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Sleeping At Last - Atlas II (2019)

Lots of twinkly backgrounds

I’m a big fan of the horns throughout

“Sight” is super religious - sounds like you’re in a church. It’s cool but definitely leaning a lot into the christian music..

Honestly, I could have done without this album as it was very similar to Atlas I and while I enjoy the genre of music, it felt like I’d already heard everything I needed to hear from this band.


Tool - Lateralus (2001)

“The Grudge” I am very much not in the mood to listen to a 9 minute song, but I am immediately intrigued by the 5/4 time signature. The vocal production interestingly sits kind of behind the instrumentation - I wonder if this is going to continue through the album or if it’s just in this song?

I expected this song to grow more in intensity, instrumentation, etc. but other than adding a super long string of screaming at the end, it didn’t hit like I thought it would.

“Parabol” - the drone throughout this song makes it almost meditative. I was expecting this album to be all screaming but honestly it has been quite relaxing up to this point (though it could still turn). I like the transition into “Parabola”.

The guitars in this one are great.. The vocals are still very quiet compared to the instruments - like there isn’t a pocket for them to sit in in the production. Maybe I’ve become super accustomed to how bright and forward vocals are in contemporary pop music…

“Ticks & Leeches” has the coolest drum section at the beginning in 7/8 time. I wish I could get an instrumental version of this song because as much as I like it, the words are something else.

“Disposition” has so many great elements. The choice of percussion, there isn’t much bass in the first half so it feels almost like you’re floating without anything to hold on to. I like how the lead guitar is panned to the right and the echo of that guitar is on the left.

Overall I am surprised by how many of the songs on this album I enjoyed. I think I would have enjoyed a lot of them more if they weren’t eleven minutes long. I will look back to these songs when I’m recording things with an uncommon time signature (I do have one in 10/8 that I have been wanting to record… maybe I’ll throw some hints at this record in that one!)

Tom Waits - Rain Dogs (1985)

I’ve heard of Tom Waits and I thought I had listened to his music before, but from the first minutes of this album I’m now convinced I’ve never heard him before.

It feels like this music belongs in a spooky musical.

"Jockey full of bourbon" is one of the less weird songs on the album. The percussion is amazing and the melody is catchy.

"Tango Till They're Sore" reminds me of Ben Caplan's musical "A Refugee Love story". I saw it I think in 2016 in Halifax at a theatre that has since been demolished. "Time" is absolutely beautiful. I love the accordion with the classical guitar - such a great combo.

"Gun Street Girl" - I really like how he sets the scene with this one by using what I can only guess is some kind of pot and wooden spoon in the percussive section. Paired with the resonator guitar, I feel like I'm sitting on the porch of a little log cabin in the mountains on a rainy day.

Man music is cool.

"Downtown Train" is so familiar...

The Beatles - [White Album] (1968)

All their best songs are on this album. I'll be listening more intently to the songs I don't already know by heart..

"Glass Onion" - drums are only on the right and the bass is only on the left. I feel like this was a very popular production technique at the time - creating huge stereo spreads for effect, but also maybe because it was so novel so they went to town with it!

"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" - I remember singing this with Sophia over and over while sitting in the bed of the "bush truck" that her little brother Greg drove around in their back fields.. He was probably 12 at the time. Does that age me? LOL

It never bothered me before but the clicking in "Blackbird" and "Mother Nature's Son" feels like a metronome and kind of bugs me to be honest...

Overall this album is great, I was surprised by how few of the disc 2 songs I knew.. We must have listened to the first one a hundred times but not the second? That's a question for dad.

Lots of panning (not at all subtle) reminds me to have fun with my mixes. I feel like there is this set of rules that I try to follow but really I should be pushing those boundaries and doing what I like rather than what is currently on trend.

Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark (1974)
Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark (1974)

I love the density of the instrumentals through this record. Everything has a place and fits so well in the mix.

"People's Parties" - the wash of 12 string guitar is such a 70s vibe. I love the 12 string. I need to play mine more (thanks Mom!)

Man Joni's songwriting is so unconventional. I wish my brain worked like hers. "Car on a Hill" goes through so many transitions in feel, timing, syncopation, just everything.. and yet, somehow, it all works.

Maybe I should listen to more Jazz? I feel like songwriting is such a strong reflection of what you grew up listening to, that trying to change your style would be hard.. but I guess it would be a good exercise in songwriting to try to write a song like Joni (or anyone else who pushed boundaries).. I have a hard time finishing songs that don't come to me easily, but maybe this is the answer.. Make it hard to write intentionally, to push outside of my comfort zone and end up with something completely different.

I wonder if she wrote her songs as a stream of consciousness exercise and then just put it to a melody.. If so, I have SO many songs in my journal.

This week's listening was great. Unfortunately I couldn't add Joni's songs to my Spotify playlist, but the rest are there!

(Does anyone know how to change the order of the playlist so the newest additions are at the top when I share it? )

Happy listening!

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