Sunday, May 30, 2010

All Roads Lead To Monrovia (The X CD Release Party)

My friend DFLY can be an interesting fellow. He usually complains that there’s nothing to do, but when I brought up the idea of attending the Spock’s Beard CD release party in Monrovia (near Los Angeles), he said “It’s not worth it.”

DFLY has a small plane, kind of the front seat of a 70’s Volkswagon Beetle with wings. His plane used to be a Dragonfly, hence his nickname. DFLY will think nothing of flying an hour, having breakfast, and flying back. That’s about $160 dollars for breakfast. That’s what he did instead of accompanying me to the CD release party.

As I’ve learned over the years, when it comes to music, if I want to go, I have to go alone.

Arizona natives are very small town in mentality, and anything out of their one-mile square comfort zone is too far to drive for anything.

My Philly friends all have families, but would have still hopped into the car on a moment’s notice and schlepped up to NYC for a similar event. Especially if I was doing the driving! They’d have had all that time in the car to come up with a story the wife would believe!

So I hopped in the "prog-mobile" and got on Route 66 (well, 10, actually, but Route 66 just gives so much better of a mental image, doesn’t it?), popped in the new Beard cd (“X”, available only at, retail version in the works) and made the drive out to La La land to mingle with the progressive rock faithful.

The good thing about a road trip? There’s a lot of time in the car that allows for a lot of uninterrupted music listening. I listened to the new CD a couple of times, and the post-Neal-Morse catalog once each on the trip west.

The bad thing about a road trip? Although the southwestern desert can be sceninc, it loses it’s luster after a couple of trips. And on a hot Memorial Day Saturday when the mercury is topping a hundred, it’s kind of boring. Add to that the idiotic drivers who wanted to drive below the speed limit until you tried to pass them, but then found the cajones to go ninety. For the want of a rocket launcher….

When I arrived in Monrovia at four, I was early for the 6pm start time, and the band (well Alan Morse and Ryo) put me to work ! I helped Ryo bring in some equipment-okay, had I dropped that synth (it was heavy!) I’d have ruined the whole event!-and brought in a couple of other pieces as requested. I even helped Glenn a little with setting up the merchandise table.

Then I watched the guys rehearse (Alan and Ryo, with Jimmy Keegan, their tour drummer) the songs they were going to play, and chatted with Glenn and the band member’s families (all very nice people).

My cel phone pictures did not turn out-the stage was right in front of a window, so a lot of glare made for a formidable photographic adversary. So here are a couple of photos from the Beard site. Up top there is Alan, and down below is Ryo.

This picture of Jimmy was appropriated from his site. Jimmy is the tour drummer but was a key part of the event, lending percussive hands and background vocals to the performances and sharing obersvations and anecdotes throughout the evening.

Between five-thirty and six, people started coming in. The crowd grew to probably 100 or so people-I’d imagine a good crowd for a downtown Monrovia hotel bar, even if it was the historic Aztec hotel!

Alan and Ryo (as well as a couple of their co-writers) gave brief introductions to each song and they played the CD selection. Interspersed were bare-bones versions of “Emporer’s Clothes” and “Man Behind The Curtain” played by the trio.

All in all, this was a fun event in an intimate setting with a lot of like-minded music fans. I’d encourage any reader who is a prog fan to pick up the new CD.

Since Phoenix is a vast musical desert, I had not seen the band since 1999 when they opened for Dream Theater. I knew that they were not likely to stop in Arizona if they were to tour the new album, so for me, it was worth the drive.

I felt pretty good at 9:00 when things were starting to break up, so I got into the car and cranked the new CD and headed east, figuring I’d stop to sleep in Palm Springs. After trying three hotels in that area (all sold out), I downed a “Five Hour Energy” and drove all night, getting in at 3. The next day was a write-off-I slept until almost noon and was a bit of a couch potato for much of the afternoon.

But what the heck else was there to do in Phoenix anyway?

So, let’s compare and contrast my trip lo LA with DFLY’s $160 breakfast trip:

· Gas-about $75 (hey, it’s a Pontiac Sunfire-not bad for more than 600 miles)
· Five hour energy purchased at truck stop-$5
· Fast food meal purchased in Blythe at 12:45 am-$9 (I’d have eaten dinner anyway…)
· Five sodas consumed throughout the day (a twelve pack at Safeway set me back $2.50) $1
· Tee shirt, autographed posted and Beard shot glass- $40 (well you gotta buy SWAG!)

Total for my trip $130.

For that, I got to be a roadie, a merch guy, get a couple of CD’s autographed, listen to a great CD with a bunch of Beard fans, see a sound check rehearsal, watch impromptu performances by members of one of my favorite bands, meet the band and their families and listen to a lot of pretty cool music on the drive.

But don’t worry, DFLY-I’ll bet those eggs were really tasty!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


If you ready my blog on My Space, you already know I don't hold covers albums in high regard. On their "new" album, Styx is going to cover themselves.

Styx guitarist James “JY” Young has confirmed the track listing for Styx' upcoming album Regeneration.

Speaking exclusively to journalist Doug Fox, JY said the album is “99 percent there,” and will feature seven tracks. In addition to the new Tommy Shaw song “Difference in the World” (which has been available for free download at for a week or so now), Regeneration will feature new re-recordings of Styx classics “The Grand Illusion”, “Come Sail Away”, “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)”, “Crystal Ball”, “Lorelei” and “Sing For The Day”.

Young says that re-recording these classic tracks was harder than it may appear. “When you go back and try to do it, you say, 'How DID we do that? What gear were we using and what gear was available for the engineer to use?'”

The new recordings were also different from the originals in that modern technology allows bands to record in different locations. JY says the new tracks were recorded in at least eight different studios.Regeneration was intended for release already, but the guitarist says it has been delayed and will emerge very soon. “It would have been good if it had been completed before we got out on the road, but we didn't quite get there for a variety of reasons,” he stated. “At some point, with every new thing that you create, there's a point where you have to say it's time to let go of this and it sounds pretty darn good,”Though JY didn't pinpoint an exact release date, Styx recently posted a video to its official web site that said the album should be available in the summer of 2010.

Though it's unconfirmed for now, rumor has it that Styx' fall tour dates will feature the band performing its classic albums The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight in their entirety.For more information please visit

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Attention L.A. Area SB Fans:
CD Release Party May 29!!!!

Be one of the first to hear the New Spock's Beard CD "X". We'll be spinning the CD, hanging out, maybe do some acoustic jamming. All ages welcome. No charge to attend, but bring $ for CDs & swag!

Ryo & Alan will be there, hopefully Nick & Dave via Skype, plus some of our co-writers & partners in crime...

You gotta check out this place, it's worth coming just to see the hotel, if you're into weird architecture:

The Historic Aztec Hotel.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

6:00pm - 9:00pm

311 West Foothill Blvd.

Monrovia, CA 91016

Monday, May 24, 2010


A lot is happening down at Marillion's Racket Club mail order shop at

Two live CD's, Size Matters and Tumbling Down The Years, both recorded at the Marillion Weekend in Holland, March 2009 are ready for purchase.

Out Of Season, the long awaited DVD from the Holland Convention 2009, ships soon.The forthcoming EMI Eight CD Live Boxset is available for preorder, and the first 1000 orders will receive a signed cover print.

The new H Natural live CD is now available to buy from the Racket Store. This album features a selection of live tracks recorded at various H natural live shows in 2006. Originally available on the 'H in his Birthday Suit' tour May 2010.

And finally, Marillion are delighted to announce that they will be working with instant music specialists Concert Live to produce an exclusive live CD of their performance at The High Voltage festival in London on 25th July.

The CDs will be available straight after the performance and you can pre-order your copies now for either collection at the festival or for postage to wherever you want.

Not a bad haul for a year without a new album!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Foghat is often linked to the classic rock genre, due to such anthems as “Slow Ride” and “Fool for the City,” but the band has always had their roots in vintage blues. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to longtime fans that Foghat has reconnected with the blues on their latest release, ‘Last Train Home.’

Recorded both in New York at EKO Studios and at Foghat’s own studio, Boogie Motel South, the album combines covers of such blues classics as “So Many Roads, So Many Trains” and “Shake Your Money Maker,” as well as a few new originals.

The group’s blues roots can be traced back to the pre-Foghat band, Savoy Brown, as well as Foghat’s first hit single – the classic cover of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want To Make Love To You.”

But perhaps the most obvious connection was a star-studded concert the band organized in 1977 at the Palladium in New York, when they hosted a benefit to start a Blues Archive at the New York Public Library.

Foghat was the house band at the show, as many bona fide blues legends joined them on stage – including Muddy Waters , John Lee Hooker, Johnny Winter, Pinetop Perkins, Paul Butterfield, Honey Boy Edwards, Otis Blackwell, and Eddie ‘Bluesman’ Kirkland (the latter of which recently reconnected with the band, and led to his inclusion on ‘Last Train Home’).

‘Last Train Home’ sees Foghat’s line-up – Roger Earl (drums), Charlie Huhn (vocals/rhythm & lead guitar), and Bryan Bassett (lead & slide guitar) – joined by several special guests, including Kirkland, harmonica player Lefty “Sugar Lips” Lefkowitz, and Earl’s brother, Colin, on piano. Due to a prior commitment for the band’s bassist, Craig MacGregor, former Foghat/Savoy Brown/Outlaws bassist Jeff Howell filled in for the recording.

One mustn’t forget their roots, and Foghat once more reminds us that it’s the blues that just about every rock n’ roll style is built upon – as evidenced throughout ‘‘Last Train Home’.’

Complete track list for ‘Last Train Home’ which arrives on June 10, 2010:

Born for the Road – Earl, Bassett, Huhn
Needle & Spoon – Chris Youlden
So Many Roads, So Many Trains – Otis Rush
Last Train Home – Huhn, Bassett, Earl
Shake Your Money Maker – Elmore James
It Hurts Me Too – Elmore James
Feel So Bad – Chuck Willis
Louisiana Blues – Muddy Waters
495 Boogie – Earl, Earl, Bassett, Howell, Huhn, Lefkowitz
Rollin’ & Tumblin’ / You Need Love – CC/Willie Dixon
In My Dreams – Eddie Kirkland
Good Good Day – Eddie Kirkland

Friday, May 21, 2010

Marillion Summer Tour Dates

If you're lucky enough to be able to attend, you'll also be able to gloat to me that you've seen Marillion, and that I have not in more than twenty-two years of fandom!

14 Jun Madrid Spain Rock In Rio

26 Jun Mogliano Veneto Italy

23 Jul Leamington England

25 Jul London England High Voltage Festival

14 Aug Dolina Charlotty Poland Dolina Charlotty Festival

4 Sept Loreley Germany Night Of The Prog Festival

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Yesterday, I laid out the ground rules I followed when choosing my list. I know it's a few hours before the 17th, but some of us gotta work in the morning!

So, without any further rambling, here are the fifteen discs. Further insight onto each title selected follows the list should you care to read it.

(1) Todd Rundgren, “Complete Bearsville Box”
(2) Todd Rundgren, “Nearly Human”
(3) Utopia, “Ra”
(4) Utopia, “An Evening With Utopia”
(5) Al Stewart, “Modern Times”
(6) Bruce Springsteen, “Born To Run”
(7) Southside Johnny, “Hearts Of Stone”
(8) Graham Parker, “Squeezing Out Sparks”
(9) Tom Waits, “Closing Time”
(10) Todd Snider, “Songs For The Daily Planet”
(11) Popa Chubby, “Booty And The Beast”
(12) Jonathan Edwards, “Jonathan Edwards”
(13) Original Soundtrack, “The Commitments Deluxe Edition”
(14) Bob Dylan, “Blood On The Tracks”


1-This was released in Japan in the early 90’s, and contains all of Todd Rundgren’s Bearsville catalog in one convenient box set. It’s got one UPC code, and is not a whole lot bigger than a double-sized jewel case. Before you cry foul, remember from yesterday’s post-there was a lot of discussion over multi-disc sets, and it was agreed that they count as one. Either you count each disc or you count each title

If my house were on fire, I might not brave the inferno and run upstairs for this, but if it were handy, I would grab it to save it from the flames. Todd’s music has pretty much been the soundtrack of my life since 1977 or so. It would not be beyond the realm of possibility for my entire list to be Rundgren titles. And I’d be pretty happy on that island with the selection.

IF there had been rules, and IF the rules said count each disc as one, and AS LONG AS everyone played by the same rules, I’d have selected “The Hermit Of Mink Hollow” as my other Todd Rundgren disc. While all of Todd’s music is pretty much a necessity in my life, “Hermit” has too many moments I could not live without.

Problem is,I’m not so sure that “The Ballad Of Todd Rundgren” would not have bumped something else off of the list. And let’s not even talk about 2008’s “Arena.”

My island happens to grow the best pot in the world,so I’m gonna bestoned and listening to Todd all the time. Now if only I can figure out how to grow a Doritos tree.

2-You may wonder why, if I can only bring fifteen discs, why more by the same artist? As

As stated above, Todd’s music has been an integral part of my life. His music has seen me through my highest highs and lowest lows. There’s a song on this album that I heard for the first time the evening of the same day I met a lady who I would end up feeling more for than any other on the planet. Even though the relationship eventually did not endure (sadly, kind of like in the song we were on different paths) the lady still represents one of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege to spend time with, and times with her are among the best times of my life. The song, “Parallel Lines,” never fails to make me think of her, and it brings out a smile and a little moisture in the eyes at the same time. The rest of the album is pretty good, too (Rolling Stone gave it a bunch of stars, and I think everyone should own a copy).

3-If you don’t already know, Todd Rundgren (see items 1 and 2) was the guitarist for Utopia. I went back and forth on this list trying to make do with one Utopia album. Had there been a Utopia Bearsville box, I’d have bought that, and it would be number 2 on this list. Instead, I went with “Ra,” which was my introduction to Todd Rundgren in Mr. William’s English class in 1977 (he played the second side’s epic in class as an example of how a short story could take different forms). I was hooked.

Mr. Williams (Thomas B.) is one of the original die-hards who sent in the postcard from “A Wizard A True Star” and so his name is on the poster that was included in the follow-up, “Todd.”

For any of you living near Akron, Ohio, the first ever performance of the “Todd” album in it's entirety is going to be featured at the third annual Rundgren Radio Birthday Bash at the Akron Civic Theater on Labor Day weekend. The encore will be a performance of the "Healing" album. Tickets still available. Hope to see you there!

4-“An Evening With Utopia” is a bootleg lifted from one of my favorite performances (broadcast live on USA on Thanksgiving 1983). Sadly, the video has never seen a DVD release nor has the CD ever been released on a proper label. You may find this title in NYC in one of those stores that sells “imports” of questionable origin. On this night, the band was on, the sound was awesome (both USA Network and King Biscuit Flower Hour recorded it) and it’s coming with me.

5-I went back and forth between “Modern Times” and “Year Of
The Cat” for my Al Stewart disc, and landed on “Modern Times”
because side two is so strong. I almost wish I could take my copy
of the vinyl LP, but who ever heard of a turntable on a desert

Side two is that good, with “Apple Cider Re-Constitution,” and “The Dark And The Rolling Sea” morphng into “Modern Times.” Produced by Alan Parsons (who also produced Dark Side Of The Moon) and featuring Peter White before he became and easy listening guitar icon.

6-Picking a Bruce album was hard. I landed on “Born To Run”
because it was pretty much the official driving music of my
high school years. I’d still contend that his second work was
a better overall album, but hard choices have to be made in
life, and with apologies to Spanish Johnny and Rosalita, there’s
goona be a 10th Avenue freeze-out on this island!

7-Southside Johnny never really got the attention I felt he deserved, but I always thought he had the better voice of the two Asbury park acts that broke out of the Garden State in the seventies. This was a hard choice, and I almost caved in and took “Having A Party,” which is a best-of, just because I can’t believe I’m about to go off with the Professor and MaryAnne and not be able to hear “I Don’t Want To Go Home” ever again.

But most fans agree that HOS is SSJ’s best single album, and
every song on it is good, and I’m goona go with it. Better not
make your hut too close to mine, because when I’m not
keeping you up with snoring, I’m probably going to be
singing the songs I left behind in my sleep.

8-I always thought Graham Parker was a better angry
young man than Elvis Costello. Even though he started
recording first, he seemed to be given the title of an Elvis
soundalike. This album may be one of his finest moments,
and since I’ve gone through so many copies, the version
I’d bring has the”Mercury Poisoning” bonus track.
Graham is still recording to this day, and while he’s older,
he still appears to be pissed!

9-Mr. McCarthy has said a lot about Tom Waits on his blog,
so I won’t go into the same things here, except to say this man
was one of the greatest lyricists in the game in the seventies.
I almost went with “Heartattack And Vine” for this list, but
had to go back to the first album. “Last call for drinks, I’ll
have another Stout!”
Hopefully, I’ll find a case of Guiness washed up on the beach.

10-Back when the term “alternative radio” meant something, Philly had a station. I think I had to wire my antenna to the microwave to get the reception. They played Todd’s (no, the OTHER Todd) “Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues” one day, and I rushed out to buy “Songs For The Daily Planet.” I listened all the way through, and no Seattle song. Are ya kidding? I listened again. What a great album, but no @#$% Seattle song. Then I kind of dozed off, and the CD played through the two minutes of space and got to the hidden bonus track, which was, of course, the Seattle song. This was probably my favorite 90’s album (except for Todd Rundgren releases). He still can write, but his later albums are all acoustic, and the style doesn’t hold up for me over an album’s worth of material. This is another CD everyone should own.

11- Born Ted Horowitz, Popa Chubby is a true native son of the Big Apple. He grew up in the neighborhood immortalized in Robert DeNiro's film "A Bronx Tale." His early memories of hearing the jukebox in his parents' candy store playing the hits of early Sixties soul and R&B and the neighborhood teens flocking around it made a lasting impression on him. Picking a Popa Chubby album was not difficult-his major label release, “Booty And The Beast” was a classic.

I gave my guarantee on this disc to at least 20 people (I told them if they bought it and wanted to return it, I’d buy if from them) and there were no claims made for refunds. Ted is the BIGGEST and BADDEST man playing rock-laced blues (don’t let the cover fool you) and he can play some gee-tar!

12-Jonathan Edwards doesn’t make it to the southwest, so the last time I saw him was in 1993. I remember when he played “Sunshine” for an encore, he joked about everyone in the back thinking “That’s who this guy is.” “Sunshine comes off of his self-titled debut, a folk-rock, bluegrass masterpiece that’s as close to country as I get. Try listeningto “Shanty” without stomping your feet!
13-When I first saw the movie “The Commitments,” I remember hearing the singer, Andrew Strong, and thinking “This kid’s got pipes!” He was a kid-seventeen, I think, when the picture was made back in 1991, and for some reason he never made it after that. The soundtrack sold

exceptionally well, and I’d recommend the deluxe edition. His solo discs never took off, but the man has a strong voice, and he covers the classic soul songbook with a nice side order of rock sensibility.
14-Believe it or not, Bob Dylan almost did not make the cut. Stephen T. McCarthy was scandalized when I told him it was possible that a Dylan album may not accompany me to the island. But I reevaluated and decided that “Blood On The Tracks” really was a better album

than any single Warren Zevon album, and also better than Bob Seger’s “Against The Wind.”. So unless I were to compromise my principles and bring a compilation (either Zevon’s or J. Geils Rhino anthologies would have been in the running), I had to give Mr. Zimmerman the nod. Which brings me to….
15-Rickie Lee Jones’ debut album was in and out a few times. I’d toyed with Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes, which is a fantastic record, but Rickie Lee was just a better songwriter, at least in the early days of her career. She was from the Tom Waits school of imagery, but kind of followed Tom’s path into free-form weirdness after her second album (which is almost equally as good).

So there you have it. Fifteen titles, a little bit of sleight of hand with selection number one, but no greatest hits collections in the lot. If you've never heard of some of these artists, I'd encourage you to give these titles a spin.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


On the Tossing It Out blog, it’s called Fantasy Island Discs, but if I were on Fantasy Island, I’d be able to have any CD any time, so I’m calling it by the title I’ve heard the exercise referred to in the past, where you pick the albums you can’t live without.

When Mr. McCarthy asked me to participate in this blogging event, my initial reaction was to decline.

After all, if you’re shipwrecked on a desert island, you’re pretty much going to be stuck with whatever you brought on board the ship with you.

If you knew the ship was going to be lost at sea, would you board?

If you had your fifteen desert island discs with you, what would you play them on (does anyone else remember that “Lost” scene from season one when Hurley’s

CD player batteries went out)?

And if you did have the foresight to bring your favorite music, and unlimited battery power on the island, why wouldn’t you either burn your music to CD in MP3 format (so you’d fit more like 200 titles onto fifteen CD’s), or better yet, stuff an iPod full of everything you own (wouldn’t work for me, anyway)?

All in all, the whole “what fifteen discs would you bring if you were shipwrecked on a desert island” scenario is just not realistic.

On those grounds, my first inclination was to decline. But Stephen is a good friend, and it seemed important to him that I participate.

So, being a music junky, I buckled under the pressure! There weren’t any rules listed for this endeavor,so I asked Stephen T. a few questions.

For example-how are multi-disc sets treated?

Are they treated as one CD, or as the number of discs in the set?

This led to some discussion. I pointed out that on the original CD release, the Beatles' white album was sold as two separate jewel cases.

Stephen countered that Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde is in one case and was clearly meant to be one piece of work.

My retort pointed out the inconsistencies in various CD releases- Tommy was put on a single CD in one release, as was Frampton Comes Alive, but both have also seen two disc releases.

What to do, what to do?

After some discussion, various threats of bodily harm (well, not really), and lotsa debate, we both agreed that if you could go in and buy it off of the shelf as one purchase (scanned only one UPC), it counted as one title for this exercise, no matter how many discs were inside.

So if you want to bring that 50 disc Elvis box, go for it! Of course, you better hope you don’t have to swim to shore, or the King may be your anchor.

The other rule I decided to try to impose on myself is to stay away from greatest hits collections. I typically do not like them, and when people comment on gaps in my collection, they usually exist because all that is available for that artist is some kind of “essentials” collection, and I prefer the albums as they were released.

Stephen and I do not agree here, and my suspicion is he's stacked his list with compilations. After several dissertations from Lonesome Dogg about the "spirit" of this endeavor, I was surprised we were so polarized on this one. I ran this by three other music collectors (all of whom own collections north of 1,000 discs) who all agreed with my point of view. But we collectors are all a little south of sanity. And the whole thing was Stephen T.'s idea.

I recognize that Mr. McCarthy and other civilians may actually own greatest hits collections for the hits, and not for the one bonus track that wasn't available anywhere else. That just seems weird to me...

To sum up-greatest hits collections are certainly allowed, but I think original albums make the exercise more interesting and I'm going to try to compile my list without any.

I’m typing these words before I’ve finalized the list, so I may cave by the end and include a compilation, but I’m going to try to stick to my audio high ground!

One last coment to my good friend D-Fens-on your blog you mentioned I have 9,000 CD's. It's actually 12,847 as of right now (but I haven't been to Zia or the mailbox yet today). And that's not counting the 1,500 or so records in the other bedroom. Everyone may as well know how deep the addiction goes and how serious the problem is.

I almost forgot-what about bonus tracks-do they spoil the integrity of the original album? Should we limit this to the original CD releases?

Maybe I'm starting to over think this...

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Yes, I know it has been quite a while since I've posted. But who are we kidding-fewer people follow this blog than follow my My Space blog, so it's not like anyone noticed.

I thought I'd mention, in case anyone accidentally ends up on this page, that my ferret-faced-fascist friend Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy drafted me to participate in a communal blog event.

If you're not familiar with Stephen, you oughtta check out his blogs:

Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends (not for the faint of heart)

Here's the skinny, from the "Tossing It Out" blog

"On Monday May 17th all who are interested can participate in the FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES. This is a one day blog wide post in which you will tell us your fifteen favorite music albums of all time--or at least at the moment. You won't be held to this list. And really it doesn't absolutely have to be music--it could be comedy or some other spoken word album or I even suppose sound effects if you're really that weird. It's your list of favorites so you can post whatever it is you would have to listen to for the rest of your life while exiled on Fantasy Island. "

"The FFI Favorites was initially proposed by my blog buddy Stephen T. McCarthy as a comparative blog study of our fifteen favorite music albums-- not just a list, but an in depth examination of the fifteen albums that had significant meaning to us. After the success of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge we decided that it would be fun to invite other bloggers to join us so we could end up with an epic list of favorite albums so we could share ours and find out what the rest of you like. "

"We would like to limit the list to fifteen but if you can't think of that many then 12, 10, or whatever number you can think of will work just fine. It will be your blog post so you can format it in whatever way you like, but if you would like to have a model to go by, you can refer to Stephen's Best Album Cover Post (don't be confused--the sample post is about favorite covers whereas the May 17th post is about the content of the album itself). It would help that for each album you post a photo of the album's cover, the album's title, artist, and date of release, followed by a brief paragraph explaining why you have chosen it and maybe a short description of the type of music it contains. As far as genres are concerned, everything's acceptable: Classical, Country, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Movie & Broadway Theater Soundtracks, "Greatest Hits" and "Best Of" compilations, you name it--whatever you enjoy listening to. "

"Presentation can be in any format. You can be as creative as you care to be. Turn your list into poetry or a short story if you like. Make it an autobiographical account of how this music has influenced your life. Create a video of yourself talking about it or put together a photo or art montage that tells us about your list. It all comes down to one day's post and you can make it as simple or complex as you like. "

"Don't be intimidated by this either. This is not a challenge or any complex thing. It's basically just a list. And if you just want to list your favorites that will work as an entry, but we do hope you will add a bit of your own personal creative touch to this special post. We'd like a few details because after we've all gone through each other's favorites we may want to go out buy some of them."

Now let me add a few thoughts of my own:

(1) Multi-disc sets count as one. If you can go into a store and buy it with them doing one UPC scan, you can bring it. So that fifteen disc Elvis box is ok. This was a topic of some discussion between me and Stephen, so what I agreed to do is disclose in my comments the one album I'd exchange for the box set if a gun were held to my head. Although, if a gun were held to my head, I'd like my chances if I was weilding a fifteen disc Elvis box.

(2) Not a rule, but if you can avoid greatest hits collections, it makes it all the more interesting.

Hopefully, you'll go and sign up, and tell them that DiscConnected guy sent ya!