Music is pretty contrived and unoriginal. So what happens is you write about it and you nerd out hard. And mainly no one cares. A few of your fellow nerds care and these are the people that comment or ‘engage’ with shit that you spew out there. The PR machine is so sadly desperate for bloggers like us to care. Please please listen. No stop sending us your shit, maybe when I was like 19 years old, I would give you a chance. Cut it out. No one cares about anything, and those that actually do, KLYAM, we set the tone. We are not going to let the PR machine dictate our content. Most of it is lousy corporate rock. Oh nice, you isolated your self from humanity for a year and a half, recorded in a fancy studio, or have some intriguing backstory. Elaborate – but I still don’t care! You listen to stuff and hopefully it resonates and you don’t feel embarrassed to be witnessing some boring shit. That’s pretty much it. I hope to offer a perspective of some kind so here is the stuff I listened to most in 2016:
THE B-52’s Third Album – 1983 – WHAMMY! – Shout out to Bobby Hussy for the leads on this one. My prior exposure to The B-52’s was: seeing them live in Vegas when I was 9 years old (my first concert), and listening to their debut album, which I have consistently snagged from my parent’s record collection, and their later singles “Roam” and “Love Shack,” which I will go out and assume most people are familiar with. WHAMMY! is an incredible album to listen to – at any time, at any place – and it is also fun to play along with. The B-52’s PERFORM and OWN this synth/drum machine heavy masterpiece. Fun, pop oriented songwriting, but very very weird. The mixing on this is very spacey. If I am short on time, I go with “Song for a Future Generation” – featuring vocals from all members. Wacked but not at all.
Icky Boyfriends – A Love Obscene – Snotty 90s San Fran give no f’s kind of group. Kind of group that could not do a wrong. The best kind. This is not garage, this is not noise, this is what it is, rock ‘n roll. I repeat – the best kind. Probably like other peeps that Get It (TM), I find myself unable to listen to “Nervous Guy” once. Usually clock in around seven to nine repeats. Have I made it through the entire 56 song compilation? No, not really. I don’t need to, but I will.
Lou Reed – “Crazy Feeling” – Wasn’t until 2016 when I scoped out and listened to Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby. Record is very good, very Lou. It is this song in particular that I have myself a “Nervous Guy” moment. It is the first song on the record, so it works favorably for multiple repeat listens. The head bobbing bass line and transitions to the chorus is immaculate.
Miracle Johan – Miracle Johan blazed a trail in one man band home recordings in the mid 2000s. That trail is like a double black diamond at King Pine Ski Resort. Maybe somebody went down it, but we’re not sure if they made it down the mountain. In the case of Miracle, he decided to create a song for each Boston Celtic player until the team won a championship. He performed from the perspective of each player for a truly bizarre catalog of offerings. Mainly of the hip-hop variety. Often changing the pitch of the vocals and building songs around a catchy theme or phrase, Miracle Johan was not (as far as I am aware) trying to get these licensed for inclusion in the NBA 2K series. No, this is just the work of a superfan and super talented musician. Even if you are not a C’s fan, you will admire the work Johan put into these recordings, or in some instances the lack of work. Like the song “A Zillion Ponies (Dan Dickau),” which chronicles the little-known bench player who blew his achilles and is learning how to play guitar from his hospital bed. Loopy from the meds, he anxiously puts his feelings to song: “I’m Dan Dickau and I’m human with real emotions like a real human. My emotions are sweet like a river running through a forest. And A Zillion Ponies.” On a totally different note, Miracle Johan’s discography also includes one of the chillest listens – Hawaii Demos – that have wet my whistle for shit, nearly a decade. MJ was featured in the Boston Phoenix way back when.