Record Of The Day: Once Upon A Time – Simple Minds

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Holy god this is a good record. Earnest 80s power-pop by a band that at one time was as big as they come.

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Pausing to consider the good bits

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I find that I often get pretty down on where I’m at in my life. So I’m taking a moment to reflect on what’s going well:

  • I’ve got two beautiful kids who love me.
  • I have friends and family who love and care about me.
  • I’ve got a roof over my head and food on the table.
  • I’ve got a job I like.
  • I’m producing three podcasts — one, two, three — and hosting a radio show.
  • I’m doing stand-up comedy, a lifelong dream.
  • I’m about to start playing music again. At least once. :)
  • I’ll have a second book out before too much longer.
  • My freelance business is going OK.
  • I met a cool new person today and reconnected with another one.
  • I’m doing what I need to do to keep my depression at bay, or at least controlled.
  • I’m on my 954th consecutive day of meditation.
  • I’m alive and I haven’t given up.

All things considered, not too bad.

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Record Of The Day: Amnesia – Richard Thompson

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Richard Thompson feels like the forefather of all the rock music that followed him. I know the story is more complex than that, but when you listen to a record like Amnesia, it sure does sound like, “Oh, this is where it all came from!” This record is overflowing with great session players like Mitchell Froom and Tony Levin and Jim Keltner. The songwriting is weird and wonderful and takes more left turns than you’d think possible.

BUY IT.

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Record Of The Day: Propaganda – Sparks

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I’d never heard of Sparks until a couple years ago when I started listening to Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews on the BBC. Both Mark and Simon mentioned the band several times, and then I think they played “Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth” on one show. I knew and liked that song (without realizing it was by Sparks) and decided to check out the band responsible. I was instantly smitten, and I’ve been listening to Sparks ever since.

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Record Of The Day: The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle – Bruce Springsteen

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This album was released into the world one day after I was. I listened to it for the first time today and it’s fabulous. I’d heard several of the songs before: popular live closer “Rosalita” as well as “Kitty’s Back” and “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).” I enjoyed everything about this record, from the songwriting and the performances to the production and the mood.

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Record Of The Day: Making Movies – Dire Straits

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Dire Straits has made it onto Record Of The Day once before, and let’s be honest, they’ll probably be here again. I adore this band. Part of the reason I love them so much is because of Douglas Adams, who used Dire Straits in So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, during one of the most romantic moments between Arthur and Fenchurch. I also remember an exchange student who stayed with my family back in the 80s named Christian. He brought some Dire Straits records with him because his English teacher in Denmark had used Mark Knopfler’s lyrics as a teaching tool.

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