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So What Are You Listening To?

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9 hours ago, Popples said:

We might be best friends now.

Dang, where's that heart emoji when I need it???

Do you know Wesla Whitfield?  Rene Marie?  Becky Kilgore?  Two of these three ladies were/are good friends of mine.  Also three of the finest female vocalists who ever lived...whom no one has ever heard of.  :o(

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I can't believe I'm the first (and only) one listening to this - I hope it's just because I'm posting in the wrong thread. (P.S. For all Steve Perry fans: BUY THE NEW CD... It's #1 on Amazon and for good reason). 

 

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On 10/9/2018 at 8:17 PM, CatsAndMoreCats said:

Dang, where's that heart emoji when I need it???

Do you know Wesla Whitfield?  Rene Marie?  Becky Kilgore?  Two of these three ladies were/are good friends of mine.  Also three of the finest female vocalists who ever lived...whom no one has ever heard of.  :o(

No, but I'll definitely look into them. I do need try to find current singers that perform the Great American Songbook so I can maybe want to see someone in concert, since most of the original singers are long gone. Thanks for the recommendations! ?

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5 hours ago, Popples said:

No, but I'll definitely look into them. I do need try to find current singers that perform the Great American Songbook so I can maybe want to see someone in concert, since most of the original singers are long gone. Thanks for the recommendations! ?

Another good vocalist is Dave Tull.  He's a drummer as well -- played for Streisand on her last tour.  Dave writes and performs a lot of his own work.  If you know & like Dave Frishberg, you'll like Dave Tull's stuff.  Not sure where you live but Dave is based in Pasadena.  Does quite a bit of traveling and performing along the West Coast.  Paula West is in San Francisco.  Very popular and well-known in SF and NYC, but not so much outside of those markets.  Elaine Dame and Alyssa Allgood are THE BEST female vocalists in Chicago.  Both ladies are known for their work with G.A.S.  And O.M.G.:  For heaven's sake you MUST check out Sheila Jordan.  She was a protege and friend of Charlie Parker.  Sheila travels the world, teaching and performing.  Didn't give up her day job as a typist until she was 62.  She's 88 (or is it 89?) years old now and has the energy of someone HALF her age.  And her talent?  No words.  You gotta check her out.

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I listened to Willam's new album. It's okay but it's more of a comedy album and I don't love bathroom humor. His other songs (counting the AAA girls album) had more empowerment anthems, dance tracks, etc. I can't say that the song content is that different so I think it's partially about the songs being parodied. Too ballad-y and indie pop this time. 

I also listened to Tinashe's Joyride. Terrible promotion as I'm sort of a fan and I only knew she had a new album from listening to an old podcast episode. Anyway, it was a meh. It doesn't sound terrible but it doesn't feel like she was shooting for hit singles. And it's not a great artistic project either. I don't love them but the songs I need to sit with a little longer are "No Drama," "Stuck With Me," "Salt," "Faded Love," "No Contest," Maybe this should have just been an EP. Also, this is not just a Tinashe problem but I'm tired of featured rappers shitting all over the track and turning the female vocalist into an objectified, disrespected video vixen on her own track. Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Little Mix and/or Fifth Harmony. So many otherwise fine songs ruined. "Fire and Flames" sounds like a rejected song from Empire. 

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"Sunshine on a Cold Morning" by Fountain of Youth (1968). 

 

 

 They also did an interesting take on The Monkees' classic, "Take a Giant Step".

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3 hours ago, magicdog said:

They also did an interesting take on The Monkees' classic, "Take a Giant Step".

Okay, gonna have to check that out. 

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Mariah Carey's latest Caution and I'm loving it! She sounds much more relaxed as well as focused and assured this time around and there's not a single track I dislike. GTFO underwhelmed me at first, but has since grown on me. Giving Me Life is doing just that for me. Excellent record.

Edited by rmcrae

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Unwound was this weirdo underground noise/punk/"alternative" band from the 90s that was my favorite band in college. Particularly their first three albums which were more on the dissonant/punk side of things. I've never met anyone in real life who even heard of them or half the other bands I listened to back then, which I found very bothersome at the time. Anyway I haven't listened to them in years for whatever reason and my music taste became a lot more mainstream since then, and I thought maybe it was a teenage angst thing and I moved on. But I saw an interview Vice did with Chloe Sevigny about her favorite music and she said Unwound was one of her favorite bands. I was reminded they exist and I decided to check them out again, and turns out their music still holds up and I still like them way better than most of the "popular" indie bands from that era (*cough*Sonic Youth*cough*Jesus and Mary Chain). Or at least their first three albums, they went into a different and more polished style after that which I didn't like much. Even the really messy and lo-fi album they did when they were 18, is still amazing and just as "real" sounding as it was back then. And I'm still like "how is this so slept on?!"

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Try this, from the Kazakhstani runner up of the 2017 Chinese competition show "I am a Singer". (This is not a song he sang from that show--I just figured this may be more to standard American tastes, a better introduction.) 

 

...And below is Dimash in round 1 of I am a Singer - 2017: 

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I stumbled across this fun performance. It's just so retro. Trying to be 90's Norweigan black metal, perhaps Enslaved in particular. The corpse paint, the spikes, the whole deal. I just want to pat them on the heads and tell them, "Yes, you're very scary. Now run along and go play with your friends." Patronising, I know. But they're 20 years out of date. How else should I react?

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On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 2:05 PM, adhoc said:

Try this, from the Kazakhstani runner up of the 2017 Chinese competition show "I am a Singer"...

Yes, a huge thumbs up for Dimash from Kazakhstan!  For me, he is the best male vocalist I have ever heard. Twenty years of formal training, a six octave range, and such incredible vocal fluidity and technique is a rare combination.  I listen to his music (mostly through youtube) every day.

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An old favorite from the archives of weird-ass music. I've always described this band as "Itchy and Scratchy from The Simpsons start a punk band and start murdering each other in the recording studio." Somehow it ends up being catchy af though? Unfortunately this band got ruined for me to some extent because I went to see them live twice and both times sucked. The first time they were so late to go on stage that we were only able to stay for a short time, and the second time they literally just didn't show up with no explanation. They're still a good band though.

The Locust may be even weirder than Melt-Banana...but I love the shit out of this album. And I can't believe I've been listening to this album for a decade now (it got me through the college admissions process way back when). There's just something very purifying about it, like a mental cleansing. It also kind of slows down time when you listen to it because there's so much going on that it seems like a lot more time passed than actually did.

Edited by BuyMoreAndSave

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I just learned of this group called The HU. Their style is described as Mongolian folk-metal and I know nothing else about them.

thehuband.thumb.jpg.62eb22f82acf84303b71ff0b2a8624ec.jpg

They only have two songs released at the moment, so here is a link to the video for one of them, Wolf Totem. I don't normally listen to metal so I can't attest to how metal this is, but the song is very stompy and I play it way too often.

Edited by Violet Impulse · Reason: I don't know how to embed video :-(
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10 hours ago, Violet Impulse said:

They only have two songs released at the moment, so here is a link to the video for one of them, Wolf Totem. I don't normally listen to metal so I can't attest to how metal this is, but the song is very stompy and I play it way too often.

I can see why you would.  That was tasty, thank you!  I checked out their other one, Yuve Yuve Yu, as well. I may like it even a little more. I love the sound of traditional folk instruments from East Asia, as well as the Mongolian chants and throat singing. The Kazakh singer referenced above occasionally makes use of both of those too.  It's a wonderful fusion, and if my ears could smile, they would.

Here's an embed of Yuve Yuve Yu:

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On 12/14/2018 at 9:49 AM, Violet Impulse said:

I just learned of this group called The HU. Their style is described as Mongolian folk-metal and I know nothing else about them.

thehuband.thumb.jpg.62eb22f82acf84303b71ff0b2a8624ec.jpg

They only have two songs released at the moment, so here is a link to the video for one of them, Wolf Totem. I don't normally listen to metal so I can't attest to how metal this is, but the song is very stompy and I play it way too often.

I was just coming to talk about this.  I'm loving Hu.

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I’ve been listening to LM5, the latest album from Little Mix. There’s some enduring pop genius, likely from the heavy-chested  Simon Cowell, at work with them. Little Mix can’t come up with a bad album, and they’re hard pressed to come up with a bad song. 

 

 

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Re: Hu Band

Wow, kind of off-putting yet strangely compelling.

I've seen throat singing on TV (specifically, a story about that famous Tuvan throat singer who was world-renowned but eventually died of a brain hemmorhage). Interesting to listen to, but on the downside, it seems like the pressure placed on the brain/arteries to achieve the sound eventually tends to cause stroke or death, if the singer continues to do it long/often enough. 

ETA:  Yuve Yuve Yu--those blue boots! 💖 ❤️

Edited by adhoc

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I finally got around to listening to Janelle Monae's The Electric Lady. It's really good. But it's not easy. It's not messy but it's not tidy either. It's got that Bruno Mars thing where she's taken her influences from all these great genres so it sounds amazing. But it just sort of jams out and flows and there aren't a lot of tidy pop songs. ("Dance Apocalyptic" is an exception.) It's like The Noisettes without a tight pop hook to lock into. I can't deny that I like that tight pop sensibility. Listening to it start to finish I find that the songs feel a little too long for me. And there are some lame lyrics here and there. It feels like it could use some editing. All the android stuff is never going to be as compelling as say Jill Scott. For example, I liked "Q.U.E.E.N." and "Electric Lady" but they could have been much more focused songs with clear messages. It feels like there's a lot of ideas chasing each other around. But it's a very interesting project. Maybe when I'm more receptive I'll listen to the whole thing again (probably not anytime soon) but I'm sure these individual songs will grow on me as they come up on my various playlists.

As mentioned, I don't love her newest music (yet) but I have to respect Ariana for living all of our 2000s teen movie/rom-com dreams and getting all those cameos. Though the 13 Going on 30 (I think?) inclusion is weird. Her look is so different from Jen Garner and I don't think that's the part of the movie anyone remembers... I'd go with the Thriller dance scene or something.

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On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 2:05 PM, adhoc said:

Try this, from the Kazakhstani runner up of the 2017 Chinese competition show "I am a Singer". (This is not a song he sang from that show--I just figured this may be more to standard American tastes, a better introduction.) 

@adhoc, you're probably aware of this already, but in case not: Dimash will be a contestant on CBS's new competition show, "World's Best".  He will be on the premiere episode, debuting immediately after the Super Bowl on February 3rd.  Can't wait to see him perform live on my TV!

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SnarkyTart, I'm looking forward to that...cautiously.  The exact time of airing for that first episode is approximate, and who knows who will be watching after the superbowl.  So that could be a good or bad thing. (Though I imagine if the show does okay, they will repeat that episode down the road.) 

Given that it's supposed to be all "elite" acts, yet there is actual voting being done (ugh, if they're the best of the best, why would you even do that?), I guess I'll consider it a "win" if it results in Dimash simply gaining more exposure here in the U.S.  And maybe I'll discover some other interesting performers. (Though I'm really not interested in acrobats, children, acrobatic children, and the like.)

I have to say, in the brief commercial I've seen for the show (blink and you miss Dimash), when I hear one of the judges say something like "That was the most incredible thing...", I naturally hope that at least one of those comments was aimed at Dimash.  :-)

Edited by adhoc
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Ha, the January 3 post on the twitter site for CBS's World's Best (@WorldsBestCBS) had a bunch of Dimash fans posting. I guess that's what triggered this article from some entertainment website I never heard of.  I was amused. I wonder how many other Dimash Dears will be posting there as the first episode draws near. I'm guessing A LOT.

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Question though...I have lived in the NYC area my entire life...I've been listening to 90s rap since the 90s...so how did I never even hear of this guy until a few weeks ago?

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The talk about Jon Batiste in the Kennedy Center Honors thread reminded me he released an album recently, so I went looking for it.  Here's a lovely version of What a Wonderful World.  The rest of the album is also lovely and I bought it.  I think he's amazing.

ETA:  Seems the video from the album isn't available to embed, so here's the performance from The Late Show,

 

Edited by ebk57
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I like Batiste, too. I love it when he gets to highlight his talents on the show. Will have to look for that album.

Lovely choice of song, too. The lyrics to that song always get to me. 

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23 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

I like Batiste, too. I love it when he gets to highlight his talents on the show. Will have to look for that album.

Lovely choice of song, too. The lyrics to that song always get to me. 

I forgot to mention the name of the album - Hollywood Africans.  You can listen to the whole thing on his YouTube channel.  I loved it. 

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On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 8:11 PM, adhoc said:

Ha, the January 3 post on the twitter site for CBS's World's Best (@WorldsBestCBS) had a bunch of Dimash fans posting. I guess that's what triggered this article from some entertainment website I never heard of

That's hysterical, lol.  I'm not too worried about ratings for the premier, as typically the Super Bowl lead-in show gets 25-30 million viewers.  I am concerned about song selection though.  I hope he chose wisely.

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I put on Dua Lipa's album. I kept getting her confused with Hayley Kiyoko. For no other reason than they're young people who blogs and podcasts keep telling me I should like and be interested in. Anyway, it was fine. It was a little lyrically shallow. Not terrible, but there are better songs. My big issue was her technical ability. She's just not an impressive singer. A better singer or someone with a more unique voice can elevate a generic pop song. That didn't really happen on any of the tracks on this album. I heard shades of people I like better. Hailee Steinfeld, Alessia Cara, La Roux, Charli XCX, etc. It was nice to hear pop music that was written to be proper pop music again. Not so crushingly depressing. Tight hooks and strong production. With slightly more interesting lyrics and slightly better lyrics, I would have really loved this. It was just missing that spark. There wasn't enough subtlety or personality. Actually she's a bit like Charli XCX before she grew on me. But unlike Charli, the album is pretty consistent. With Charli albums I usually only like a couple of tracks. Nothing on this album was intolerable. Well, Garden was a little annoyingly repetitive but I think that was how she sings "Eden." Homesick almost put me to sleep. It was so full of cliches. The variety on the album is weird. It's less of a display of versatility and more like... she could do a bunch of things. It reminds me of the old problem on American Idol when they'd complain that a contestant didn't have an identity and sound that could be marketed. But as an album it's also just a bunch of tracks and not any unified vision or sound. The vocals on Room for 2 were particularly rough.

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I have been hoping that LM5 would be return to the amazing, empowered Little Mix of Salute but I didn't want my expectations to be too high so I've put off listening to it. The results are mixed. The National Manthem is pretty but I can get that from O'G3NE. Woman Like Me is pretty solid. Think About Us is a boring love song. It sounds like the needy response of an ex girlfriend of Nick Jonas or Charlie Puth. Strip sounds like a weak Meghan Trainor song and is not as good as Jessie J's Strip or as meaningful as Colbie Caillat's Try. Monster in Me is amazingly bland. The beat and melody for Joan of Arc are great. Musically it sounds like Fifth Harmony meets Meghan Trainor.  The lyrics are full of confidence and the music backs up that swagger. It's not that lyrically strong though. It's like you took Destiny's Child, Katy Perry, Fifth Harmony, J. Lo, Pussycat Dolls, and a bunch of other artists' songs in a blender and this is what came out. It reminds me of that movie Pixel Perfect where the hologram "wrote a song" by just cobbling together lyrics from a bunch of popular songs. Love a Girl Right was interesting. I heard that Thong Song sample loud and clear. I don't think it had enough energy for me. The beat is percussive but it sounds like a jam when it should sound aggressive. It should be Destiny's Child Girl lyrically with the aggression of something like Beyonce's Ring the Alarm or Rihanna's Breaking Dishes or The Pussycat Dolls' In Person. I don't hear any aggression. At best, it sounds like The Boy is Mine but the whole point of that song is that they're both posturing and being chill because they're trying to act like they're not threatened. American Boy is terrible. It's jealous and insecure unlike say Destiny's Child Say My Name which takes back the power in the relationship. Also the song is just not very good. Told You So is another version of Destiny's Child's Girl. But it has a weird vibe. Like, it was gender-flipped and a Shawn Mendes or Ed Sheeran song, I'd think, "oh, he's a 'nice guy.' He's acting like a friend but he's totally hitting on her while negging her and blaming her for not listening to him." Wasabi does not feel like a song written for Little Mix. If this was a different decade, I'd say it was a Britney Spears song but she wouldn't record this. Maybe a little Katy Perry? I can't place it. More Than Words is a departure. It sounds like Ellie Goulding or something from a DJ. It's not fully EDM but it's so distorted and manipulated it's more about the music that the lyrics. It's not the kind of song you're supposed to listen to. It resists your attempts to listen to. It's very busy... and yet it's background music. It doesn't sound terrible but I'm not able to like it. I guess Motivate is sex positive but it's not empowering. It's totally passive. And I don't love "when he's with me bitches hate me." I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why female artists keep making themselves the video vixens/featured artists in their own songs. Notice is kind of like Jessie Ware + Charlie Puth + Selena Gomez. Again, totally passive. The speaker only takes enough initiative to present herself and then wait for the presumed straight male listener to act. She might as well be a princess in a tower. It's the equivalent of Selena Gomez's Come and Get It. I don't hate the song but I think it needed to go to someone with smoother vocals. This needs to be the smoothest of R&B jams. I'm thinking Ariana Grande or Tinashe if not a proper R&B singer. The Cure is a slight improvement but it's weak as far as empowerment anthems go. It's lyrically bland and lazy. Really? Rhyming anymore with anymore that many times? What does that say? Say something! thank u, next leaves this in the dust. Not to mention Kesha. The (stripped) version is a little better because anything that sounds more like choral or gospel music always has an edge in sounding inspiring. Forget You Not is so needy. Now this really sounds like the girl from Charlie Puth's Attention. It sounds great though. Woman's World is a little shallow in its messaging and messy but at least they're trying. I wish it didn't sound so dull. It almost sounds like Emeli Sande and they almost sound flat at times. Again, where's the strength? Where's the vocal power? This should sound like Adele or Christina Aguilera. Only You wants to be an epic song. But it doesn't sound like an epic romance. No one's adding this to the current equivalent of Titanic. Also, "no one else can fix me, only you"? Come on, now. I also hate the EDM touches. There so many better Ellie Goulding songs.

tl;dr Listen to Woman Like Me, Joan of Arc, Notice, Forget You Not. The other tracks are middling but not really worth much considering everything else you could be listening to.

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I've been hearing about Lizzo here and there but I haven't really investigated. But there's a concert in my area with tickets going on sale so I decided to put on Coconut Oil to see if I might want to check it out. 

GIRL. The first track (Worship) hit me like a slap to the face. In a good way. It had an old school Motown vibe like Shotgun or something from James Brown. It was unapologetically confident... and FUN. It's so difficult to find fun pop music these days. Phone was much more modern but still very hook-driven and surprisingly catchy. I love Beyonce, but Scuse Me sounds like a Beyonce track that would sound like Beyonce putting on an act but just sounds like Lizzo speaking her truth. Deep was more of a generic love song/slow club dance track. I thought it was bland and hard to understand all the lyrics. Good As Hell was such an effortless blend of styles. That Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson spoken part. The gospel/girl group backup. The female empowerment anthem with the lovely, warm tone. Coconut Oil was very interesting. That sort of synth organ. The jazz flute. Mixed with the groove of that beat. It immediately felt cool but slightly unsettling. A little avant-garde and yet traditional in its appeal to older styles of music fused into this new thing. It feels like a singer-songwriter song in content but it's been packaged as an effortlessly cool jam. It's so chill but not sleepy or dull. It's just... very likeable.

tl;dr New fan. The whole EP is good. Deep is a lesser track for me and I think you have to be in the right mood for Coconut Oil but the rest of of the EP is aggressively catchy, fun, and infectious.

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So my favorite winemaker has a tasting room downtown where he's got shelves and shelves of vinyls. Last month he did a vinyl night and my sister and I went to it and it was lovely. He tends to favor 80's pop (has named some of his wines after 80s pop... 'Power Corruption & Lies' 'Pretty in Pink') but has quite a lot of everything. (The first time I walked into the tasting room 'Rio' by Duran Duran was playing and I was like 'Yesss... this is where I belong.') So the first vinyl night went so well they're making it a regular thing so I have purchased my first vinyls in over 20 years.

What were they? Bruce Springsteen 'Magic' -- I freaking love that album. And Trixie Mattell 'Two Birds, One Stone.'

Yep. The Boss and a drag queen.

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On 10/10/2018 at 12:40 PM, Cajungirl64 said:

I can't believe I'm the first (and only) one listening to this - I hope it's just because I'm posting in the wrong thread. (P.S. For all Steve Perry fans: BUY THE NEW CD... It's #1 on Amazon and for good reason). 

Wow, Steve's voice has held up well. He isn't hitting those notes from his younger years, but who can. He sounds great!

Edited by SimoneS
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I'm not a country music fan, but I really like this song from Kelsea Ballerini, Miss Me More. It's more of a country/pop song than a straight country song.

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I love Lizzo.  I wish she were better known.

I think it's happening. I tried to get tickets for her show. It was after the pre-sale but I was on the website at the exact time the tickets went on sale to the general public. Sold out instantly. 

Of course I'm in NY...

 

Quote

I'm not a country music fan, but I really like this song from Kelsea Ballerini, Miss Me More. It's more of a country/pop song than a straight country song.

I like her. I listened to both of her albums. I don't know how much of her songs she writes but she's promising. It's not difficult for me to find women in country music that I like. The problem is whether or not they can consistently produce good music. I can't imagine living in an era where I would have to buy every album, particularly for country music. 

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I'm watching coverage of the President's arrival in Hanoi. As an experiment I tried to sync up the action on the screen with the music from John Adam's Nixon in China, an opera about Nixon's historic summit with Mao Zedong. It worked really well. It was like watching a live, real life version of this scene.

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