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#FridayFind | Bruce Hornsby & the Range – Mandolin Rain

Bruce Hornsby’s hits definitely evoke a sort of hokey early alt-country fused with pop music. And yet, he remained in loyal to his hardcore fans. Over the course of roughly 18 albums in various incarnations of bands he’s fronted too. So respected was he, across the musical spectrum, he even played 100 shows with the Grateful Dead. Songs like “Mandolin Rain” definitely come off cheesy, but multi-layered. One cannot ignore the musicality as well as his influence upon today’s popular music.

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For instance alt-country icon Ryan Adams (above) to The War on Drugs are undoubtedly outright or even closet fans to be sure. It’s a great tune for a summer evening — or a late spring one, thanks climate change.

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Suicide Squad Rolls Out the “Ballroom Blitz”

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Superhero films can go one of two ways: The first option is a pure tentpole flick that will cater to the broadest audience possible with the already established and recognizable brands the likes of Spiderman, X-Men and the Avengers (for Marvel) and Superman, Wonder Woman and the Justice League for DC Comics. The second option is more niche, a little darker and much more adult. This was a trend that started roughly when R-Rated hits “The Crow” ($50.7 million), “Spawn” ($87.8 million) and “Sin City” ($158.8 million) proved such films could garner ticket sales. Columbia Pictures then turned “Hellboy” into a hit, and recent underground comics like last year’s “Ant-Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and of course this year’s super smash “Deadpool”.

I already wrote at length about how awesome the “Guardians of the Galaxy” soundtrack was, and how Director James Gunn oversaw the curation of a soundtrack essentially as a love letter to 70’s pop, rock and disco. It seems the marketing team for “Suicide Squad” wanted to glom onto such associations with their placement of “The Ballroom Blitz” into the tail end of their recent trailer (watch above). No, I’m not talking about the less-than-stellar Tia Carrere cover that was shoe-horned into an otherwise solid “Wayne’s World” soundtrack. I’m talking about the guilty pleasure hit by the English glam-rock band “Sweet” from 1974.

This song would essentially accompany a raucous high school or college party in it’s day, but also sounds like it could’ve been included in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” soundtrack as well. Even the vocal performance by lead singer Chris Wright evokes pure horror-film schlock (or at the very least Billy Squier). The inclusion of such a track in the trailer tells me they’re aiming for Baby Boomer and Gen-X comic-book nerds and I’m curious if the film will cherry-pick some other 70’s era hidden gems? Rest assured I’ll be paying attention.

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#FridayFind | Marvelous 3 – Freak of the Week

“Tell me I’ve sold out / Tell me I’ve sold out go ahead”

Okay Butch, you sold out. But it’s okay. You left us this wonderful nugget, this pop-punk singalong anthem. The Marvelous 3 was the short-lived brainchild of Butch Walker (Lead Singer/Guitarist), Doug Mitchell (Drums), and bassist Jayce Fincher.

With this scream-along chorus, you know during their short tenure, a bunch of kids crowd surfed, skanked and slam-danced to this song on many summer afternoons. With spring just yearning to come back here in the Northeast U.S., I find myself needing some more summer anthems to keep me warm. How about you?

Growing up in Ohio, there was a term thrown around for punks, goths and rocker kids. That term was – “freaks” in my high school. And so when this song came out, I definitely associated the song with me and my crew. And the music video got plenty of airplay on MTV.

These days, Butch has kept his solo career going. He’s softened a bit to more pure singer/songwriter territory these days. Lots of piano, acoustic guitars, but his voice still remains his best instrument in my opinion.

“Freak of the Week” happens to be the first One Hit Wonder I’ve chosen for The Guilty Mixtape. Which, coincidentally go hand-in-hand in my opinion. And I look forward to posting many more. Happy Weekend!

 

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#FridayFind | Midnight Oil – “Beds Are Burning”

This song should not have been a hit. There, I said it. This song is a sort of anthem… for paying your rent? By Australians? In a bizarre chorus that I can only imagine is two roommates arguing about the world at large (“How can we dance when the earth is turning?/How do we sleep while our beds are burning?”) and their unpaid rent. At the very least one of them turns out to be the voice of reason!

Digging deeper, it actually turns out to be a protest song with the goal of returning lands to the Aboriginal Pintupi tribe. Which now explains the anti-Imperialist lyric: “Four wheels scare the cockatoos/From Kintore East to Yuendemu”.

What makes this song such a guilty pleasure for me is the raw, unpolished vocals that typified most 80’s New Wave of it’s day. Lead singer Peter Garrett does not try to “Americanize” his voice, instead accentuating the accent throughout. And who doesn’t like a song that starts with epic trumpet blasts?

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#SundaySubmission | @thatrobguy’s Guilty Pleasures of the 70s

Our very first submission comes by way of Rob Wolf, the Director of Social Media for Microsoft. His guilty pleasure journey started at a young age as his first two concerts were Donnie & Marie and Barry Manilow respectively. But even to this day, it’s all about “unabashed joy” for music as he puts it. He shares, “We’re all so damn cool these days, that no one can picture themselves just letting loose with a song and busting out onto the street where everyone else knows the lyrics and dance moves. I want to live in that world. And when I have my headphones on, I do.” We completely agree Rob!

With tastes ranging from the 70’s gems you’ll see in his Spotify playlist below, he also admits a love for Boz Scaggs and the soundtracks to the films “A Mighty Wind”, “The Book of Mormon” and “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut”.

 

 

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