It looked for a while there that there weren’t going to be any more — hell, that the blog itself was a goner, but victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat, so here we are!
The picture over there on the left is the Japanese cover for ELO’s 1981 single, Twilight. Part of their album, Time, a full-on concept album that they released at the tail end of their huge popularity in the US (immediately following their work on the soundtrack to Xanadu), it didn’t get anywhere near the response of their peak albums, Out of the Blue or Discovery. In fact, I didn’t hear this track at all until it was used by a group of Japanese college students as the unauthorized soundtrack to an animated introduction to the anime convention, Daicon IV. That fan group turned into the anime studio Gainax, and, for me, this track joins the pantheon of songs that make me think of 70s-80s space opera. I really want this to be featured in the third GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY film. Electric Light Orchestra – “Twilight.”
A lot of music from the late 70s and early 80s makes me think of space opera, which is one of the reasons why the soundtracks to the GUARDIANS films resonated with me so much. These were the soundtrack to playing with spaceships and action figures, reading comics and drawing space battles. But it makes for some odd juxtaposition. Like this track for example. I don’t think that “Bob Seger” comes to mind when people think “science fiction,” and yet I do. This was so omnipresent on the radio in the late 70s, I can close my eyes and see the Star Wars posters on my wall. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band – “Still The Same.”
A 70s genre of music, progressive rock, has its modern adherents still — including this three-piece group of women from Japan. Today, the melding of odd time signatures, progressive rock and jazz goes by the buzzwordy name “math rock.” I’m not a fan of that terminology, but I dug this the minute I heard it on my Spotify Discover Weekly: Paranoid Void – “カルマの犬 (Karma Dog).”
Another discovery from Spotify — this is part of the soundtrack to a storytelling video game called Where The Water Tastes Like Wine, about hobos, American folk culture, and telling tales. Apparently, different versions of this composition play depending on what part of the country you’re moving through in the game. This track immediately went into my FAR WEST playlist. Ryan Ike – “Vagrant Song (Deep South).”
Robert Plant has been operating in that folk-y space (especially in recent work with Alison Krauss), and he has a new solo album out. This track has a touch of that, but goes more heavily back into the blues-y rock that is Plant’s bread and butter. Robert Plant – “Bones of Saints.”
And speaking of new albums from old acts, this song popped up in my Spotify Discover Weekly, and before I looked at the info, I thought to myself “Wow, this really has a Simple Minds kinda vibe to it. I like it.” Then I looked… and sure enough, it WAS Simple Minds, who have released a new album! It’s got that anthemic “Alive and Kicking” sound to it, which I really like. Simple Minds – “Summer.”
There you go, folks. I hope you enjoy.
See you back here next week!