I love stumbling upon something new. That feeling of the opportunity to be entertained and explore what’s just on the horizon is like discovering a prolific author whose work with which you were completely unfamiliar. At least I’m guessing on that because I’m barely literate.
Anyway, I was struck by that feeling of discovery, as it pertains to music, a couple of times this past month. One was something that I came across randomly and the other was something recommended to me by my mom.
First up are my current twin infatuations; The Bar-Kays and Booker T & the MG’s. Last month I picked up Stax does The Beatles, which was a compilation of various Stax artists performing covers of songs by The Beatles. It’s a dope little compilation that features a few gems, and most of those gems are by the two aforementioned groups.
The album has no flaws. First and foremost, it’s Stax artists, so that alone means that you’re in for some quality music. But on top of that, they’re covering The Beatles, who have a pretty impressive catalogue of songs both collectively and individually. Plus I’m a huge fan of covers, especially when the covering artist puts their own stamp on the song.
Well, the songs that I keep returning to were by the Bar-Kays and Booker T & the MG’s. Hearing their instrumental versions of Beatles classics is like cleaning your ear with good music. They infuse the songs with soul and a hint of funk, two things they were missing in their original forms along with, occasionally, a hint of menace. It’s amazing.
So, I’m on the prowl for anything by the Booker T & the MG’s. They were pretty prolific and should have stuff that’s relatively easy to find. But at the same time I’m also hunting for the Bar-Kays, who aren’t as well known as their labelmates. And to be quite honest, I’ll also keep my eyes peeled for The Mar-Keys. Basically, any group who was on Stax and did instrumental songs are now on my radar.
The second thing that I’m currently very enthusiastic about is The xx, and I probably wouldn’t have heard their debut if it weren’t for my mom. She’d read a review of their debut and told me about it during one of our weekly talks. It’d stuck in my mind and I actively sought out the album to hear what as so deserving of glowing praise that piqued my mom’s interest so much that she’d suggest I might like it.
And I did like it. I liked it so much that I’m probably going to see The xx when they come to town later this month. I can’t really explain why I dig it. It may be how simple and clean everything sounds. It might be down tempo vibe. I really don’t know what it is, only that I’m irked that I wasn’t up on it earlier.
That’s what’s on my horizon; a concert from an up-and-coming band that I’ve recently become a fan of and seeking out albums by musicians who peaked before I was born.
We live in an amazing time.
Tags: Beatles, The Beatles