Category Archives: Music Ramblings

Ted Leo is a Hobbit Nerd

Last night during The Both’s performance at the Mohawk in Austin, Aimee Mann revealed a fact about Ted Leo that I was unaware of. “Ted is a Hobbit nerd,” she announced during one of their many moments of mid-set banter. This proclamation caught my attention because I happen to also be an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work (I’ve been known to show up randomly at friends’ houses dressed as Gandalf, although I’ve never left any marks on their doors). While Mann threw out this detail about Leo as a little jab, he wore the “Hobbit nerd” label with pride the remainder of the show, revealing more and more of his nerdom with each passing song. Here are some facts I learned about Leo and his vast knowledge of Middle Earth:

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Bob Dylan- Always the Innovator

50 years ago, Bob Dylan started a recording career that would revolutionize music forever. To commemorate his evolution over the span of 43 albums, Sony Records has released the entirety of his music library in a $180 box set, The Complete Album Collection: V.1.  The inclusion of V.1 in the title seems a bit-tongue in cheek with Dylan now 72 years old, but it may be sincere considering how good ol’ Bob is still touring endlessly and churning out new material about every three years. It may not be to the level of say a Highway 61 Revisited, but to suggest Dylan is a waning enterprise would be premature. In fact, two of Dylan’s recent ventures show that he is still an innovator in the world of music.

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Questioning the Scripture of Bill Hicks

Let’s face it – Bill Hicks was a genius.  Taking a cue from the all-time great George Carlin, Hicks infused his rebellious comedy routine with a heavy dose of philosophy. His views on society, government, religion, and drugs are still thought-provoking and profound 20-years later.  Recently while watching his 1992 special Relentless I had a moment of confusion.  While talking about the music industry’s penchant for performing fellatio on the Devil, Hick’s quipped, “Let me tell you something right now, you can print this in stone and don’t you ever forget it: any performer who ever sells a product on television is for now and all eternity removed from the artistic world.”

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Grandpa’s Stereo

Some of my earliest memories of music involve an old wooden music console my parents had in our living room for the better part of my childhood.  The record player, tucked within it’s carpentried confines, got a lot of use over the years, my mom constantly playing records along the lines of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and CSNY.  While it may have been my mom’s love of 70s folk music that made my memories so pleasant, I’ve always attributed much of my childhood serenity to that bulky piece of furniture, exuding warmth into our cramped, little house.

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My Tumultuous Relationship With Pitchfork.com

As discussed on my Podcast, over the past year I’ve found myself obsessively watching all of the episodes of “Classic Albums” on Netflix, the documentary series that originally aired on VH1 and BBC chronicling the creation of some of rock’s most influential albums.  After viewing around a dozen of these one hour episodes, I came up with the “great” notion to make a list of the episodes, ranking them and discussing each one in a short paragraph. Well, this was easier said that done and remains an unfinished project (maybe this post will get me re-motivated to finish it).

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Matt Bonner – Our DIY NBA Hero

Here at BDWPS we focus on the world of music, but on this special weekend, I ask you to turn your attention to the NBA All-Star Game festivities.  I have a lot of friends that speak of the NBA with disdain, often labeling the players as “thugs” or “money hungry,” yet these same people will watch an entire weekend of NFL football without blinking an eye at the cheap shots, late hits, and overall self-glorification seen after each tackle and first down. If you are one of those who turned your back on the NBA after the likes of Jordan and Bird retired, let me assure you, there are still athletes within the league who play with the same passion and humility (Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Love, to name a few).

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