As a fan of a wide variety of popular (and not-so-popular) music from the 1950s (and sometimes even earlier) up through the present, one of my bucket list projects for years has been to put together a list of my 100 favorite songs of all time. At some point I decided that, once I got around to figuring that out, I could put it out on a blog, for the infinitesimally small proportion of the Internet world that might be interested. So, here we are. While the Top 100 will be a major focus, I also plan to post on a variety of other musical (and occasionally non-musical) topics, in which you may or may not be interested. (If a particular posting doesn’t ring your bell, you’re only a few clicks away from a dancing cat video on YouTube.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Best Music of 2018

All in all, quite a good year for recorded music (at least IMHO).
Songs (AAA division) 
  1. Life To Fix – The Record Company
  2. New Love – The National Reserve
  3. Homesick – The Marcus King Band
  4. I Dreamt We Spoke Again – Death Cab For Cutie
  5. Sure Feels Good Anyway – Amy Ray
  6. I Don’t Wanna Be Without You – James Hunter Six
  7. Severed – Decemberists
  8. It Was You – Norah Jones
  9. Live In The Moment – Portugal. The Man
  10. High Horse – Kacey Musgraves
  11. Bad Bad News – Leon Bridges
  12. Before The Next Teardrop Falls – Al Green
  13. Not Many Miles To Go – Rosanne Cash
  14. You Worry Me – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  15. I’d Rather Go Blind – Grace Potter
  16. Feed The Fire – Dawes 
Songs (other) 
  1. Pray For Me – The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar
  2. One Kiss – Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa
  3. No Roots – Alice Merton
  4. New Rules – Dua Lipa
  5. Nice For What – Drake
  6. How Long – Charlie Puth
  7. Finesse – Bruno Mars & Cardi B
  8. Growing Pains – Alessia Cara
  9. Attention – Charlie Puth
  10. Boo’d Up – Ella Mai 
  1. Whatever It Takes – The James Hunter Six
  2. Passwords – Dawes
  3. She Remembers Everything – Rosanne Cash
  4. Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves
  5. Thank You For Today – Death Cab For Cutie
  6. Motel La Grange – The National Reserve
  7. All Of This Life – The Record Company
  8. 13 Rivers – Richard Thompson
  9. Tearing At The Seams – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Seldom Scene w/ Maybe April -- Weinberg Center for the Arts (Frederick MD), 11/9/2018

Row E, Seats 114-115 (center section on the left aisle)
The Seldom Scene displayed their usual virtuoso musicianship and vocal harmonies in a 75-minute set Friday evening before a large, appreciative crowd. As usual, the band’s repertoire ranged far and wide, including blues (“Rollin’ and Tumblin’”), gospel (the stunning vocals of “I’ll Be No Stranger There”), and even Rat Pack (“The Small Exception Of Me”, popularized by Dean Martin). They also covered songs made famous by James Taylor (“Sweet Baby James”), John Fogerty (“Big Train (from Memphis)”), and Arlo Guthrie (Steve Goodman’s “City Of New Orleans”). Other standouts included “Through The Bottom Of The Glass”, “California Cottonfields”, and the haunting “Blue Ridge”. Overall, the show was great enough that I forgave them for not getting to “Wait A Minute”, my personal favorite.
Americana-inspired country trio Maybe April did a nice job in their 40-minute opening set, despite the absence of one member of the trio. (“Oliver” did a fine job as a fill-in “frontwoman”, taking the lead instrumental role on all of the material.) Even reduced to two parts rather than three, their vocal harmonies sounded fine, and the material was surprisingly strong, notably on the opening “Blush”, “California”, and the closing “Isabel”.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Remembering John Wicks

Great column by the Post’s John Kelly about the recently-deceased lead singer of the Records, with shout-outs to WHFS, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and the power-pop classic “Starry Eyes” (which he co-wrote).

Monday, October 1, 2018

September 26, 2018 – Nats 9, Marlins 3 (7 innings) – Nationals Park

Attendance: 28,680
Duration: 2:45
Weather: 84 degrees, Partly cloudy
Wind: SW 11 MPH
Umpires: HP: Whitson. 1B: Miller. 2B: Hernandez. 3B: Porter.
Section 318, Row F, Seats 14-16 – about halfway down the first-base line, back row
Final home game of the season – the good, the bad, and the mixed. Looking forward, and looking back.
Since Tanner Roark was with his family awaiting the birth of their third child, recent call-up Kyle McGowin got his first opportunity to start a major-league game. After retiring the first 11 Miami batters and holding the Marlins scoreless through 4 innings, he was forced to leave the game with a blister, unable to get the 5 innings of work that would have made him the winning pitcher.
Top prospect Victor Robles provided hope for the future with a monster offensive game, going 4 for 5 with a double, homer, and 5 RBI. Fellow rookies Juan Soto, Spencer Kieboom, and Adrian Sanchez joined Robles to account for all but one of the team’s 12 hits, while Robles and Kieboom combined for all 8 of the runs batted in. The Nats got all the runs they needed with 5 in the 2nd off Wei-Yin Chen, and broke the game wide open with 4 more in the 5th off Brett Graves.
The game’s ending was also fitting, as the threatened thunderstorms appeared with a vengeance just as the 7th inning ended.
And Bryce Harper, in possibly his final home game as a National, went 0-4, striking out twice. He would have led off the 8th inning with the chance for a more positive finale, but the game never resumed.

Amy Klobuchar’s big Brett Kavanaugh moment earned rave reviews. But is it what Democrats demand for 2020?

(I’m a big fan.)

Saturday, September 22, 2018

September 21, 2018 – Mets 4, Nats 2 – Nationals Park

Attendance: 37,895
Duration: 2:57
Weather: 75 degrees, Partly cloudy
Wind: S 13 MPH
Umpires: HP: Holbrook. 1B: Segal. 2B: Wolf. 3B: Reyburn.
Section 321, Row E, Seats 8-9 – last 300-level section down the right field line, next-to-last row from the top
Jacob deGrom vs. Joe Ross = predictable outcome
Game notes – the visitors took a quick lead when Jay Bruce singled in Amed Rosario, who had reached second when Victor Robles misjudged his leadoff fly to center … Nats tied things up in the bottom of the 2nd as Rendon drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a Soto single, and scored on Zim’s sac fly … the Mets answered right back with 3 in the top of the 3rd as Ross gave up 4 doubles and a single, with one run being unearned due to Rendon’s error … Ross exited after 6 without allowing further damage, while deGrom in all likelihood locked up the Cy Young with 7 innings of 1-run, 3-hit ball while fanning 8 … Washington drew closer in the bottom of the 9th when Turner led off with a double and scored on Rendon’s one-out single, but New York closer Robert Gsellman retired Soto and Zimmerman to end the game
Other – the concession lines continue to be ridiculously long and slow, a situation not helped by keeping several stands closed despite the large crowd, and by the staff’s tendency to ignore fans waiting in the “express” eCash-only lines