Spivey's World: Music

(updated 12/14/99)

New Format!!

    Since this has tended to be just a TMBG page, we at Spivey's World have decided to branch out a bit.  You will notice that music is now divided into categories: The A-List (which is the on-going soundtrack of SW), Heavy Rotation (new-to-me material that are the tunes de'jour), and classics (that come and go through heavy material... the "oldies but goodies").  All are in alphabetical order (unless otherwise noted).  Also, I have some links for you to check some of these out.  The links are to CDNow.com, but this is just for you to listen to clips.

The A-List (in alphabetical order)
        These bands are in the equivalent of the SW Hall of Fame.  There are so many reasons to like them, and each has their disinctive style: BFF is a jazz influenced trio of piano, bass, and drums(or, to quote Ben Folds, "punk rock for sissies"); DMB is a jamming, intricately structured, and phenomenal musical experience; TMBG is a quirky, hilarious duo from N.Y. (who could be huge stars if they wanted to sell their souls and do so); "Toad" is (was, unfortunately) a thoughtful, introspective quartet who, like TMBG, could have been mega-stars, but kept their integrity.
        Each band below has a link to a web site for the band (click the name) and a link to Amazon.com (so you can listen to a few snippits from from an album).  Enjoy!
Ben Folds Five

The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner is BFF's 1999 effort.  Who was R.M.? 1) a guy who climbed Everest withou oxygen and 2) the name on fake i.d.'s in the Raleigh area in North Carolina.
Check out "Don't Change Your Plans", "Magic", "Redneck Past", and "Lullabye".


Dave Matthews Band

Crash is the 1996 release.  "Crash", "Too Much", "So Much To Say", and "Tripping Billies" were ones you might have heard of.  However, "Lie in Our Graves" and "Say Goodbye" are as good of songs as you will hear. 


Factory Showroom is their latest studio c.d. (they have one you can download called Long Tall Weekend... MP3 only).  Of particular importance to we teacher geeks is "James K. Polk", a tune about our little-remembered 11th President. " Spiraling Shape", "Til My Head Falls Off", and "Pet Name" are very worthy, as well.


Toad the Wet Sprocket

P.S.: A Retrospective is a Toad primer. (Their name, for the uninitiated, is from a Monty Python skit.) 
Sadly, as the name  might tell you, they parted last year after 12 years together.  This album features what they consider to be the "quintessential Toad", not necessarily their favs.  Great collection, though!


Heavy Rotation

        Here is a list of other bands that are getting increased airplay.  Some are new additions, others are just oldies and goodies that I've rediscovered.  There are a few links here if you're interested.
Fountains of Wayne 
self titled  and Utopia Parkway
Fun Lovin' Criminals
Come Find Yourself
Robert Cray 
Strong Persuader




Oranges and Lemons and Nonesuch


Talking Heads
Stop Making Sense


Randy Newman
Sail Away  and 
Bad Love


Son Volt


Motion Picture Soundtrack 
self titled
Barenaked Ladies
(any album, really)



Classics (alphabetical)

        Simply put, these are ones that are not trendy, fleeting, or timely.  We here at SW were tempted to call this category "Undefineable", but that seemed contradictory.  And stupid.
James Brown
Ray Charles
The Doors
drivin' n' cryin'
The Temptations
Stevie Wonder

    Ben Folds Five

        These guy continue to rock!  All 4 major releases are now possesed in Spivey's World.  All are recommended, though the first two ("Ben Folds FIve" and "Whatever and Ever Amen") are most highly recommended.   If you had to press me further to make a choice, I'd be partial to their first, self-titled album.  As I have said before,  they have a jazzy, almost lounge act type of sound (piano, bass, drums) and, at times, very deep and thought provoking lyrics.  Ben Folds can also tell a fascinating story in his lyrics, which (combined with his awesome piano skills) lends me to think of a cross between Joe Jackson  and a young Billy Joel.  As for the album, you probably remember the song "Brick" that got considerable air play, and deservedly so.  But that is not the best song on the album, by any means.
        As for being from the south, I quite like this response by Ben to being asked if being from there affects his writing:

Oh totally, yeah.  In the band, we seem to be the only ones who think this: We are a Southern rock band.  We're such a Southern rock band, it kills me.  And my songwriting--because most of the time it's storytelling--yeah, I think it's Southern.  The South has got soul.  It's just about where all the good s**t comes from, really.  Whether it's jazz or rock or blues or William Faulkner or R.E.M.  The South proper--Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, all of that--yeah, it's got a lot of soul.

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