Tunes, or the bimonthly roundup of the music playing in my head, May/June edition.


In 2018, I’ve resolved to offer a musical recap every two months.

For those just tuning in, I can no longer carry a tune across the street without breaking both legs, but music’s playing in my head every waking moment. I’m convinced that when the music stops playing, death will be near.

I’m old school — no iTunes or playlists for me. Perversely, no vinyl, either; my albums are stacked over at the Public House and I don’t own a turntable. As with books, each year I research and buy those CDs that seemed best suited to my tastes. They’re usually augmented with impulse buys and random excursions, and of course I listen to snippets of radio, YouTube and the like.

For me, classical music is WUOL-FM and my CD collection, and the latter suffices for jazz listening and world music (internet radio helps). I’ve nothing bad to say about hip hop or country; they’re just not my taste.

In 2018, it’s looking as if live music will be restricted to the Louisville Orchestra at the Ogle Center, unless anyone has cheap seats to the Def Leppard/Journey show at Yum next week (hint).

I’d like to be more supportive of local music, and concede that this is the 800-lb chink in my armor. It’s a constant struggle, but the fact is that I don’t do much in the way of nightlife any longer, and when dining and drinking out, our preferences run to conversation, which is precluded by loud music.

So it goes. It’s all about me, and what I like.

Following are CD purchases from May and June, 2018. They’re in approximate order of preference, and I can tell you now that Marr and the Manics will be among the year’s most listened for me. It cannot always be said with confidence, but verily, I’ve spent my money wisely these past two months.

Johnny Marr … Call the Comet

Manic Street Preachers … Resistance is Futile

Parquet Courts … Wide Awake

Kamasi Washington … Heaven and Earth

Chvrches … Love Is Dead

Matthew Sweet … Tomorrow’s Daughter

Arctic Monkeys … Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

Snow Patrol … Wildness

Reviews have been chosen because they’re fair and balanced according to the verdict of my ears. I typically skim reviews before making purchases, then read them voraciously afterward.

Recent archival digressions included the complete CD set of Artie Shaw’s Gramercy Five, acquired a few years back and filled with deliciousness, and the 1970s oeuvre of Edgar Winter, both solo and with his band at the time, via a brief free trial with an on-line music provider (I’ve no physical copies of his output). Winter had a spectacular run from his debut to around 1977, and no more versatile performer could be found during that period.

Through the same medium, I listened to several live performance of The Who from the pre-Tommy period. Glorious days, indeed, and a rare treat for me.

An aside: Usually Glastonbury keeps me abreast of contemporary Brit Rock, though not this summer, as it’s a break year. But there’s much of the recent Isle of Wight fest to be viewed on YouTube, and my friend Jerry and I continue to split the cost of a yearly subscription of Mojo magazine.

A few headlines from May and June:

Calendar check: New Albany Blues, Brews, & BBQ Festival at Bicentennial Park on Sat., Sept. 29.

The two most recent Manic Street Preachers albums, ending one era and beginning another.

ClassicX Escape radio, with new music from classic rock artists.

SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Moon’s brandy and Lennon’s Brandy Alexander, with other less interesting milkshakes and frappes.

Ten days that shook my world — or, the albums that changed my life when I first heard them.

You keep singing “My Old Kentucky Home.” I do not think it means what you think it means.