Archive | May, 2018

Certain Songs #1224: Mystery Science Theater 3000 – “Love Theme From Mystery Science Theater 3000”

Album: Clowns in the Sky
Year: 1988

There has never been a TV show more in the spirit of indie rock — at least the indie rock with which I grew up with in the late 80s / early 90s — than Mystery Science Theater 3000. Totally self-produced, and self-contained, the evil geniuses at MST3K had full artist control of every aspect of their production, from set design to theme song.

A theme song that I think is one of the greatest — and most underrated, as it never makes any of the occasional lists of great TV theme songs — to ever grace any TV show.

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Certain Songs #1223: The Mysteries of Life – “Shiver”

Album: Focus on the Background EP
Year: 1997

While they were working on their follow up to their major label debut album Keep A Secret, The Mysteries of Life put out a pair of indie EPs in 1997 — Anonymous Tip and Focus on the Background — that showcased a more playful side of their music.

Both EPs had surprising covers — The Jam’s “But I’m Different Now” and Talking Heads “Naive Melody” — guest musicians, and in the case of Focus on the Background, a song written by new bassist Kenny Childers.

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Certain Songs #1222: The Mysteries of Life – “Once in a While”

Album: Keep a Secret
Year: 1996

If you are wondering how I got to The Mysteries of Life without ever posting anything from the two bands that drummer and co-founder Freda Love played in previously, I’ll admit cheerfully that both of those bands — The Blake Babies & Antenna, for those of you keeping track at home — have never crossed my radar.

I know I tried Juliana Hatfield as a solo artist when she was cool, but she never took (though I love love love her new Olivia Newton-John covers album), meaning maybe it’s time to try some of this stuff.

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Certain Songs #1221: My Morning Jacket – “Gideon”

Z
Year: 2005

Because the early reports made them seem like a band I would really like, I remember checking out My Morning Jacket’s 2001 At Dawn album, and being totally put off by the production. Maybe there were songs there, maybe Jim James had a great voice, but I really couldn’t tell one way or another.

So I ignored them until 2005’s Z, which I really liked, and have been paying attention to them ever since, though I haven’t liked any of their other albums as much as I liked Z.

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A Ranking of Neil Young Live Albums

So a couple of weeks ago, as part of the excitement of seeing Neil Young & Crazy Horse for the first time in decades — did that really even happen? — I put together a highly controversial ranking of Neil Young’s studio albums.

And that should have been that, but no, Tim asked for a ranking of live albums, which as you’ll see is a slightly more malleable category. Obviously Time Fades Away doesn’t count, but A Treasure does, even though wouldn’t have if it had been released in 1985 instead of Old Ways. There are even a couple of things here that aren’t even officially Neil Young live albums.

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