We're still hoping and praying for good news regarding John Prine, and we're keeping an eye on news from Ray Benson as well.
Unfortunately, the news wasn't good for the alternative rock band Fountains of Wayne yesterday. Founding member Adam Schlesinger lost his own battle with the coronavirus at the age of 52, and our bonus pick today is the band's eponymous debut from 1996. I wasn't intimately familiar with their music, but I did remember "Sink to the Bottom." Chuck featured Weezer here the other debut, and while the music isn't exactly the same, the vibe is similar - just a group of guys having fun and not taking themselves to seriously.
We've also got our two picks of the day. Chuck's is particularly interesting, and we hope you'll enjoy two under-the-radar picks today that are among our personal favorites.
- Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb
CHUCK'S ALBUM OF THE DAY
Hamilton: An American Musical (2015)
Why I Love It
I finally got to see what the fuss was all about when I saw Hamilton in Chicago in 2018. Wow. I can tell you that I have never seen a more original, impressive work of art in my life. Lin Manuel-Miranda's vision of making a hip-hop musical about "the ten-dollar founding father" is unparalleled. It is pure genius on every level — all 46 tracks.
"Wait For It," "My Shot" and "Your Obedient Servant"
Kendall on Chuck's Album of the Day
Wow is right. I'm not sure what I expected here, but not having seen the musical in person, I just honestly didn't know that much about it. I didn't know it was a hip-hop musical (not what you expect from a musical about one of our founding fathers), but that's often what makes art great - presenting stories and ideas in unexpected ways that will still be palatable to a contemporary audience. An exceptional choice from the Chuckster.
KENDALL'S ALBUM OF THE DAY
Why I Love It
The Canadian Music Hall of Famers have roots stretching back to 1977 when the band's two lead singers Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor first started playing together. They formed Blue Rodeo in 1985, and the rest is history - the group has been a consistent presence on the alt-country/Americana (or is it Canadiana?) scene ever since.
There are many albums worth exploring in their catalog - early efforts like their 1987 debut "Outskirts" come to mind along with "Lost Together" and "Five Days in July" - but their finest moment is still their 1991 release "Casino." Yeah, it was a little glossier, a little shinier than their two previous efforts, but the Beatle-esque pop of the album's first two tracks ("Til I Am Myself Again" and "What Am I Doing Here") along with the Dylanesque presentation of "5 A.M. (A Love Song)" and "Last Laugh" hook you in and make you forgive the band for any unnecessary polish. This is Blue Rodeo's one big swing for the big time, and they knock it out of the park.
"Til I Am Myself Again," "Montreal" and "After The Rain"
Chuck on Kendall's Album of the Day
I believe I stumbled upon Blue Rodeo around the same time as Kendall, but I don't recall us talking about the band for a while. When we did, it was sort of a "Oh, you know Blue Rodeo?" moment. Solid choice.