Thank You For The Music?


Not my photo.

I have always been an ABBA fan. Even before their resurgence and the “Mamma Mia” productions and the like, I have always enjoyed the music of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny, and Anna-Frid (Frida). So one can understand that when it was announced back in 2018 that ABBA had gotten together and recorded a few new tracks, there were many folks that were excited to hear the new these new numbers.

It’s 2021 and they still haven’t been released. Apparently, ABBA wants to accompany these new songs with a road show involving a young ABBA (as we remember them) depicted by holograms in concert. The technology is a little wonky at the moment, then of course there was the worldwide pause for COVID-19, and as things start to resemble whatever normal is, still no word on when the tracks will be released.

Let’s hope it’s soon. The world needs to say Thank You for the Music. Soon.

80s Vibe.

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy the music of Anders Enger Jensen. As I type this blog entry (in between coding projects at work), I’m listening to the track “Thinking Of You” from his album “Retro Grooves Vol. 3”.

The entire album is magic. Here’s a link to the album on Bandcamp. It’s also available on Apple Music and the like.

Miley!

I was listening to CKOI out of Montréal while working this morning and a new song came on that impressed me very much, especially when I realized it was Miley Cyrus singing.

I’m not a huge fan of today’s pop music, by “Midnight Sky” really caught my ear. I took a look at the video and it has an old school Madonna vibe to it.

Here’s “Midnight Sky” by Miley Cyrus.

Music.

I’ve never liked the quality of music coming from the family Spotify account. I’m not talking about the selection of tracks or the app experience (the former being good, the latter being less good), but I’ve always thought the sound quality of the music sounds way too compressed. Songs I remember having outstanding nuance in the mix (when listening on vinyl and my really good Bose headphones) sound muddy to me on Spotify. The same tracks on Apple Music sound good, sometimes remarkably so, but there’s still a warmth found on vinyl that is lacking on their digital counterparts.

I stumbled across the Tidal Music service a month or so ago. We have a Plex server that stores all of our music and videos for consumption on our various devices and an introduction to Tidal Music came along with my Plex account. I was intrigued by the service, as it advertises “Master Quality” tracks, as well as using FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) as the default file format, instead of MP3s or Apple’s AAC.

The distance is quite noticeable and enjoyable.

I use music by The Carpenters to make the comparison, usually “Superstar”, “Only Yesterday”, and “All You Get From Love Is A Love Song”. First of all, Karen Carpenter may be one of the greatest female pop vocalists of all times. Secondly, Richard Carpenter’s arrangements are very thorough and nuanced. I feel much closer to their music when listening to the Master and “HiFi” (FLAC) offerings from Tidal.

My only pause with Tidal is that it’s quite pricey. As a Plex user, Tidal is $18.99 a month, almost double what an individual user subscription costs on Spotify or Apple Music.

Earl and I talked about it and because I listen to so much music when I’m working, we were able to justify or rationalize the expense.

I’m building a nice selection of Master clock tracks in “My Collection” on Tidal and thoroughly enjoying the experience. My ears are quite pleased.

Friday.

It’s Friday, so here’s some happy music with some happy people singing and dancing.

From 1969, here’s Friends of Distinction with “Grazing In The Grass”.

All I Want.

I woke myself up in the middle of the night last night singing backup vocals on this track. This is not uncommon behavior for me, in some respects I’m happy I was still in bed and not standing naked outside thinking the balcony was some sort of stage or something.

My singing aspirations have usually centered around a group performance with me singing backups. I would love to do that once again with a group before I move on from this life, and this is one of the songs I would love to contribute to.

One of my favorite songs from the 90s, here’s Toad The Wet Sprocket with “All I Want”.

Yumi Zouma.

Photo courtesy of Yumi Zouma’s website.

It’s been over a decade since I’ve really fallen in love with any music, but the New Zealand group Yumi Zouma has created some of the best music I’ve heard in decades.

I love this group. Give them a listen (link to Apple Music).

Agenda.

Pet Shop Boys have released an EP called “Agenda”. Pardon my language, but it’s fucking brilliant. “Clash” features a review.

The theme of the four track EP is on point. Described as “three satirical tracks and one sad track”, it sounds like classic Pet Shop Boys with modern lyrics. The last track, “The forgotten child”, made me cry.

Here’s the track listing, you can probably figure out the overall theme on your own.

  • “Give stupidity a chance”
  • “On social media”
  • “What are we going to do about the rich?”
  • “The forgotten child”

I’ve included the lyrics to “Give stupidity a chance” to portray the vibe of the EP. It is available on Apple Music, Spotify, etc., and the CD is available for pre-order from their official website.

“Give stupidity a chance”

Intelligent people have had their say
It’s time for the foolish to show the way
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
Let’s give stupidity a chance

We’ve heard quite enough of experts and their dealings
Why face the facts when you can just feel the feelings?
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
Let’s give stupidity a chance

Forget political correctness
I mean W-T-F
I don’t wanna think about the world
I wanna talk about myself

Instead of governing with thoughtful sensitivity
Let’s shock and awe the world with idiotic bigotry
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
And give stupidity a chance

You say corruption, I say justified reward
Keeps the cronies loyal chairmen of the board
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
And give stupidity a chance

Forget political correctness
Let’s talk man to man
Chicks are always up for it
You gotta grab whatever you can

We need a leader who knows that money means class
With an eye for a peach-perfect piece of ass
Not a total dumb-cluck, just one of the guys
Let’s give stupidity a prize

Let’s lead this world a merry dance
And give stupidity a chance
Let’s give stupidity a chance

Help Me.

This version of Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me”, as sung by k.d. lang, moves me to tears. This live performance is absolutely brilliant.