Tag: Get to Know

Get to Know… Seals & Crofts

Get to Know… Seals & Crofts

Featured Posts, Music
There was once a time when the term "soft rock" wasn't used as a pejorative, but that was long before I started listening to music. These days it's just lazy music critic/fan shorthand for "boring" or "bland." Seals & Crofts often gets trotted out as one of the textbook examples of the bad kind of soft rock, and in all honesty it's not entirely undeserved. But for a time in the 1970s, they were among the finest purveyors of pop music in America -- regardless of label. If any act from the era deserves to have their legacy re-evaluated, it's the duo of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts. So that's what this edition of "Get to Know..." will set out to do. I hope by the end you'll agree with me that just because music is soft doesn't mean it's not good. (Previous editions of this series c...
Get to Know… David Lee Roth

Get to Know… David Lee Roth

Music
For a brief time following David Lee Roth's acrimonious departure from Van Halen in 1985, it seemed the flamboyant frontman would be able to match his former band mates step for step. But as the 1990s rolled on, Roth's commercial fortunes declined and he became a punchline of sorts. Quicker than you could say "bozedy bozedy bop!" Diamond Dave went from headlining arena shows to rolling out a much-ridiculed Las Vegas lounge act and getting busted for buying pot in New York City. And the less said about the short-lived 1996 Van Halen reunion the better. But defying all expectations, David Lee Roth officially came home to VH in 2007. The band -- with Eddie's son Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass -- hit the road in September of that year and raked in an astounding $93 million b
Get to Know… Genesis – Pt. 1

Get to Know… Genesis – Pt. 1

Music
With the recent news of Phil Collins' retirement from music, I thought it would be a good time to run this two-part Genesis overview again (originally published on March 10, 2008). I think a proper assessment of Phil's whole career will reveal that he was an important figure in 20th century popular music, and all the cheesy Disney soundtracks in the world can't take away the great work he did. Since one of my favorite things in the whole world is telling people about music I love, I'm starting a series of overview articles dedicated to some of my favorite bands. Similar guides abound on the Internet, and two sites in particular that produce excellent ones are Popdose and the AV Club. The first entry in the series I've dubbed "Get to Know..." is for Genesis. Depending on your age,...
Get to Know…Vince Guaraldi

Get to Know…Vince Guaraldi

Music
Had he never recorded a note for any of Charles Schulz's Peanuts specials, Vincent Anthony Guaraldi's legacy as a brilliant composer and pianist would still be secure.  His joyful and supremely melodic style is as immediately recognizable as any in music, and more than thirty years after his death his admirers encompass a wide range of musicians and music lovers; from casual jazz fans to purists, and even to outright jazz haters who proclaim, "I don't really like jazz, but I love his stuff." For this primer of Guaraldi's recorded output, I've categorized his music into three main areas rather than go with a strictly chronological approach.  These categories are not meant to be rigidly applied, but for the novice I think it makes more sense this way.  There's great music to be found
Get to Know… Genesis – Pt. 2

Get to Know… Genesis – Pt. 2

Music
(Part 1 of my look at Genesis is here.) And so begins the second part of our exploration of the music of Genesis, now sans the costumes and theatrics of Peter Gabriel. After auditioning some well-known and unknown singers, the group finally decided to let drummer Phil Collins assume the mantle of frontman. It was a risky move, but one that reaped immediate dividends... A Trick of the Tail, 1976 (buy) Any doubts over Genesis' ability to function as a viable artistic unit post-Peter Gabriel were quelled with the release of A Trick of the Tail. While nothing on this album is quite as adventurous or weird as their previous work, it is no less satisfying. "Dance on a Volcano" gets things started with a bang, and sounds like it could have been recorded during the Lamb sessions. The ...