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What's Everyone Listening To?


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Totally underrated and underappreciated album that fucking kicks ass.

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I don't own that album but I remember it. Derringer opened for Foghat back in the 70s at one of my first concerts. The Outlaws closed the show even though Foghat were billed as the headliners, I guess no one wants to follow "Green Grass & High Tides" because the same thing happened when I saw Van Halen, Boston and the Outlaws in '79. Even though Van Halen were the headlining band, the Outlaws closed the show. Back to Derringer, I'll never forget seeing them as wireless guitars were new then. During the show, Rick Derringer and his guitarist would toss their guitars to one another mid-solo just to show off their "wireless-ness" (for lack of a better word). It was quite the spectacle but for some reason, wireless guitars never seemed to catch on. If they did, I must say at most shows I attend these days, everyone has their guitars plugged in.

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I can't remember the last time I've heard this record in it's entirety but it's been far too long. This expanded remaster sounds very, very good and is best enjoyed cranked up to 11. I can recall when this first came out, I was still pretty heavy into Kiss but in the weeks following my purchase of Heaven Tonight, those Kiss records starting taking a back seat to Cheap Trick. This was "alternative" music before there was really a word for it. Yeah, it was heavy but it still wasn't what I'd call metal. "Hard rock" maybe but there was also this unmistakable "power pop" feel to it. They were years ahead of their time and no other band sounded quite like the Trick at the time. Thing is, the same thing is true of them today. That's what I call real staying power.

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I was tipped off to this band from a friend that's also been responsible for turning me onto the Model Rockets, Nada Surf and the Thermals. If so inclined, you can check out their new record as well thanks to NPR's First Listen. They're playing here on March 13th with The Love Language. I'm sure that'll be a packed show but I hope to attend. The Love Language are selling out around here nearly everywhere they play and the place they're playing (the Local 506 in Chapel Hill) is a tiny club.

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A new copy of this on CD is going for no less than $212 on Amazon. Think I'll stick to the used copy I found in a pawnshop back in the 80s, thank you. For those that may not have heard it, this record stands head and shoulders beside The Harder They Come Original Motion Picture Soundtrack as one of the best reggae/rock steady era compilations I've ever heard. It even shares a song in common via The Melodians' "By The Rivers of Babylon" (and Desmond Dekker's "The Israelites" if you count the deluxe edition of The Harder They Come).

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One of my favorite live albums, ever. By today's standards it would probably be considered an EP but it still packs more wallop in it's all too brief 40 minutes than some double length platters. After reading all of the revisionist history regarding live albums in the 70s I wonder just how much of that this one was subjected to? Hopefully, very little as it already sounds pretty raw and unvarnished to these ears.

Edited by Jahfin
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