Archive for January, 2019


After picking three albums from the notorious top hat, the students had a week to choose one to write about. They must not only talk about the songs on the record, but also react to the album itself…like how we used to debate which Led Zeppelin album was best back in the day. So without further adieu, here are the students’ selections, with their ultimate choice in bold:


Journey, Escape

Radiohead, OK Computer

Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells


Rush, Moving Pictures

Rush, Permanent Waves

The Police, Outlandos D’Amour


Tom Petty, Full Moon Fever

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II

Fairport Convention, Liege & Lief


Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon

Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True

Alice Cooper, Welcome To My Nightmare


The Beatles, Rubber Soul

Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation

The Ramones, Ramones


Guns ‘N Roses, Appetite For Destruction

The Beatles, Abbey Road

U2, War


The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds

The Ramones, Rocket to Russia

Santana, Abraxas


The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Axis: Bold As Love

Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Willy and the Poor Boys


Patti Smith Group, Easter

Talking Heads, Talking Heads: 77

The Who, Who’s Next


The Who, Tommy

Patti Smith, Horses

Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville


Queen, A Night At the Opera

The Who, Quadrophenia

Pretenders, s/t


Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here

Deep Purple, Machine Head

Aerosmith, Toys In the Attic


The Shins, Oh Inverted World

Neil Young, After the Gold Rush

Stone Temple Pilots, Purple


The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers

Van Halen, s/t

The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow


Black Sabbath, Paranoid

The Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed

Neil Young, Harvest


The Stooges, Funhouse

Television, Marquee Moon

The Modern Lovers, s/t

(Update: We had some adds and drops, so the new students’ selections are included below. Also, a few students have picked their albums already and those are bolded.)

So see the hat below? In it are 100 numbered wooden shapes representing albums released from 1965-2008. Each student is going to select three numbers and will have a week to pick an album to write about. The point is to get the students out of the mode of cherry picking songs. I want them to learn to appreciate an album as a whole. So without further adieu, here are the three possible albums each student pulled from the hat (first names only to protect the guilty):

Which will they pick? Which should they pick? I’ll let you know in a week.


Shealee: Radiohead, Ok Computer; Journey, Escape; Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells

Kerry: The Police, Oulandos D’Amour; Rush, Permanent Waves; Rush, Moving Pictures (yeah, she somehow picked consecutive numbers)

Jalene: Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II; Fairport Convention, Liege & Lief; Tom Petty, Full Moon Fever

Amanda: Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True; Alice Cooper, Welcome to My Nightmare; Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon

Taylor: The Beatles, Rubber Soul; Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation; The Ramones, Ramones

Brandon: Guns ‘N Roses, Appetite For Destruction; The Beatles, Abbey Road; U2, War

Danielle: Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Axis: Bold As Love; Creedence Clearwater Revival, Willie and the Poor Boys

Monica: Patti Smith Group, Easter; Talking Heads, Talking Heads: 77; The Who, Who’s Next

Chris: The Ramones, Rocket to Russia; The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds; Santana, Abraxas.

Michael: The Who, Tommy; Patti Smith, Horses; Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville

Timothy: The Who, Quadrophenia; Queen, A Night at the Opera; Pretenders, Pretenders

Chancellor: Deep Purple, Machine Head; Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here; Aerosmith, Toys in the Attic

Jacob: Neil Young, After the Gold Rush; The Shins, Oh Inverted World; Stone Temple Pilots, Purple

Mark: The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers; Van Halen, Van Halen; The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow

Evan: The Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed; Neil Young, Harvest; Black Sabbath, Paranoid

Spencer: Television, Marquee Moon; The Stooges, Funhouse; The Modern Lovers, The Modern Lovers

Hello all:

Well, we’re doing it again, only this time we’re taking the music up from the 1920s through around 2005. We have some really cool guest speakers this semester who will chat with us via Skype:

Mia Katherine Boyle (MKB Ultra). Mia is the vision behind this psychedelic Seattle band.

Chad Channing (Nirvana). Chad was Nirvana’s first “real” drummer in that he toured and recorded with the band during their Sub Pop days. He also played on Bleach, Nirvana’s first record. Chad is doing his second stint with us.

Judy Dyble (Fairport Convention). Judy was Fairport’s first singer. She also played a giant autoharp while she sang. Fairport has been credited for creating the British version of folk/rock. Judy has shared some great stories hanging out with Richard Thompson and Jimi Hendrix. She’s also coming back for a second time.

Steve Howe (Yes.) So Steve can play guitar a little bit. He’s a prodigy/guitar master who is returning for his second visit with us. Last time, in addition to playing some Yes songs for the students, he dabbled in Wes Montgomery and Vivaldi.

Terry Marshall (Marshall Amplification Company co-founder.) Terry, along with his dad Jim, started the Marshall company out of Jim’s instrument shop in London’s west end. From those humble beginnings in the early 1960s, Marshall quickly grew to become the standard bearer of electric guitar amplification. Terry chatted with us last spring from the Marshall factory, sitting in a black leather chair in front of an intimidating stack of Marshall amps.

Chris Martin (Kinski.) Kinski is my favorite post-grunge Seattle band. If Sonic Youth and Black Sabbath had a baby, it would be Kinski.

Roger McGuinn (Byrds.) Roger will be chatting with us (and possibly playing) for the third time. He’s a great guy and an incredibly talented player. The Byrds are credited with inventing southern California folk/rock as well as country/rock.

Rogers Stevens (Blind Melon.) Rogers, now an attorney in Philadelphia, will be visiting us for a second time. Blind Melon gained fame in the early ’90s on the strength of the classic “No Rain.” After singer Shannon Hoon’s death, Stevens went to college and became a lawyer. Blind Melon still tours and records on occasion with a new singer.

Kathy Valentine (Go-Go’s). Kathy is making her first visit with us and we’re super psyched. The Go-Go’s became popular in the early ’80s with the hits “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat.”

So we’re excited to get started. I’ll be posting about our first class shortly.