There’s a running joke that Paul and I don’t know how to talk about music. And though we’ve been assured by reputable sources that we don’t too bad a job of it, well…I tried writing little blurbs for the albums on my list and felt like a jackass. So we’ll again be presenting our lists (my top 10 and Paul’s top 5) without comments, as Paul’s already done with this year’s movies and comics lists.
In lieu of our dumb words, enjoy some songs from our favorite albums of 2014.
We’ve already discussed our favorite films, TV series, and comics of 2012. Now, to round things out before the impending season 4 premiere, we’ll “discuss” our favorite albums. “Discuss” is in quotation marks because, as we’ve frequently noted on the show, we are really, really bad at knowing how to talk about music. So we figured we’d let the music speak for itself.
Enjoy and check back on Sunday for the season premiere of GOBBLEDYGEEK!
On the new episode of Gobbledygeek, Paul and AJ told you about all the things you should buy this Christmas season, and now here’s a comprehensive guide! (Including a few items that weren’t even mentioned on the show.)
Hands down one of the best science fiction books I’ve read in recent memory. It’s like my admittedly overdeveloped nostalgia gland were milked and distilled onto the page. This book is my geeky, pop-culture DNA printed in ink. ~ Paul
No, we’re not talking about our clever concoction “Also Sprach Bat-Turkey,” which used to play at the beginning of every episode. The very weird, very hilarious Matt Farley, under the guise of Papa Razzi and The Photogs, has released his new album Papa Razzi Is Back. And He’s Singing More Nice Songs!, which includes a track called “A Song About Arlo J. Wiley and Paul Smith.” Yes, an actual song about your very own Gobbledygeek guys.
A couple months ago, we used the Papa Razzi song “A Song for George Lucas” in our episode “Talking Turkey.” After the fact, Matt reached out to us to let us know how cool he thought it was that we used one of his songs and that he’d be recording one about us for his next album. And so he did. And it is wonderful. And it kind of sort of made Paul cry a little.
You can check out Papa Razzi Is Back. And He’s Singing More Nice Songs!, in all its 97-track glory, on iTunes now.
As I’m sure you’re aware, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London flat this past Saturday, July 23. She was gifted with a towering voice, a sharp wit, and an artist’s impulse to not do what anyone else wanted her to. In this era of pre-packaged pop songstresses, hers was a raw talent; her music deftly mixed jazz, R&B, and 60’s pop. She released her debut album Frank in 2003, and her Stateside breakthrough came with her second and final album, 2006’s Back to Black (both released in the U.S. in 2007). Back to Black was everywhere four years ago. Not being the sort to listen to pop radio, I remember the very first time I heard Winehouse: I was at a Borders (which is also gone now, or soon to be), browsing the music section, and I decided to throw on the headphones and take a listen to this Brit singer I’d been hearing about. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what I heard. Winehouse looked thin and serious on the cover, but the voice that emanated from those headphones was big, soulful. I was sold instantly.
So were many millions of others. Back to Black garnered five Grammy Awards and carried the instant classic “Rehab.” Winehouse ushered in a new wave of British soul divas including the likes of Duffy and Adele, the latter of whom has been experiencing similar levels of ubiquity this year. In the five years following Back to Black, though, Winehouse didn’t record another album. She wasn’t just a bold, terrific singer, she was also a troubled young woman struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction. The tabloids squealed and squawked about her personal life with mean-spirited glee, as they are wont to do. No matter her talent or the quality of her music, it seemed to many that since she was a junkie, she deserved to be jeered and laughed at and put on display. She didn’t help herself by putting up odd YouTube videos and stumbling through barely-there performances.
We had a show on Paul McCartney’s birthday, but no dice for Ringo; as always, the man gets no respect. But wait! Today is Ringo Starr’s 70th birthday, and I am determined to honor him! He is a wonderful drummer; his technique during his time with the Beatles went from the simple, pleasurable backbeat of Please Please Me to the complex, sophisticated drumming of Abbey Road. Like fellow Beatles John, Paul, and George, the growth he experienced over six or seven years was remarkable. And for 40 years now, ever since the band broke up, he has quietly released a steady stream of solo albums. Some are pleasant, a couple–Ringo, Liverpool 8–have been excellent, and though most are mediocre, the fact that he’s had a recording career for close to half-a-century is a terrific accomplishment. (Plus he’s never released anything as ear-bleedingly awful as John’s Life with the Lions or Paul’s Liverpool Oratorio, so props for that, Rings. Can I call you Rings?)
So in celebration, I present to you Ringo’s Top 5 Beatles Songs!
I could probably take a broader view and determine Ringo’s best Beatles songs by taking into account his actual drumming (in which case, I’m thinking “Rain,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” or “Tomorrow Never Knows” would likely be contenders for the top spot), but I’m only going to count the songs he sang. There were only 12, but all are worthy additions to the Beatles catalogue.
5. “What Goes On,” Rubber Soul (1965)
I met you in the morning, waiting for the tides of time. But now the tide is turning, I can see that I was blind.
Rubber Soul is an album fraught with girl troubles, and even the usually happy-go-lucky Ringo finds himself at odds with a lying, cheating girl. As with many Ringo songs, “What Goes On” has a country-and-western flair, though I doubt many C&W songs sport anything as lovely as John and Paul’s background harmony. Paul’s stabbing bass provides a nice counterpoint to George’s clean guitar lines, nicely capturing the song’s mood.
At long last, the details of the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack have been revealed. Beck wrote and provided instrumentation for all of the Sex Bob-Omb songs? What? Really? How did I not know this? Broken Social Scene did Crash and the Boys’ songs? The Plumtree single that gave Scott Pilgrim his name (which I originally heard over at Bryan Lee O’Malley’s official Ning)? Frank Black? T. Rex? Is there any doubt this will be the soundtrack of the year? Am I asking too many questions? Am I?! HUH?! AM I?!?!?!?
While you ponder that, here’s the full tracklist:
01 SEX BOB-OMB (Beck): “We Are SEX BOB-OMB”
02 Plumtree: “Scott Pilgrim”
03 Frank Black: “I Heard Ramona Sing”
04 Beachwood Sparks: “By Your Side”
05 Black Lips: “O Katrina!”
06 Crash and the Boys (Broken Social Scene): “I’m So Sad, So Very, Very Sad”
07 Crash and the Boys (Broken Social Scene): “We Hate You Please Die”
08 SEX BOB-OMB (Beck): “Garbage Truck”
09 T. Rex: “Teenage Dream”
10 The Bluetones: “Sleazy Bed Track”
11 Blood Red Shoes: “It’s Getting Boring by the Sea”
12 Metric: “Black Sheep”
13 SEX BOB-OMB (Beck): “Threshold”
14 Broken Social Scene: “Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl”
15 The Rolling Stones: “Under My Thumb”
16 Beck: “Ramona (Acoustic)”
17 Beck: “Ramona”
18 SEX BOB-OMB (Beck): “Summertime”
19 Brian LeBarton: “Threshold 8 Bit”
The soundtrack is released August 10, the film August 13.
This past Wednesday, June 2, President Barack Obama honored none other than Sir Paul McCartney with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. That’s a high honor, and I’ve never seen Paul–occasionally prone to flights of egotism because, oh, I don’t know, he’s only the most successful songwriter to ever walk the planet–so humbled as when Obama was on stage singing his praises. Nor do I think I’ve ever seen him in such awe as, when Obama passes him the mic, he says in hushed tones, “The President of America. Barack Obama.” Obama’s speech is typically powerful, and McCartney’s thanks are also touching. Watch it here, then head after the jump for the most surreal video I’ve ever seen: