RECORD STORE TALES Part 167:
Top Five Discs that Got Us in Shit at the Record Store
featuring Uncle Meat
Jethro Tull’s IAN ANDERSON – TAAB2 Thick As A Brick 2 (EMI 2012)
Holy crap! This is a great album! I have no hesitation in ranking this among my favourite Jethro Tull albums. And yes, I consider this a Jethro Tull album. All that is missing is Martin Barre. The story goes that Martin does not enjoy the studio process, and the album is billed as “Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson”. Something like that Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi disc. Or, Blackie Lawless & W.A.S.P. David Coverdale & Whitesnake. The list goes on!
This is what I would consider quintessential Tull: Lots of fluttery flute, nice acoustic moments, and very traditional sounding bits. All this with stunning electic riffs, and complexity of arrangement like a roller coaster. And my God, what an album! I have confidence in saying that Thick As A Brick 2 is a fine sequel. Not The Empire Strikes Back, nor The Wrath of Khan…it’s more Aliens. Catch my drift? Don’t expect the same thing. What you loved about the original might be here in different form. This is a sleeker Brick, 40 years older, dealing with the modern age and the passage of time.
The concept is this: Where would Gerald Bostock from Brick 1 be, 40 years after that newspaper? Ian Anderson images five”might-have-beens”. Perhaps Gerald would become a big money banker. Or an opposite of that; homeless. What forks might Gerald take in the road? And where do they end? This story inspired Anderson to write some excellent music. And yes, the album is divided into songs.
There are numerous musical themes that recur, tying the album together. There are also musical clues from Tull albums past. The biggest hook on the album is the main riff in “Banker Bets, Banker Wins”, a stunning triumph. “Swing It Far” is like harder Tull, and it’s splendid. There are numerous excellent flute, organ, guitar, and piano solos, but also plenty of hooks and catchy riffs. Just listen to “Old School Song” as an example.
Ian has assembled an excellent band: David Goodier is the current bassist in Jethro Tull. Also from Tull is keyboardist John O’Hara. On guitars is the very talented Florian Opahle. On drums is Scott Hammond, who has filled in with Jethro Tull. You can see why it is easy to consider this a Tull album.
Of all the new albums released so far in 2012, Thick As A Brick 2 is one that I have played most frequently, it has simply captured me. In spite of this, I still have not even watched the included DVD! A 5.1 mix of this great album is included, as well as making-ofs and interviews. I’ll have to get around to watching this (when the wife isn’t watching her damned sports).
RECORD STORE TALES Part 15: Dating a Radio Station Girl
You would think a Record Store Dude and a Radio Station Girl would make beautiful music together. (Sorry I couldn’t resist saying that…I promise I’ll never do it again.)
When I first starting dating Radio Station Girl in 2003, I was really excited. She seemed pretty cool and she worked at a radio station, so how awesome was that? We had the music career thing happening.
Disappointingly, she turned out to be so un-musical, it was crushing. She worked at 1240 CJCS in Stratford Ontario. They were in what she called the “oldies” format. She also enjoyed cheesy stuff like Barenaked Ladies.
Our first date was the Kelsey’s on the main street of Stratford. She was moonlighting at Blockbuster video, so I picked her up there and we went to Kelsey’s. It was February and it was snowing but we were having a great time talking about our respective careers, food, and movies.
Then the Beatles came on. I can’t remember which song. Either way it seemed like a good topic of conversation. George Harrison’s death was still fresh in my memory, as he was my favourite one.
“Elli, who’s your favourite Beatle?” I queried.
“I don’t know. I can’t name any of them.”
Say what? Whathefuck??
She worked at a radio station, and couldn’t name a Beatle?
John Lennon maybe? Ring any bells?
I really should have known. Honest. But is bad musical taste enough to not date someone? If it is, it’s a crime I’ve commited on numerous occassions. I dated girls who listened to crap dance music, and no fewer than three who have seen New Kids on the Block live. That I know of. That is, there were three who admit it.
I married one of them, but let’s not get into that now! I love my wife dearly, in spite of and sometimes because of her flaws.
Anyway, the musical sins continued. She made me download a whole bunch of crappy songs and burn them for her, because in Stratford in 2003, all they had was dial-up. It was truly awful, like not even kidding awful.
We broke up three times total. That is, she dumped me three times.
The first time we got back together, she emailed me saying she just finished eating a tub of Hagan Daas. This guy I worked with says, “That means she wants you back, dude.” She did, and we got back together. I made her a mix CD with “Disturbing the Priest” by Black Sabbath on there. Just a little surprise, you know? Like a middle finger for dumping me in the first place and then eating a tub of ice cream and changing her mind.
The second time we broke up, I think she probably just got back together with me so she had a date to this one CJCS radio station charity event appearance. That was actually cool, I got to throw a pie at her face. Afterwards, I forced her to listen to Thick as a Brick in the car as sort of a retribution. She had never heard Jethro Tull before in her life. She didn’t get it.
There would be no third reconciliation. She made up a bullshit story about moving to Vancouver, and I never saw her again. The nice thing about that is that I’d never have to hear Moxy Fruvous, Puddle of Mudd, or fucking Gilbert O’Sullivan ever again.
What followed this was actually one of the top five worst weeks of my life. I was house and dog sitting for my parents, when I suddenly got a throat infection. So I got dumped by this girl, I can’t swallow anymore, I’m taking care of two houses and a stubborn dog, that’s enough to handle already. Schnauzers, you know how they are. Well this one particular bad schnauzer is named Ani. Ani pooped herself and got all the poop matted in her butt fur. It was stuck in there so bad that I had to cut it out with a scissors, and then bathe her, all just minutes before I had to leave for work. And then, just when I thought that the week was over and things would get back to normal soon, I busted my glasses. I was scraping the ice off my windshield, and I slipped. I somehow got caught onto the antenna which sprung loose and thwacked me right in the face. My glasses, minus one lens, was down in the snow. A fucking brilliant week.