F5: Work like a farmer; Party like a rock star AltTop
A year end music review

Rare and recorded or local and live, we've got it

Originally published January 1, 2004

by Jedd Beaudoin

The discs
     My favorite titles of the year consist only of releases reviewed in these pages. There have been other, fine discs to come across my desk, most of them in the progressive or metal genres but those are the subject of another list at another time. One thing has become clear, however, this has been a great year for music ... it's just been a matter of knowing where to look. So, here's the Top 10 for the year...

  1. Live... Late... Loud — Reeves Gabrels (Myth Music) It's not every album that stays at the forefront of my mind like this one has since it first appeared in my hands earlier this year. Gabrels not only makes you believe that the glory days of the live album never passed, but also restores your faith in the guitar hero.
  2. View — Bryan Beller (Onion Boy Records) A non-bass record from a supreme bass player who makes you laugh and cry on this gorgeous collection of songs. What's most frightening about this album is that the thirtysomething Beller never wrote a lick of music before "No," one of the album's better pieces, two years ago.
  3. Live At Loft 150 — Gooding (S3 Records) Gooding has been embraced by plenty of folks outside Wichita and for good reason. This proves that you can be a well-received prophet in your hometown.
  4. Memory Girls — Warren Zanes (Dualtone Records) The former Del Fuego re-ignites his career with this refreshing and well-crafted batch of tunes. Breaking up never sounded like a better reason to preserve your art than it does on "Sidewalk Sale."
  5. The Size of Planets — Haley Bonar (Chairkickers Music) Lucinda who? Haley Bonar's barely into her twenties but this album sounds like it came from someone at least twice that age. "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" and "Bless This Mess" are two tracks anyone would have been proud to write.
  6. Come Feel Me Tremble (DVD) — Paul Westerberg (Redline Entertainment) Westerberg makes a movie at last and, truth be told, you almost can feel him tremble. Intimate and funny, this was worth the wait.
  7. Le Main Drag — The Bon Mots (Mellifluid) One of Chicago's most promising new bands. Hell, one of America's.
  8. Mastul — Devil Music (Red Fez Records) An adventure in adventure, this is a chug of fresh air if you ever needed one.
  9. Crucify My Heart — Lullacry (Century Media) A refreshing dose of love angst from Finland that did more than crucify this writer's heart.
  10. Forgotten Anthology 1995-2002 — Bumblefoot (Hermit Inc.) I had something clever to say about this, but I forgot what it was.


F5: Work like a farmer; Party like a rock star AltMusic

Bumblefoot—Forgotten Anthology 1995-2002
Hermit Inc., 2003

Originally published July 24, 2003

by Jedd Beaudoin

Bumblefoot will make you happy. Bumblefoot will make you cry. Bumblefoot will make you raise your hands in the air, make you pound your fist, preacherlike, on the table top, make you feel all righteous and shit, then he'll make you see the beauty of your fellow man. Sometimes all at once.
     Forgotten Anthology is a collection of songs that were, for whatever reason, left off Bumblefoot's previous three releases (the insidiously addictive Hands; Uncool, a long day's journey through love and hate which featured the words "Lloyd Bridges" and "motherfucker" in the same breath; and 9/11 — an album that purchasing not only means that your money goes to a charitable cause but also means you get to check out a track called "Don Pardo Pimpwagon"). Most of the songs here didn't make it onto the aforementioned releases because of time constraints, for none of what's presented here belongs on the cutting room floor.
     Whether the gorgeous "Thought I Could Fly" (a track that should garner loads of radio play), "Heart Attack," the scalarious "Girl Like You," the wrong-way boogie of "Crunch" or the seething anger of "Bagged A Big 1" (apparently Sir Foot was taken downtown on charges that were beyond bogus), Bumblefoot casts, as they say, a spell over listeners that leaves them stunned at his podish majesty's versatility. Some would say that he works magic, but magic connotes a kind of trickery, and Bumblefoot is definitely not about that. What he is about is rockin' your socks off, so hurry up and get this album so you can let the rockin' begin.