Tag: albums

The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit — 2012

The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit — 2012

Blogstuff
So, 2012. It sure was twelve months, wasn't it? But before the year slips away into 2013, let's take a moment to reflect on just some of the awesome content I've published in Aught 12, as ranked by the number of visits (which I'm aware don't always equate to quality, but that's another topic). For reference, here's last year's review. And as always, I offer a laurel and hearty handshake to everyone who has stopped by this year -- either on the blog, the Facebook page, or any of the ever-growing venues where I waste my time and yours. This site racked up about half a million visits in 2012, which I'm fairly certain is an all-time high. It's probably all downhill from here. Oh and I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the lovely selection of Featured Posts you see to the right. It ma...
Listening Booth — Dartmouth Glee Club, White Christmas on the Campus

Listening Booth — Dartmouth Glee Club, White Christmas on the Campus

Listening Booth, Music
A few years ago I downloaded what has since become one of my favorite Christmas albums ever -- White Christmas on the Campus by the Dartmouth Glee Club (United Artists UAL 3102, 1961). Now I now what you might be thinking: Glee Club? You mean like the homogenized, lifeless crap on that TV show? Nope. This is the real deal. Tasteful and elegant a capella holiday music, nothing more. The Glee Club was apparently all-male when this was recorded, just so you know. Regardless, or maybe because of that, this is a strong performance with just the right balance of delicacy and strength. Kudos to director Paul R. Zeller. My favorite, in case you were wondering, is "The Secret of Christmas." If you enjoy this album (and I know you will), be sure to check out the excellent Ernie (Not Bert) ...
Pop Culture Capsule — November 14-20, 1993

Pop Culture Capsule — November 14-20, 1993

Capsules, History
While the nation should be celebrating another win by my Rutgers Scarlet Knights, apparently it's considered bigger news that Notre Dame is back at #1 for the first time in 19 years. In fact, almost exactly 19 years. Before this week, the Fighting Irish last held the top spot in college football in the poll released November 16, 1993. To put all of this into context, here's what was going on in the world of American pop culture the last time Notre Dame was at the top of the college football world. Top 10 Movies 1. Addams Family Values 2. The Three Musketeers 3. Carlito's Way 4. My Life 5. Mrs. Doubtfire 6. Man's Best Friend 7. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 8. The Remains of the Day 9. Cool Runnings 10. A Perfect World Will you look at that -- the top movie of...
Albums From the First Half of 2012 That Are Good

Albums From the First Half of 2012 That Are Good

Music
As I've mentioned previously in this here blog space, I've largely gotten out of the album review game. Unless a record really moves or I have something I really need to say, I'm gonna just wait to the customary year-end period to share my thoughts. But if you're impatient, you can always subscribe to my in-progress Spotify playlist. That said, here's a rundown of some records released in 2012 that I've been digging on, either a little or a lot (along with song clips where appropriate). The Beach Boys, That's Why God Made the Radio Django Django, Django Django Air, Le voyage dans la lune Ryan Shaw, Real Love Prong, Carved Into Stone Rush, Clockwork Angels Storm Corrosion, Storm Corrosion Jack White, Blunderbuss Imperial State Electric, Pop War Lambchop, Mr. M The Ex...
If There’s Ever a Missile Command Movie, Don’t Act All Surprised

If There’s Ever a Missile Command Movie, Don’t Act All Surprised

Games & Toys
I loved my Atari 2600, and I sure enjoyed Missile Command. Not enough to sit through the entire Missile Command album, mind you. What's that? You didn't know there was a Missile Command album? There sure was. It came out on the Kid Stuff label in 1982 (KSS-5031), and was one of three Atari cash-ins for the label. The other two were Asteroids and Yars' Revenge. According to the back cover, the story goes like this: The planet Zardon is under attack! Only the brave men and women of the Missile Command can destroy endless waves of Krytolian missiles. Join the Command Team and help defend the universe as you fight back in Atari's Missile Command! Gripping, ain't it?! Here's a clip from the record -- featuring some of the finest acting I've ever heard on a video game album -- and the cover...
Album cover of the week: Vaughn Meader, The First Family

Album cover of the week: Vaughn Meader, The First Family

Album Cover of the Week, Music
For a special President's Day edition of this series, let's take a look at a fairly innocuous but hugely popular album that was blasted into obscurity in the blink of an eye. Few people remember the name Vaughn Meader today, but for about a year in the early '60s he was one of the hottest acts in the world not from Liverpool. As you might be able to tell from this cover photo, The First Family concerns President John F. Kennedy and his family. It was a parody album, recorded in front of a live audience, and it featured Meader as Kennedy. He was sort of the Rich Little of his day. Thanks to Meader's spot-on impersonation and America's obsession with all things Kennedy, The First Family hit #1 on the Billboard album chart and won a Grammy award in 1963. Meader became an overnight s...
The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

Music
The usual disclaimers about my year-end music lists still apply. I'm only one man and only have so much time to listen to new albums. So even if I hear an album and it's really good, if nothing about it grabs me right away I may end up forgetting it. Also, naturally I'm going to gravitate toward music either from acts I already know and like or that's recommended by friends and writers/critics I respect. These, then, are the ten albums that I have returned to more than any other in 2011 and probably will in 2012. Because at the end of the day, isn't that the only mark of a good record? #1. Mastodon, The Hunter As much as I was disappointed with Crack the Skye, I absolutely love The Hunter. I've read a lot of comparisons between it and Metallica's "Black Album," and I can see why. It's...
8 More Christmas Albums You Need To Own

8 More Christmas Albums You Need To Own

Listcruft, Music
Several years ago I shared eight of my favorite (and best, if I may humbly say so) Christmas albums. I think it's high time to add to that list, so here are another eight Yuletide platters that would make worthy additions to any holiday music collection. As on the first list, there's enough variety here that you should be able to find something new to love. So here we go, in no particular order... #1 A Time to Be Jolly (1971) Bing Crosby Bing was in his late 60s and in the last decade of his legendary career when this was released on the brand new Daybreak Records label in 1971. The only thing that gives this away, however, are the vintage late-'60s/early '70s MOR musical arrangements, which are really quite nice. Most of the tracks on A Time to Be Jolly kick off with some sl