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Are These The 10 Greatest Clash Songs?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 - by Allston's Afternoon Rockout

Last November we asked, “What Are the Most Essential Clash Tracks?

These seem to be the most popular, per the commenters:

“Somebody Got Murdered,” “Straight to Hell,” “This Is Radio Clash”

“Janie Jones”

“Spanish Bombs”

“White Riot” > “White Man…” >”Complete Control” > “Janie Jones”

“Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad”

“Guns of Brixton”

Editor’s Note: Over the spring and summer of 2014 we experimented with the PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight feature, highlighting reader suggestions for great songs worth featuring. One contributor’s infectious enthusiasm and good nature won us over. He’s since expanded his music recommendations to a series of list-article-mix tapes. Now in this daily feature we’re going to start drawing from his lists (and growing an archive of them) to discuss the songs and artists included. 

Updated plan for 2015: the songs from Allston’s lists will each serve as the basis for musical debates. Just as in the morning we’ll weigh one classical composer against another, in the afteroon we’ll do the same with the 20th century’s rock ‘n’ roll and other popular music genres. From now on, each Rock-Out will feature at least 2 tracks (often more!) pitted head-to-head with with encouragement for dialogue about them. Each afternoon weigh in on behalf of your favorite artists, bands, and songs. Also offer your own suggestions for who should be featured next and what mix-tape lists you want to see next in Allston’s fun series. Who should be included next? What ideas do you have for music or other culture or lifestyle ideas you’d like to see discussed at PJ Lifestyle? Get in touch DaveSwindlePJM AT gmail.com or @DaveSwindle on Twitter.

Here’s Allston’s archive so far, but he’s got more list-mix-tapes in the works:

The War Music Series

By Artist and Band

By Decade and Era

By Genre

By Instrument

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I Got Them Frigid Wintertime Blues

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 - by Allston

So, the “Historic Blizzard” is over and, as these things sometime work out, it wasn’t terribly historic, in fact it wasn’t too bad at all. The prior storm, for all that it deposited only three inches on the ground, was much worse, like having to move a layer of wet concrete. This stuff was similar to talcum powder, no chore at all to move.

One of my co-workers observed just how lucky we’ve been this year, the first significant snowfall not occurring until towards the end of January? Only four-to-six more weeks and then we’re pretty much done.  I’ll take it.

Until then, it’s nice and warm inside. A brandy and soda, some good tunes, what could be finer to while away a cold winter’s night?

A well-known 1970s lament, the song used the season of winter as a metaphor for those things troubling America at the time. Whatever his intent, it’s a damn fine song:

1. Gil Scott Heron – “Winter in America”

Their song was performed at the 2010 national Christmas lighting, the two singing while backed by the US Coast Guard band:

2. Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson – “Winter Song”

“The road is dangerous / Pretty and white / Tires spinning on snow / World spinning heavy and slow / And I’m headed home / Time itself means nothing / But time …”:

3. Bill Callahan – “Winter Road”

An interesting take on the famous song:

4. Jason Mraz – “Winter Wonderland”

From the album, “Auberge”:

5. Chris Rea – “Winter Song”

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Which of These 3 Calming Cesar Cui Compositions Is Your Favorite?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

1.  Kaleidoscope for violin and piano

2. Sonata for Violin and Piano

3. My Soul magnifies the Lord (Magnificat) Op.98 (Song to the Mother of God for soprano and choir)

Here are the previous recordings included so far in this feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Rachmaninoff

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

 

10 Recommended by Charlie Martin

Franz Liszt

Rimsky-Korsakov

Modest Mussorgsky

Borodin

 Mily Balakirev

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5 Songs for Surviving a Blizzard

Monday, January 26th, 2015 - by Allston

Written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in July 1945, during a heat wave, no less:

1. Frank Sinatra – “Let It Snow”

A call-and-response duet, in which the male singer tries to convince the female to stay at home for a romantic evening, because the weather is so fierce:

2. Ray Charles and Betty Carter – “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

What with two (plus) feet on the white stuff en route, oh yes, we will all assuredly be “blue”:

3. Muddy Waters – “Cold Weather Blues”

The 1933 song was featured in the 1943 movie of the same name:

4. Etta James – “Stormy Weather”

From a master of cool jazz for a cold day:

5.  Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond – “Wintersong”

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Which of These 3 Symphonies by Mily Balakirev Is Your Favorite?

Monday, January 26th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

“Symphony No.2 in D-minor (1908)”

vs. “Russia, symphonic poem (1864)”

vs. “Tamara, symphonic poem (1867 – 1882)”

Or is there a better one to add to the collection?

*****

Here are the previous recordings included so far in this feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Rachmaninoff

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

 

10 Recommended by Charlie Martin

Franz Liszt

Rimsky-Korsakov

Modest Mussorgsky

Borodin

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Which of These 3 Songs Is Buffalo Springfield’s Greatest?

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - by Allston's Afternoon Rockout

1. “For What It’s Worth” (featured on) 10 Classic Rock Tracks From the End of the ’60s

vs.

2. “Expecting to Fly

vs.

3. “On the Way Home”

Editor’s Note: Over the spring and summer of 2014 we experimented with the PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight feature, highlighting reader suggestions for great songs worth featuring. One contributor’s infectious enthusiasm and good nature won us over. He’s since expanded his music recommendations to a series of list-article-mix tapes. Now in this daily feature we’re going to start drawing from his lists (and growing an archive of them) to discuss the songs and artists included. 

Updated plan for 2015: the songs from Allston’s lists will each serve as the basis for musical debates. Just as in the morning we’ll weigh one classical composer against another, in the afteroon we’ll do the same with the 20th century’s rock ‘n’ roll and other popular music genres. From now on, each Rock-Out will feature at least 2 tracks pitted head-to-head with with encouragement for dialogue about them. Each afternoon weigh in on behalf of your favorite artists, bands, and songs. Also offer your own suggestions for who should be featured next and what mix-tape lists you want to see next in Allston’s fun series. Who should be included next? What ideas do you have for music or other culture or lifestyle ideas you’d like to see discussed at PJ Lifestyle? Get in touch DaveSwindlePJM AT gmail.com or @DaveSwindle on Twitter.

Here’s Allston’s archive so far, but he’s got more list-mix-tapes in the works:

The War Music Series

By Artist and Band

By Decade and Era

By Genre

By Instrument

Read bullet |

Is Rachmaninoff the Favorite Composer for Pianists?

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

A Comment from Thursday last week in response to “‘Battle of the Huns’ – The Best by Liszt?”

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 5.54.31 AM

Here are the previous recordings included so far in this feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

 

10 Recommended by Charlie Martin

Franz Liszt

Rimsky-Korsakov

Modest Mussorgsky

Borodin

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3 Piano Favorites By Liszt

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

A Comment from Thursday last week in response to “‘Battle of the Huns’ – The Best by Liszt?”

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 5.54.31 AM

Here are the previous recordings included so far in this feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

10 Recommended by Charlie Martin

Franz Liszt

Rimsky-Korsakov

Modest Mussorgsky

Borodin

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Did the 1960s Really Happen? (Part Two)

Monday, January 19th, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle

thinkfasthippie

As last week’s epically embarrassing “James Taylor” fiasco demonstrated, the Western establishment acts like the Sixties never ended.

But as I’ve been insisting for some time, in many respects, that “Sixties” never really happened.

All that “peace and love,” “soixant-huitard” stuff comprised but a slender slice of the 1960s, and much of that was bogus, a cynical scam that ruined millions of lives.

“OK,” some of you have said in the comments, “but at least that decade had a hell of a soundtrack!”

Yeah, about that…

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Are These 3 Rimsky-Korsakov Compositions His Best Pieces?

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 6.04.05 AM

Here are the previous recordings included so far in this feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

10 Recommended by Charlie Martin

Franz Liszt

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‘Battle of the Huns’ – The Best by Liszt?

Friday, January 16th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 6.03.53 AM

Here are the previous recordings included so far in this feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

10 Classical Music Composers Recommended by Charlie Martin

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How to Understand the Anti-Semitism Embedded in Wagner’s Music

Monday, January 12th, 2015 - by David P. Goldman
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Mosaic Magazine opened an important dimension in the old debate about Wagner’s anti-Semitism with Nathan Shields’ January essay, “Wagner and the Jews.” Shields argues that Wagner’s music itself has anti-Jewish implications, an important riposte to the usual excuse that Wagner harbored Jew-hatred despite his great artistry. Shields argues rather that Wagner’s anti-Semitism and his music are of the same ilk. That is a breakthrough, but only that: Shields, whose own music offers the sort of atonality that most modern listeners abhor, knows that something is amiss in Wagner’s music but does not know what it is.

Now Edward Rothstein, a New York Times critic, has responded to Shields’ essay with a claim that Wagner’s anti-Semitism is “metaphysical.” That gets rather far afield. Wagner’s anti-Semitism is not “metaphysical” at all. It is musical, and must be understood in musical terms.

It can be put quite simply: Wagner is a neo-pagan, and paganism is self-worship. Neo-paganism is narcissism, the glorification of the impulse in place of obligation. In place of Beethoven’s celebrated epigraph to the Quartet Op. 135, “Es Muss Sein!” (It must be), Wagner insists that it can be whatever he wants. Music proceeds in time, and classical composition preceding Wagner uniquely achieved an ordering of time that bespeaks necessity: goal-oriented motion towards a desired conclusion. The journey to the goal may take detours, encounter surprises, and evoke suspense as well as humor, but it must reach its conclusion. Classical music was conceived to portray in sensuous terms the Christian journey to salvation. The great Ashkenazic Jewish cantors used the mechanism of Western music to evoke the reversal of time’s arrow, for redemption in Judaism looks backward as well as forward.

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10 Classical Music Composers Recommended by Charlie Martin

Monday, January 12th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

In response to “What classical music essentials are we still missing in the collection?” from December 26, 2014:


Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 5.09.38 AM

Franz Liszt

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Wagner’s Music Is Exactly As Bad As It Sounds

Thursday, January 8th, 2015 - by David P. Goldman

shutterstock_88588873

At Mosaic, Nathan Shields argues that Wagner’s anti-Semitism arises from his music itself–quite different from the usual view that Wagner was a wicked man who wrote wonderful music.

That’s a courageous and important thing to say. Shields veers into the tendentious when he claims that,

“Is Wagner’s most troubling legacy, then, the longing he instills in us for a completion and finality that music alone can provide? Failing to receive such resolutions from the world, one might attempt to force them upon it. Perhaps Wagner’s music is, itself, the abyss toward which that music points us—not only the purest of the arts, but also the most guilty.”

There is no way to judge music except in musical terms, and that is where Shields’s essay is deficient: Wagner does not aim for abstract musical purity, but rather for a perverse alternation of the way his audience heard the music of his predecessors. Some examples can be found here.

As for Shields’ own music: for those who like this sort of thing, it is just the sort of thing they would like. One can’t accuse him of aiming for abstract musical purity.

*****

Cross-posted from Spengler, image via

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Beethoven’s ‘Light-Hearted’ 8th Symphony

Thursday, January 8th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

Wikipedia describes this symphony:

The Eighth Symphony is generally light-hearted, though not lightweight, and in many places cheerfully loud, with many accented notes. Various passages in the symphony are heard by some listeners to be musical jokes.[2] As with various other Beethoven works such as the Opus 27 piano sonatas, the symphony deviates from Classical tradition in making the last movement the weightiest of the four.

Here are the previous recordings included so far in this new feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

 

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Which of These 7 Versions of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony Is Your Favorite?

Monday, January 5th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

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Did the 1960s Really Happen? (Part One)

Sunday, January 4th, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle

Jimi-Hendrix

Last year I read three books that challenged the mainstream view of the 1960s.

(Herewith I’m employing the folk definition of “The Sixties” as that stretch between the Kennedy assassination in November 1963 and the May 1975 fall of Saigon.)

I say “mainstream” because I haven’t entertained many illusions about what really happened during that overlong Baby Boomer idyl since I was a kid.

In the first place, I grew up “soaking in it,” in the dishwashing liquid commercial catchphrase of the era, and I hated almost every minute.

In the second, as an adult, I discerned certain disruptions in the official “peace and love” narrative.

Being a bratty pest by temperament, I’ve made a minor career out of helping debunking the myth of the selfless hippie, the noble white liberal, the enlightened radical, the powerless housewife and the era’s other stock characters.

(I’m also rather fond of rehabilitating the laughingstocks of the age.)

This year, I read three books that, to various degrees, reinforced my view that what we call The Sixties — an allegedly Edenic era that canny progressives continue to evoke when crafting 21st century policy — was a Potemkin village of the imagination, or, in the words of the narrator below, “a mass hallucination”:

YouTube Preview Image

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Which of These 6 Versions of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony Is Your Favorite?

Sunday, January 4th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

This series on Beethoven began with this version of the 6th, “Pastoral” symphony:

Here are 5 more to consider.

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Which of These 5 Versions of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony Is Your Favorite?

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

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10 Classic Rock Tracks From the End of the ’60s

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 - by Allston

A friend of mine was recently lamenting the demise of good “classic” rock across the airwaves. He said that Clear Channel et al. have ruined this for him. I agree: whatever is “classic” on the air has been largely devolved down to a few repetitious playlists of tripe, supposedly indicative of the “best” of the sound.

Yeah, well, not at PJM and not on my watch. So here’s a mix you might’ve heard on the radio in 1967-1969.

During their heyday, The Association had five songs that achieved top-ten status on the US charts.

1. The Association – “And Then Along Came Mary”

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A Really Catchy Song By Apollo Fallout: ‘Big City Lies’

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 - by Allston's Afternoon Rockout

Apollo Fallout is an original rock and roll band out of Gainesville FL. Their official bio says, “We look forward to showing the public that (original) classic hard rock isn’t dead.”  Next year in early spring AF will release a new EP titled “Big Rock,” with a full-length record sometime later that year.

Editor’s Note: Over the spring and summer we launched the PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight feature, highlighting reader suggestions for great songs worth featuring. One contributor’s infectious enthusiasm and good nature won us over. He’s since expanded his music recommendations to a series of list-article-mix tapes. Now in this daily feature we’re going to start drawing from his lists (and growing an archive of them) to discuss the songs and artists included. Who should be included next? What ideas do you have for music or other culture or lifestyle ideas you’d like to see discussed at PJ Lifestyle? Get in touch DaveSwindlePJM AT gmail.com or @DaveSwindle on Twitter. Here’s Allston’s archive so far, but he’s got more list-mix-tapes in the works:

The War Music Series

By Artist and Band

By Decade and Era

By Genre

By Instrument

Read bullet |

Does Canadian Country Music Have an Identity?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 - by David Solway

Editor’s Note: see the three previous reflections in this series on country music and American values: “3 Reasons Why I Like Country Music,” “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?”Why Politics and Music Are Like Oil and Water.”

When it comes to Canadian country music, one may legitimately wonder: why has Canada produced no equivalent of an American country great? Where are our Tim McGraws and Alan Jacksons, our Dolly Partons and Reba McEntires?

Perhaps an insecure relation to homeland has something to do with the matter. True country music is nothing if not committed to honoring the ordinary people who live on the land and work it, who produce its crops and foodstuffs, who run the shops and the greasy spoons, who drive the trucks and man the factories; it celebrates their lives as the backbone of the nation. Canadian country does this rarely.

It is not so much that we are devoid of national pride and patriotic feeling, but that our tendency is more toward a native chauvinism that is limiting in its expression—of the “American woman, stay away from me” variety that propelled The Guess Who into the spotlight. It is difficult to build an authentic tradition on rejection of another culture. One thinks of Neil Young’s put-downs of the American south as racist, “bullwhip crackin’” and “cross burning” in “Southern Man” and “Alabama,” appropriately mocked in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” Young later came to regret his hectoring manner, but the priggish self-satisfaction inherent in those lyrics expresses a great deal about Canadian attitudes.

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Do You Like Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

Here are the previous recordings included so far in this new feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

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Where Do You Rank Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony?

Monday, December 29th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

Here are the previous recordings included so far in this new feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

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