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Showing posts from March, 2004

30. Sammy Hagar - Marching To Mars (1997)

I’ve been waiting for something special to occasion my 30th review, and the news that Sammy Hagar and Van Halen are back together is very special indeed. In fact, check out the February archives for some quite detailed expressions of my feelings toward the band.

In honor of this long hoped-for development I dusted off my copy of Sammy’s first post-Van Halen solo album and gave it a spin. I was immediately struck by how much the songs have to say about his departure from the band. When the whole debacle went down I tended to side with the VH camp, but time has shown me that maybe Sammy’s side was closer to the truth (consider that VH have now run through three lead singers, two of them twice…they’re like your friend who keeps breaking up with boyfriends and at first you sympathize with her and then you start to realize that she’s more of the problem than she’ll ever admit). Looking at the album with that point of view it becomes that much more interesting.

The songs that may or may n…

The Darkness - "I Believe In A Thing Called Love"

Listening to music is an obsessive thing. You might get really stuck on an album or an artist, but in my experience the most prevalent objects of obsession are songs. Isn’t your life littered with songs you just couldn’t get enough of, that you played incessantly and got stuck in your head for large portions of the day?

Like most obsessions it isn’t necessarily healthy, but it sure feels good.

No matter how advanced our methods of experiencing new music become, that obsession will always be one of the primal thrills of music consumption. Honestly, it doesn’t happen to me much anymore. Maybe I don’t listen to the radio enough, or I’m too jaded to open my heart and mind to new sounds.

The Darkness have changed that!

I Believe In A Thing Called Love is a big old slice of cheese from the U.K. Dressed up in Def Leppard- style guitar bombast and Queen-style vocal bombast, it brings back a time when metal and pop were still together and pop had a little more say in the relationship. I’m ob…

29. The Honeydogs - 10,000 Years (2004)

The summer before I moved to Minneapolis (or even knew I was going to) I listened to a lot of Janet Jackson and Prince. It didn't occur to me until later is that maybe the Minnesota origins of those artists was subconsciously influencing me to relocate.

Since the move, I've had an unerring devotion to music that's made in Minnesota. I have savored the music of The Jayhawks, Replacements, Semisonic, and especially Prince with a strong sense of civic pride. (It's sort of like the sports teams. I grew up in a city with no pro sports teams, so the fact that we have the Twins, Vikings, Wild, and Timberwolves right here in the city is wonderful.)

And though I've followed a few lesser-known local bands, I haven't given in to every single group. For example, Husker Du's brilliance still escapes me, and I only sort of like Bob Dylan and Soul Asylum. And before I listened to 10,000 Years, I would have lumped The Honeydogs in that same forgettable category.

I never…