Paul McCartney - Driving Rain: I thought I was being heterodox again when I really liked this before checking a few reviews and realizing I'm back in the mainstream. Yay! Many, many great melodies, and it doesn't scream 2001 (for the most part; notably this album is loudness-warred to hell). "Spinning on an Axis" is the closest thing to a shitty track here, pseudo-rap and all. I thought "Rinse the Raindrops" was so long because it was hiding a bonus track five silent minutes after the track ends, but it turns out to actually be ten minutes long, and the length is more or less justified! "From a Lover to a Friend" is either beautiful or corny as hell; I'm a sap for a great tune and that track has one, really as do all of them. "Freedom" is a bonus track but I don't think I had ever heard it; when I see the name I think George Michael (was never under the impression that this song was that). Good album, and it's supposed to only get better from here.
But yes, "Driving Rain" is the better album. I actually like "Axis"- sure it's awkward and corny but that's sorta Paul's thing and I appreciated him trying something new. And "From A Lover To A Friend" is actually my favorite track but yeah, it's definitely a case where the lyrics don't do the melody justice. Good Ol' Cornball Paul. "Freedom" is garbage, significantly worse than anything on the actual album. A lot of the songs on this album are really fun to sing and play on guitar.
Might wanna try Ultravox's previous album "Ha Ha Ha". Generally said to be weirder, punkier and druggier. Was always my Ultravox fanatic friend's favorite and though I'm generally not into the type of music they make, I listened to it recently and enjoyed it.
Yeah most live Parker albums have sound quality that's so poor it interferes w/ my enjoyment. I sorta feel like "The Complete Jazz At Massy Hall" is all anyone really needs.
Assume you got those 2 Ra albums on a CD twofer? Or did you pick them up on vinyl? Anyway, I've got the twofer so I always listen to them together so "Angels"'s short running time isn't an issue. Anyway, I've always made the same assumption re: the angel and demon "sides" of the album and it's all great but the angel side in particular contains some of the most beautiful and forward-pointing music of Ra's career. Though released in 1965, it was recorded between 1956 and 1960. That's ####ing crazy.
"Nubians" is percussion heavy to say the least but I love the mystical, somewhat eerie details like the wordless harmonizing on "Africa", which always reminded me of the soundtrack to some old Disney movie.
Damn that's pretty cool that you got "Expansions" on vinyl. Thought that was a pretty rare album in any format but maybe I'm wrong and they reissued it? Anyway, I always thought the lack of availability was a tragedy because on a good day, it's my favorite Tyner album (I go back and forth between that one and "The Real McCoy"). I personally love Carter's cello playing, even if he's not traditionally gifted. He sort of seems to approach the instrument like Dolphy does his- he makes it "talk" in lieu of playing more refined melodies more often than not. Which is part of the reason he and Dolphy played together on each other's albums.
"Lebowski" may have been overhyped for you but it also may be a grower, even if you watched it multiple times. Though Goodman is arguably responsible for a lot of the funniest moments ("You see what happens Larry?!", "...but they're amateurs" etc) so if you find his character obnoxious in ways beyond the endearingly comic, that might be a pretty big hurtle. Plotwise, it's intentionally convoluted and full of meaningless diversions and red herrings- it doesn't hit you over the head w/ many stylistic flourishes associated noir but I've always considered it a conscious ode on the part of the Coens, at least partly (and it's obviously not the only film of theirs you can say that about)
"I had a high school classmate who I thought was constantly affecting Tommy Chong, but watching this I realize that he could have been channelling the Dude (or some combination of the two)."
So you have a somewhat high-pitched, reedy stoner voice and regularly use the term "man" when addressing people? Good to know
God, I hated "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". One of the dullest films I've ever seen, hands down. The folks involved aren't fit to lick Kubrick's taint.