if you want.)

Also, that Mike Pinder album came to me already, and it was autographed! (I guess not too many people buy those things...)

--M.L.

August 31, 2012

Peter Gabriel: New Blood (2011) 11/15

OK, the moment of truth comes this weekend. Will I write a ton of reviews so I can go everyday next week with an update? ...Or not? (Tomorrow is my day to upload the ZZ Top concert review.)

--M.L.

August 30, 2012

Shawn Colvin: These Four Walls (2006) 12/15

So this one-a-day business probably won't last very much longer though hopefully updates will continue to be relatively frequent. (I might be able to sustain it for awhile thanks to Labor Day weekend starting tomorrow.)

--M.L.

August 29, 2012

Michael Bolotin: Michael Bolotin (1975) 8/15

...Whew, I was getting *close* to breaking this one-a-day update streak. I probably still needed to read that Michael Bolton review over once or twice, but it's more important that I don't break the streak! (I'm very tired right now... Zzz...)

I do have another review that just needs to be edited for tomorrow (Shawn Colvin) and then I have the first draft of Peter Gabriel's New Blood partly written right now. And then of course the ZZ Top concert review is getting closer and closer to completion. I also listened to Primus for the first time today, and... Er, I have no idea why I was hesitating to start listening to those. They're fun!

Meanwhile, I've been ordering Moody Blues solo albums from the Internet, which I'll start reviewing as soon as the 10,000 Maniacs page is through. It turns out these albums are not all that pricey, which is contrary to what I'd thought earlier. John Lodge's super-rare one I was actually able to get off of iTunes. I ordered both of Graeme Edge's. ... Mike Pinder's are a little tricky because I have to get them directly from his website, so I only ordered his first one for now, and I'll get the others after I see how smoothly that goes. (...What amazing adventures I have ordering CDs...)

--M.L.

August 28, 2012

Kiss: Animalize (1984) 8/15

--M.L.

August 27, 2012

Bob Dylan: Empire Burlesque (1985) 11/15

So the ZZ Top concert was quite good, although it was very short. 1 hour and 15 minutes. When they went off stage I thought it was the half-time intermission, but it turned out they were only coming back out for an encore. They didn't have an opening act or anything, so the entire thing was 75 minutes. ...Well, at least I ended up making it home for bedtime at 9:30!

So the concert review definitely isn't going to be long at all. I already wrote the gist of it on my phone on the ride back home. I think I'll have it pieced together by the weekend... (By the way that ZZ Top page I have pegged for rewrites in the relatively near future, and I'll complete the thing this time. But who knows when that'll be? 12 years from now??)

I'm also sensing the urgency about getting that Psychedelic Furs page started... I have less than six weeks. Uh oh.......

--M.L.

August 26, 2012

Roger Hodgson: Hai Hai (1987) 11/15

Update! (Yes!) I also have updates ready for Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully, I'll have another one finished for Wednesday before I leave for the ZZ Top concert in two hours. ...I'm not posting these reviews now because they still need to be read over again and edited. I mean, if I don't mangle sentences enough in the reviews I end up posting here, you should read them when they're just in their first drafts.

So tomorrow's update is scheduled to be Bob Dylan's Empire Burlesque, then it would be Kiss' Animalize and then (the most long awaited review of them all!) Michael Bolotin. At least by Thursday (or ideally before that), I would like to have posted the ZZ Top concert review, which I'm going to make an earnest attempt to keep at less than a page and a half. Who knows whether I'll be successful... Maybe the concert will blow my mind or something?

--M.L.

August 25, 2012

The Devils: Dark Circles (2002) 10/15

An old feature has returned to this website: The mail form. Now, you can go back to sending me anonymous flame mail! (Yay!)

--M.L.

August 24, 2012

Mary Chapin Carpenter: Between Here and Gone (2004) 11/15

Ooo. I'm not sure how long I'm going to keep this string of once-per-day updates going. It depends on whether I can get caught up this weekend. Otherwise, it was a nice run! (Also I have the ZZ Top concert Sunday. I've promised myself I wouldn't make that review terribly long, though.)

--M.L.

August 23, 2012

The Yardbirds: Roger the Engineer (1966) 12/15

Phew! Made the update. Weirdly I have four other reviews in various, unfinished states. I was supposed to upload the Mary Chapin Carpenter one today, but I read over the first paragraph and it was pretty awful, and I am way too tired to edit it. Fortunately, the Yardbirds review was in a more acceptable state, and so I didn't have to break this amazing 19-day streak.

Also, I've been trying to tinker out that Devils review, but it has had me somewhat baffled. (I guess that's the album Duran Duran would have made if they could have made one in 1979 when Stephen Duffy was lead singer... It's sort of an entertaining album and sort of not. Seems like some of the songs are strangely developed or could have used more streamlined instrumentation... but that would have been missing the whole point of it, since apparently the Duran Duran of 1979 weren't about streamlining things........... Pardon me, I'm thinking out loud.)

--M.L.

August 22, 2012

Booker T. & The M.G.s: Doin' Our Thing (1968) 10/15

Yup, I've finally been paying attention to long neglected pages...

Also take a look at the queue where I've organized it just a bit differently. So there are a whopping 14 different pages being built right now. (Yikes!) But variety is a good thing, and this set up helps keep me working on the site. Before, when I had set in stone the exact order I'd review things in, I would run across something I didn't want to review, and an extended hiatus would ensue...

Also regarding the "vote" I was going to set up next year. I sort of forgot there was already a sort of gang-request to review Primus. So right now, that'll be the vote-thread. Once that page is through there will be another vote. (I'm hoping 2013. Before May. But I really have no idea.) And I also apologize to the person who wanted me to review In Prism by Polvo. That one kind of got lost in the shuffle, since the band name looks a bit like "Primus" when you scan the list... so I moved it up.

--M.L.

August 21, 2012

10,000 Maniacs: The Earth Pressed Flat (1999) 8/15

At long last! A review I had in the works since last November!

Also if you know Yes solo albums pretty well and you'd like to have input on which ones I review, then say so on my message board. (There are about a billion of them, and I lack the willpower to trudge through all of them!)

--M.L.

August 20, 2012

Supertramp: Brother Where You Bound? (1985) 8/15

Huh, I was kind of thinking I would more positively reevaluate that album. While I'm certainly rating it higher than I did in the original review, it isn't much higher.

--M.L.

August 19, 2012

Yes and Procol Harum Live in Snoqualmie, Wash. (August 12, 2012)

Phew! I admit I got a bit bored writing that concert review, which probably means people are also going to be bored reading it. I'll probably also go through it again tomorrow and check it over with a fine-toothed comb. This was one of those things that I've read over about four or five times and got tired of reading it over, so I just posted it to get it over with! I am noticing quite a few things right now about it that I would like to change, so check back tomorrow if you want.

--M.L.

August 18, 2012

Joy Williams: Genesis (2005) 10/15

I've been feeling mildly-to-moderately obsessed with this website lately, and I can't decide if that's a good thing. (I suppose it's better than surfing Wikipedia or watching TV...)

I did a quick calculation and discovered that I have 205 reviews left before I've completely rewritten the old site. (This would make me 82.6% finished, if anyone still remembers that calculation I used to have on the front page.) Unfortunately, there were less than 50 of these rewrites completed within the past year. Also not helping these efforts is that I'm spending so much time writing about someone like Joy Williams, who wasn't even present on the old site! ...Speaking of Williams, after leaving the CCM/pop genre she formed her own production team and released only EPs and a few singles. Unless I missed something, there are 22 songs in total. Instead of reviewing these things individually, I'll just lump them all in one review. (These songs are fantastic, by the way.)

The Yes and Procol Harum concert review is finally written. It's way too long of course. I'll just look it over again tomorrow and try to iron out some of my sentences before posting.

So I believe Procol Harum would replace Peter Gabriel on my queue. Cream would replace The Yardbirds (but before that I'd review Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton). The Psychedelic Furs (who I'm going to see in concert in early October) would replace Shawn Colvin. Yes would replace Mary Chapin Carpenter. ...And then I'll stop lollygagging around with Stephen Duffy and finally finish those and he would be replaced with... Maybe Sarah McLachlan? ...Hm, sounds like a plan to me. Oh! And those Natalie Merchant albums are glaring at me. (How embarrassing is it that I was supposed to finish that page the first time I saw her in concert... and she had time to come around to Seattle again and I'm still not finished with the page!)

--M.L.

August 17, 2012

Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back (2010) 10/15

Whew! Almost didn't make the update today. (Close one!) Unfortunately all my updates typically have a few jumbled sentences in them on account of me having jumbled thoughts while I write sentences! Well, they get looked over with a fresh eye in the morning... For instance that Kiss review I posted yesterday got edited a bit this afternoon.

--M.L.

August 16, 2012

Kiss: Lick It Up (1983) 10/15

OK. I think I'm maybe 70 percent done with the first draft of that Yes review. (Just a warning, I do talk more about Procol Harum. But that's mostly because Gary Brooker talked to the audience way more than anyone from Yes. ...Or at least he said far more memorable things.) I'm thinking Sunday will be the day I post it.

--M.L.

August 15, 2012

Bob Dylan: Real Live (1984) 11/15

Aliccccccccce Coooooooooooperrrrrrrrrr.

Oh, guess who I'm going to go see in November the day after my 30th birthday? I've been feeling a bit bummed over my 30th birthday quickly approaching, but this'll soften the blow quite well indeed! (The most entertaining concert I've ever been to: Alice Cooper in 2005. The record still stands.)

I'm also not sure how I managed this, but I got third row seats. Or otherwise known as the best seats that I could score without purchasing a $500 VIP package. (Sorry. Meeting Alice Cooper would be too much like Wayne's World except I would probably lose breath and pass out. I mean, if you read that Ray Davies review, I was freaking out enough over eye-contact!) I'm going with my dad on this one. We listen to the same era of music, but never agree on much... except for Alice Cooper.

Also, at the very last minute, we (that is, my family) decided to also go see ZZ Top in a couple of weeks. Very nosebleed seats, but it's at that same casino that I've been getting frequent flier miles at recently, and that stadium isn't terribly large. They won't look like ants. More like mice. Also I'm not going to make that a terribly long review especially since I don't count myself as a ZZ Top fan-boy (they're more of my dad's thing). And even though I actually have a ZZ Top page, I doubt I'll recognize all their songs. Lastly, I should make that review short, because they are freaking exhausting me!!!

So yeah. This is a record year for concerts. I've lost track. (I might have to give up Cat Power. It might be good to have that weekend off! That's a general admission show anyway, so I'll just wait to see if I still feel up to buying a ticket.) And I know I'm not being very hip, but I find these old bands genuinely entertaining. More than I'd find the new stuff. I mean, let's be honest about it...

--M.L.

August 14, 2012

Arabesque IX: Time to Say "Goodbye" (1984) 10/15

Arabesque: Rewrites have been completed! Now. Onto correcting those Michael Bolton reviews. (That is, I don't really think he's going to be so positively reassessed as Arabesque was. But if he does, I might have to shoot myself.)

--M.L.

August 13, 2012

White Heart: Powerhouse (1990) 11/15

OK, long post today.

Wow! Yes were on fire. I also have to eat a little bit of humble pie when I say they smothered out Procol Harum. ...Although that's not a really fair thing to say, since Procol Harum were only an opening act, and that's what happens to opening acts. And I still profess to liking Procol Harum songs far more than Yes songs! Well, now that I've seen Procol Harum, all I want now is to see them as headliners. (Gary Brooker said something about coming back with the Seattle Symphony 'if they let him do it.' He might have been just being cheeky, though. It was hard to tell.)

Anyway, all those rumors or impressions I kept on getting about Yes cutting corners or being old 'n' lazy are profoundly false. Last night, the song of theirs they played that I know the most was "Roundabout." That's one hell of a complicated thing, as you well know, but they didn't miss a single note of it. ...It was a lot of fun. Maybe it was more exciting overall than even the Hodgson concert. (Well, I guess Yes rock more and Hodgson writes pop songs, so apples and oranges!!) Their new lead singer looked a little strange next to all those old men. (I thought he looked late '30s-ish, but correct me if I'm wrong...) But he was really good, too. That show was shockingly good. Strangely $80 well spent and not only because I wanted to see Gary Brooker.

The review is in the works. I don't think it'll be posted for a week. I'll also try to continue posting regular reviews, but I might lose my one-per-day pattern. (I have the final Arabesque album in the can, so there will be an update tomorrow unless something freaky happens in "my real life.")

Lastly, I know that I get plenty of requests to start new pages (though not an overwhelming amount of them). I have trouble accommodating these due to the fact that I update somewhat sporadically, and I'm still trying to rewrite every review on my old site. Not to mention that I also get these unscheduled whims sometimes that tie me down (hence those Joy Williams reviews lately), and I'm going to see some shows of artists whose songs I'd like to know better before going.

However, I'm thinking by sometime early next year, I'll start a poll, and I'll start a few new pages based on its result. ...That is, unless this site slips into another lengthy hiatus. (Well that novel I was so passionately working on earlier this year... What a piece of trash!) But anyway. Think of some nominations in the meantime just in case if this thing comes true. (This will replace those single-album reviews that I've been doing...)

--M.L.

August 12, 2012

Roger Hodgson Live in Snoqualmie, Wash. (August 9, 2012)

Phew! I got it finished and posted... That is, about two hours before going to the next concert. I'm sure I'm going to love the 10 or so songs I get from Procol Harum, which is the whole reason I'm going there. The Yes portion I'm not so sure about. (I guess they're going to play their new album, which is probably a good thing, because from what I heard of it, it's not bad at all.) And maybe they'll also perform "I've Seen All Good People," which is freaking awesome.)

--M.L.

See the previous journal entries!