Sunday, May 6, 2012

Salida, Selena - Entre a Mi Mundo

Released May 6th, 1992 on EMI Latin
With the unfortunate recent deaths of Adam Yauch and Whitney Houston, the world is left wondering what could have been?  How many more records could the Beastie Boys* have released if cancer hadn't have been so cruel?  And was Whitney's final release "I look to you" (exp. '29) the beginning of a comeback?**

Similarly, seventeen years ago, the world lost Selena.  Murdered at the age of 23 by the president of her fan club, Selena's discography was cut short at only five studio albums.  The third, "Entre a Mi Mundo," expires today.  I sometimes feel a little guilty when I'm expiring the music of people who died young, but in this case, we'll just have to blame it on Yolanda Saldivar***

For those of you still celebrating the "Queen of Tejano Music", you've got three more years to enjoy the rest of her catalog.  Her final release "Dreaming of You" won't expire until July of 2015.  The good news is, you will always be able to watch Selena, the movie based on her life starring Jennifer Lopez.****  The film will never expire.  The soundtrack will in March of 2017.

*Check Your Head expired last month.
**Probably not.
***Her sentence of life imprisonment expires in 2025 when she will gain the chance of parole.
****J. Lo has seven studio albums.  All of which are in play.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Party off, Wayne's World Sound Track

Released Feb 18th, 1992 on Reprise
"Wait up, guys!  I fell on my keys!"

Okay, first off I'd like to congratulate myself on making it a full year without *voluntarily* listening to music produced more than twenty years ago.  For the most part, it's been pretty easy.  The only negative thing is not being able to hit shuffle on my iPod.  I'll be honest, I haven't pulled the trigger and actually deleted ALL the expired albums off my iPod, so I have to actually choose what music I listen to each time I use it.  Maybe by the two year mark I'll have everything straightened out.

Now, with today's featured album, we're entering into unchartered territory: motion picture soundtracks.  Usually when I talk to people about this experiment, the question of how to deal with soundtracks comes up.  When it does, I'll be honest, I get stumped.  It's a bit of a tricky situation and as a result, I've kind of been avoiding them entirely.  Not that I typically listen to soundtracks.  The only two I've ever owned are the "Dumb and Dumber" (Exp. '14) and "Angus" (Exp. '15) discs.  Neither of which I currently have in my possession.

The reason it's tricky is because though I'm quick to toss out old music, I'm not expiring movies, TV's or books.  So, if I'm watching The Goonies and Cyndi Lauper's "the Goonies are Good Enough" (Exp. '05) starts playing, I'm not going to panic and mute the television.  (It's one of a few loopholes in this whole thing.)

I've discovered that the best thing about twenty year old soundtracks is it highlights a significant amount of expired music all at once!  With this one, I'm reminded that I'll never enjoy/be subjected to: Black Sabbath's "Dehumanizer" (Exp. '12) , Alice Cooper's "Hey Stoopid" (Exp. '12) or Queen's "A Night at the Opera" (Exp. '95).  

Wayne's World registered pretty high with me as a kid and was one of my favorite comedies for a very long time.  I haven't actually seen it in several years, but a colleague of mine told me it doesn't hold up.  I suppose I'll have to check for myself one of these days.  When I do, I may actually mute Tia Carrere's performance...  Just to be safe.

There is one soundtrack that I've been dying to buy for a while now, but can't due to the fact it was released in 1977.  It's the soundtrack to Dario Argento's horror classic "Suspiria" (Exp. '97).  The entire record consists of music from the Italian progressive rock band Goblin and let me tell you, it is bad ass.  It's basically horror rock and all I want to do is bathe myself in it.  Too bad I'll only get to listen to it if and when I watch the movie again.

Finally, it should be noted that "The Bodyguard" soundtrack will expire in November of this year.  Just ten months after Whitney Houston's passing.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The ball's dropped on Live - "Mental Jewelry"

Released December 31st, 1991 on Radioactive
Today is the last day of 2011.  Starting tomorrow, when I tell people about Expired Music, I'll be saying how I no longer listen to music produced prior to 1992!  I find this extremely exciting.  Don't you?

Twenty years ago today, the band Live released their debut album "Mental Jewelry", a twelve-track record with two singles including "Operation Spirit"* which made it all the way to 9 on the Billboard charts.

Let's talk about Live for a second.  Everyone who listens to rock music on the radio is familiar with their second album "Throwing Copper" (Exp. April of '14).  It's by far their most successful album selling over 8 million copies in the US alone.  We've all heard "Lightning Crashes" a billion times by now and most of us are familiar with the tracks "I Alone" and "Selling the Drama." The fact that "Lightning Crashes" and "I Alone" are their only songs that continue to get regular airplay says one thing: Mainstream radio blows.

Live has released 7 records!  Can you name any of their follow up albums?  Can you hum even one track off their most recent release "Songs from the Black Mountain?" (exp. '26)  How do bands like Live continue to build a fan base when nobody knows what any of their music sounds like post 1994?  I suppose you have to really like "Throwing Copper" in order to wanna buy/download their follow up music.  That's a lot to ask.  I think the majority of all people wanna be familiar with at least ONE song before buying a new record.  Only die hard Live fans are gonna pick up their records on name alone.

I'm not saying Live's catalog is a must have, I was never really a fan of theirs in the first place, but let's at least give 'em a shot.  Play a bunch of their newer songs every so often and continue to do so for a significant amount of time. (20 years?)  Over time we might really like what we hear.  And think about all the other bands like Live that continue to produce music decades after their "big hit" hit the airwaves.  You know how much content that is?  We could probably go YEARS before "Lightning Crashes" climbed back to the top of the queue.

One last note re: Live.  ATW, they've disbanded.  Something about lead singer Ed Kowalczyk being a douche and demanding more money than the rest of his bandmates.  Legal action was taken, not sure of the outcome.

*I couldn't remember having ever heard "Operation Spirit" so I listened to it on YouTube for the first and last time before it expires for good. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

NEW MUSIC: Hanni El Khatib - "Will The Guns Come Out?"

Have you discovered this guy yet?  I first heard his music on 88.9 KXLU.  His first full length album hit stores in September and it's pretty bad ass.  "Will The Guns Come Out" is a rockin', crunchy, kill-or-be-killed record from Hanni El Khatib.  Part Filipino and part Palestinian, El Khatib comes from the San Francisco area with roots planted deep within the skateboarding community.

He's taking from blues, doo-wop, and mixing it all with a thick garage rock sound.  It's clear he's influenced by people like Elvis and Louis Armstrong both of whom have songs reimagined by El Khatib on this record.*

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking: "That last paragraph disproves your entire theory of a need for music expiration." I'm also certain that if Hanni El Khatib ever came across this blog, he'd probably stick a switchblade through his computer screen.  All I can say is, yes, it's true that artists influence artists and new sound comes from old sound.  But you know what?  New sound can also rise from nothing.  It's possible to create music with limited to zero influence from other sources.  Isn't it?  And what if it's THIS MUSIC that really changes things?  Is it so crazy to think that older music, in a way, restricts significant growth?  Is it impossible to make huge strides toward new and interesting sounds without having Billboards top 50 of the past century on your iPod?**  I don't know, but I sure as hell would like to find out.

And yeah, if I could get the whole world on my side, records like "Will The Guns Come Out?" probably wouldn't exist, and that'd be a shame.  But El Khatib would still be a person with things to say and I'm sure he'd find a way to express himself.  Whether via music or some other medium.

Regardless, this record is excellent, and I highly suggest you spend some time (albeit no more than twenty years) checking out his music.  Might I suggest the tracks "Loved One" and "Dead Wrong"?

*Both of whom have expired physically and musically.  Presley ('77/'97ish) & Armstrong ('71/'91ish)

**I have no idea how long Billboard's been keeping stats, i just went with a nice round number.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Now leaving Neverland, Michael Jackson - Dangerous

Released November 26, 1991 on Epic
Once again, I'm late to the game with Michael Jackson's eighth studio album "Dangerous."  It expired on Saturday.  I was too busy playing in a poker tournament to notice.

I've got a handful of memories tied to this record.  The first are the mind blowingly awesome spfx at the end of the Black or White video.  People morphing into other people seamlessly!  Super awesome.  Additionally, the mcaulay culkin (sp?) cameo is pretty great.

The second, is from high school when my best friend and I "performed" in a student-produced "music video" to the song "Jam."  Though, now that I think of it, I might not have actually appeared in the video at all.  I just remember my friend The Beetle saying "Jam" over and over and my other friend doing the rap.  It exists somewhere on VHS, I'll have to track it down.  Or not.

With the loss of "Dangerous" you're pretty much looking at two more studio albums, if you include HIStory, Which I think is a best-of album.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Auf Wiedersehen, U2 - Achtung, Baby

Released November 19th, 1991 on Island Records
I'm a couple days late, but U2's "Achtung, Baby" is officially in the Expired pile.  One of their most successful albums, "Achtung, Baby" has gone 8 times platinum as of 2009, selling over 5.5 million copies in the States alone.

ATW, they won a crapload of awards, including "Comeback of the Year" by Rolling Stone Magazine.  Was "Rattle and Hum" (exp. '08) really that bad?

I owned this on cassette.  I remember the booklet being really long and particularly difficult to refold.  The last U2 record I bought was "Zooropa" (exp. '13) which I wasn't crazy about.  I will admit, however, I've always enjoyed the songs "lemon" and "numb."

This may or may not also mark the beginning of Bono's sunglasses.  I seem to remember him wearing them in all (and there were a lot) of the videos that came out following the release of this record. Apparently he's got some sort of sensitivity to light.* 

Is it wrong to say that U2 has really only put out two amazing records: "Achtung, Baby" and "Joshua Tree" (exp. '07)?  Is that a wildly inaccurate statement?  I know "Boy" ('00) and "War" ('03) have sort of a cool factor, giving some cred to the early fans, but....   

*I do, too!  And yet, I never wear sunglasses.  Instead, I prefer doing as much as possible in the dark, including working and showering.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Need you no more, INXS - Live Baby Live

Released November 11th, 1991 on Atlantic, Mercury Records
I've always wanted to be on the cover of a live album.  I'd say there are about ten people in this image that could properly identify themselves.  How cool is that?

"Live Baby Live" is one of only a few live albums I've ever owned.  "A Show of Hands" (Exp. '09) and a couple of Fat Wreck Chord releases come to mind.

From beginning to end, it's a solid record.  The perfect collection of singles to represent the Australian band.*  I think the only studio album of theirs I owned was "Kick" (Exp. '07).

In college, some friends of mine and I did a fun hidden camera prank using the song "Suicide Blonde".**  I'll have to find it and put it on YouTube one of these days.

INXS has created some amazing music in the past, but unfortunately the thing they'll probably be known most for is their front man's, Michael Hutchence, suicide.  (Exp. '97)  Everything that's followed, IMO, seems to be a bit of a clusterf*ck.  The decision to find a new front man via reality show never really set well with me.

Additional: I think my favorite song on this album is "The Stairs."  Something weird about that tune that appeals to me.

*Another favorite Australian band of mine, Midnight Oil, still has four albums left, though I stopped with "Blue Sky Mine" which expired last February.

**We had a friend set up a stereo system in the Boston Common and take requests from passer-bys.  No matter what song the people would ask to hear, our friend would play "Suicide Blonde."