There is a lot of music in the world. But have you ever thought about the music that is set in space? Here are a few space concept albums that fit perfectly into our summer reading theme, A Universe of Stories.
Do you ever want to match the tone of a novel to music? I do! Here's some of my favorite music and author combinations matched up for your listening and reading pleasure. Enjoy!
Radiohead and George Orwell
Stylistically unique, dystopian, paranoid, deep, fascinating, groundbreaking in sound and genre, political, and futuristic are hallmarks of both Radiohead and George Orwell. The reflection of culture makes these works timeless. These British legends pair perfectly together.
The third major release from Wales' The Joy Formidable, Hitch offers many of hallmarks of their alt-rock sound: Impeccable dynamics (those familiar with their body of work know they may start softly often, but boy do they like to get loud!), arrangements and chord progressions which are creative without becoming distracting, and an absolutely epic, multi-layered recording.
Interiors is Quicksand's third full-length studio release, and their first since 1995's superb Manic Compression. The post-hardcore legends from New York City come out swinging with this wide-ranging, 12-track effort, which will no doubt sound both familiar and foreign to long-time listeners. From the land of the recognizable, fans will no doubt be happily reunited with the clipped, staccato delivery of singer/guitarist Walter Schriefels' signature vocals.
This is the greatest album released in my lifetime. OK Computer changed the sound, quality, and art of music. Radiohead’s work spreads beyond alternative rock to inspire a new generation of musicians in multiple genres. As a critically acclaimed and culturally beloved piece of art, OK Computer’s rerelease is necessary to celebrate this intensely great album.
Let's get all the obvious jokes out of the way first. It's not just one song over and over. It's not just Sonny and Cher's "I Got You, Babe" on repeat. It's the original Broadway cast recording of Groundhog Day: The Musical, and I love it.
Considered by some to be the Count's last great masterpiece, Basie and his orchestra's The Atomic Mr. Basie blasts big band swing at its edgy and exciting best, still filling the space that would soon become the domain of rhythm and blues and later rock and roll. Popular, fashionable, mainstream jazz would eventually evolve away from big swing bands, using small combos to further the bebop revolution and refine the cool movement.
Did Van Morrison ever improve on the series of concerts he performed in 1973, the same shows represented in this new set? He may have but It’s Too Late to Stop Now in all its various editions raises the bar exceptionally high. This is new collection, taken from shows first released as a double album in 1974, includes three discs of additional music from the 1973 tour as well as an extraordinary (and short) DVD of concert footage.
Let’s talk expectations. When it comes to the much-loved and influential band Pixies, expectations for the second album since their 2004 reunion are all over the map. Inevitable comparisons to material recorded and released in the late 80s and early 90s add baggage that may be fun to talk about but can also get in the way of listening with clear ears. Such is the case with Head Carrier, an album doomed from the beginning to suffer under the weight of both heightened and lowered expectations, especially since Pixies’s 2013 Indie Cindy proved so mediocre and slick.
Who are your musical influences? This is a question asked of musicians, obviously, but what about the ordinary music listener? Why do you listen (or not listen) to certain artists and genres? More than just filling the time during the commute home, listening to John Fogerty’s Wrote a Song for Everyone made me reflect on my own musical influences and why this album is a good illustration of them.