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Top Five Fridays: All Things Kevyn

January 24, 2014

Hey Folks,

Today for Top Five Fridays, I’ve thrown the keys of the Fantabulous Flying All The Day Sounds Machine into the oh so capable hands of  hepcat Kevyn Knox, the keeper of the flame over at  www.allthingskevyn.com, a veritable wonderland of insights on film, music, comics and all that other cool stuff.  So the game’s afoot dear readers! Please give a warm Top Five Friday’s Welcome to Kevyn Knox…!

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Hey, I was asked to share some noize up in this bitch. otherwise known as being asked to be part of the cooler-than-thou concept of Top Five Fridays, and letchya’ll in on five albums that I happen to be diggin’ these days, and so, keeping it all to the past decade or so (an all-out greatest of all-time list being something for another time and another place), and without any further ado, and in no particular order mind you, here are those aforementioned five diggin’ albums. Let’s have at it.

Fever to Tell by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah-Yeah-Yeahs-Fever-To-Tell

This 2003 debut album is sorta like a revelation, a close encounter if you will, of the most musical kind.  As a progressive child and teenager of the late seventies and early eighties, I grew up to the sounds of Blondie and X and Siouxsie and the Banshees and that whole post punk movement, and that is the sound and feel that this album blew me away with when I first heard the damn thing.  Hell, at times it seems like frontwoman Karen O. is actually channeling Debbie Harry (and I’m sure that is not by accident).  Raw and surprisingly tender (especially considering many of the songs are sexual in nature), Karen O. and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs hit all the right chords, and help bring this age old punk rocker back to his misbegotten youth.  Definitely diggin’ this one.

Boys & Girls by Alabama Shakes

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Just as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs brought this old head back to his younger post punk days and nights (I’m really not that old – I’m just drawn that way), this gritty southern blues-rock band, led by the Blitzkreig-esque electric voice of Brittany Howard, brings me back even further.  Back to the days and the likes of Otis Redding, and the rip-roaring wailing of Janis Joplin. As Karen O’ was channeling Debbie Harry, Howard blasts out these tunes as if she were the down-right reincarnation of the late great Joplin.  Backed by powerful guitar riffs and thunderous percussion, Alabama Shakes lets loose with this, their debut record.  It’s no wonder that Jack White (another more modern influence down this band’s way) is such a big fan.  Diggin’ this one as well.

Back to Black by Amy Winehouse

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With a warbly, bluesy contralto voice that is part Etta James, part Nico, part Ronnie Spector, and part Billie Holiday, all folded into the singer’s strangely unique melange of old school rhythm & blues, mournful soul, and something that can best be described as an Orphic creature akin to a 1930’s torch singer with a troubled soul and badass attitude that betrays her modern cultural decadence, Winehouse can (and should) be described as a disheveled, spiraling chanteuse who’s second album gave the auspicious aural appearance of straddling several stylistic generations simultaneously, from her beloved early jazzy influences and love of Frank Sinatra, to her vocal (and fashion) obsession with such 1960’s girl groups as The Ronettes, to the sexualized substance (abuse) of modern day hip-hop.  Dig it, indeed I do.

Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend

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With influences as wide-ranging as Paul Simon, The Talking Heads, and maybe even the likes of Gilbert & Sullivan, Vampire Weekend’s eponymous debut album (another debut album – three on this list) plays like a catch-all of musical tricks and tropes.  Fun loving and eclectic, this New York band of white bread misfits, overly literary (and no, that is not an insult) and profoundly hip (again, not an insult), create music in much the same way one would assume Godard makes movies and/or how old Bill Burroughs wrote his novels – a cut-up mish-mash of styles and nuances, all done in pitch-perfect, nonsensical mayhem – and no, that’s not an insult either.  From Oxford Comma to Blake’s Got a New Face, this record is certainly one to be enjoyed, and dare I say, dug in the best way.

Van Lear Rose by Loretta Lynn

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Yeah, that’s right…Loretta Lynn.  Since these records have been taking me (and maybe you) back to their childhood, or perhaps even further back, why not talk about an album by someone who is actually from, and even beyond, my childhood.  72 when she recorded this in 2004, her 54th (Wow!) studio album, country music legend, Loretta Lynn gave us one of the finest country albums of the past twenty years or so.  Being not the biggest fan of modern day country, opting for the old school sounds instead, the combination of such a legend, and the production values of Jack White (yeah, that’s right, Jack White), who even does a duet with Lynn on the record, gives this album a deep, resonating chutzpah, that is both traditional and modern at the same time.  Diggin’ it big time.

Sure, these may not actually be my absolute five favourite albums of the past decade or so (though they are all definitely up there in the pack), but they are five albums I am really diggin; right now, and after all, that is what I was asked to come up with for this wonderful weekly project.  So there!  And, while I’m on the subject of diggin’ things, and to do a bit of shameless self-promotion while I gotz the floor and all, why not come on over to my blog, egotistically called All Things Kevyn, and found rather conveniently at www.allthingskevyn.com, and check out the place.  As my official bio states: I am a Blogger, Film Historian + Critic, a Comicbook Nerd from waaay back, a lapsed Cartoonist, a wouldbe Novelist, and the Writer of All Things Kevyn.  Well, that’s it.  See ya ’round the web.

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Thanks Kevyn! And thank YOU dear readers for tuning into another exciting episode of Top Five Fridays! Be sure to tune in for all the crazy things we have going on here at All The Day Sounds, and keep tabs on all the cool things Kevyn has cooking up on his blogs! I admit that I rarely venture out into a cinema with out first consulting his masterful film site:
He’s going to have a lot of great postings going on as we enter the final stretch into The Oscars so make sure to stay up to date on his comings and goings!
well peace out good people of the world,
Peter Winter
follow me on twitter: @peterwinter38
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From → Top Five Fridays

3 Comments
  1. Rad choices Kev. Karen O. rocks, baby. Winehouse was mess, but damn she had talent. Loretta Lynn is a classic. I like this segment. Going to have to check out other ones.

  2. Thanks for stoping by Esther! I agree Kevyn had some mad classics going on.

  3. Glad to be part of the whole shebang. Any time ya feel like using my services again, do not hesitate to call.

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