Friday, April 27, 2007

Music I Liked And Didn't - 4/26/06 - 4/27/06 ...and a brief book recommendation, too!

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TRAINER, PHIL: S/T CD (Underground Masters) - This CD reissues the debut album by singer-songwriter, Phil Trainer. Although this was recorded and released in the UK in 1972, Trainer was an American and the material on this release certainly reflects the well-produced, mainstream leaning pop emanating from the studios of SoCal during that era. In a fashion somewhat similar to that of the Travel Agency (whose 1969 LP on Viva I recently reviewed), the 10 tracks on this CD almost constitute a sampler of the various styles of contemporary pop and rock from the period. So, among the disc’s highlights you have “No No No “ a pop rocker with tasty fuzz-wah leads, the easy West Coast pop psych of “She’s Gone West”, the more uptempo, yet primarily acoustic-based “In The City” (which sounded reminiscent of Stephen Stills’ early solo work), the folkish showcase for dulcimer “Leave Me Alone”, and the rocking braggadocio of “Stud”. Honestly, several of the tracks on this album pander disgustingly to the goal of mainstream pop success, but the remaining tracks, which, admittedly, still rate as “guilty pleasures”, are pleasurable, nonetheless, and, in no small part, that is due to the stellar instrumental support Trainer receives from members of the legendary UK underground group, Trees. All that being stated, this was still barely a “keeper” for me and probably not worth the fare for anyone who is not a pretty dedicated student of obscure 60’s sounds.

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Running Count For The Year

Adds 58/82%

Did Not Add 13/18%

Might I also take a moment to make a positive recommendation for the new book by Christopher Hitchens, “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything". Although Hitchens’ verbose and academic writing style prevents this from being an “easy read”, it is, nevertheless, an excellent book. The arguments it contains provide unbelievers with more ammunition regarding the nonexistence of god with which to confront believers. More importantly, it details well the dangers and damages which result from allowing the organized bodies (i.e., the many churches of the various religions, especially those dangerous, control freak “fundamentalists” of all stripes, not just Muslim!) of these disparate believers in what are, at best, “fairy tales” and, at worst, outright lies purposefully created in order to control and subjugate the masses, to completely dominate all aspects of our personal lives and collective culture(s).

It is this issue, not its major subsidiary industry of distraction and coercion, the “Global War On Terror” (as the organized religions of the warring world, by and large, have historically supported, even if indirectly at times, many similar actions on all sides!), that is really the great issue that needs to be confronted, the battle that needs to be won in our time!

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