Category Archives: Arrangements and Sounds

The Combination: Baby Animals, “Painless” (1991)

In the past I’ve lamented the quick passing of a moment of peak interest in a song. Like on an actual mountain peak, you have to face the fact that there’s scarcely anything there and 99% of your time is … Continue reading

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When Did Pat Most Get to You? The Smithereens, “Listen To Me Girl” & “I Don’t Want To Lose You” (1986)

For Pat DiNizio (the sunglasses) 1955-2017 When did Pat most get to you? (Of course we’re talking about the band, not Pat alone.) I bet some would answer, “The whole somber mass of Green Thoughts” (1988). I feel like that too. But … Continue reading

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Comfortably Together: Traffic, “Heaven Is In Your Mind” (1967)

A December 1967 release: We’re sitting in Traffic’s living room and digging how the cozy ensemble isn’t trying too hard. The track speaks to us calmly and confidently like a jewel of a demo. Jim Capaldi’s unusual yet perfectly sensible … Continue reading

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The Phantom of the You: The Young Rascals, “How Can I Be Sure” (1967)

What an unexpected song! As emblematic of the whole wonder, I admire certain unexpected low notes in the melody. They come at these places in the first verse: Whenever I, whenever I am away from you (0:28) I want to die, … Continue reading

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Just Stay There: Beck, “Dreams” (2015)

This just in from Beck, as re-issued on his 2017 album Colors: a wonderful simple chord trick in “Dreams.“ The song’s main chord progression is stated right away (this forms the reference baseline for the trick that comes later). It’s … Continue reading

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Stepping Up: The Association, “Windy” (1967)

Nothing in 1967 affected me more strongly, more transportingly, than “Windy.” It’s true that the tune does not come out of the gate like three-weeks-at-#1 material. It’s stiff and slow, and the bass riff it offers is insipid (a simple … Continue reading

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Scary: The Who, “I Can See For Miles” (1967)

Next in my series of fifty-years-late appreciations of music in the year of wonders, I turn to a September 1967 (U.S.) release. Some tracks burst into your life sounding unnervingly good in a deeply unfamiliar way. (The uniqueness makes this … Continue reading

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