New Records

This week I picked up a couple of new records for my collection: Cosmo’s Factory by Creedence Clearwater Revival (which I mention briefly in this post) and Jackson Browne’s self-titled debut album (sometimes referred to as Saturate Before Using, due to the phrase’s appearance on the album cover).

I’m currently going through a period of perfecting my current collection. For me, part of that process is getting rid of albums I don’t love or don’t listen to. The other part is buying the records I do really love when I find them, which is why I bought two new albums, while technically trying to downsize my nearly hundred-album collection.

As I mentioned in the End of Summer Playlist post, Cosmo’s Factory is a pretty recent discovery for me, but I love it now and couldn’t pass up this copy. I’m pretty sure it’s an original pressing, and it’s still in near-mint condition, aside from the slight cover wear. Jackson Browne I’ve actually owned for a long time. I purchased this copy, because the cover is in much nicer condition than the cover I’ve had ’til now. As the sixty-something fellow-collector who convinced me to buy this copy said, “It’s all about upgrading your collection.” I bought both of these at Antique Stores in Old Town Orange, which is a great place to go, if you want to spend hours digging through crates of records.

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Jackson Browne (1972) is more acoustic overall than Jackson’s later albums, which makes it a great go-to album for times when I need mellow background music (this was the album I listened to when a professor let the class listen to music while writing our in-class essays). This album is actually a go-to in general, for me. When I don’t know what I feel like listening to, I put on Jackson Browne.

If I can convince you to listen to the album, please appreciate the fact that, as an incredibly poetic 24-year-old, Jackson wrote the entire album. He also wrote the music, and played piano and acoustic guitar for most of the album.

Although this is not usually the album that comes immediately to mind, when someone asks me what my favorite Jackson Browne album is (I usually say The Pretender), Jackson Browne does have some of my favorite songs. Not only does “Rock Me On The Water” have a special place in my heart, as the first song I heard Jackson play in concert, I also think it has some of his cleanest and prettiest vocals. “Looking Into You” is another favorite, especially recently because the lyric “Now I’m looking in my life for a truth that is my own” has resonated with me so much this year. I also love and recommend “Song For Adam” and “Jamaica Say You Will.”

 

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Cosmo’s Factory is groovy as hell. One of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s later albums, it was released in 1970. The album runs from bluesy to folksy and from lighthearted to wistful, there are upbeat songs and breakup songs, some of it sounds like earlier ’50s rock and some of it sounds more like late ’60s rock, but it never feels disjointed. It’s a good example of the career CCR sound, which was the result of being influenced by a handful of musical movements.

I actually have a hard time writing about this album, because, as I listen to it, all I want to do is close my eyes and feel the music. My favorite song on the album, “Who’ll Stop The Rain,” was on the End of Summer Playlist. I mentioned “Long As I Can See The Light” in that post as well, but my other favorite is actually “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” which is worth the eleven minutes, in my opinion. “Ramble Tamble” is another favorite from the album, wait for the pause and the incredible instrumental interlude two minutes in.

 

So, there’s a look at what I bought this week feat. some photos taken on my iPhone. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, I would absolutely suggest both of these albums.

Stag Bar + Kitchen, Newport Beach

I spent some time in Newport Beach with my visiting parents on Friday and stumbled across a bar just around the corner from the Newport Pier. Stepping into the dim bar from the bright, beach street, you get a sense of the bar pretty quickly. It’s old school, without being too heavy handed. On one wall, deer antlers hang above a photo of the bar in the 1930s, which also features hanging antlers. On another wall is a quote that’s been widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Granted, we ended up in the bar at 1P.M. on a Friday afternoon, so I assume they get a bit busier, but this bar was so chill.

Stag Bar + Kitchen, est. 1908, is the oldest bar in Orange County, according to the plaque outside the door. The focus of the menu nowadays is pizza, with choices like Another One Bites the Crust (white sauce, mozzarella, herb chicken breast, pancetta, mushroom, & leek) and Meat Coma (tomato sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, pepperoni, capicola, & sausage). And they serve brunch on the weekends!

My parents and I split a couple of pizzas: The Dirty Hippie (habanero pesto, mozzarella, fresh red pepper, artichoke heart, mushroom, olive, heirloom tomato, & arbequina olive oil) and the Hot & Bothered (tomato sauce, mozzarella, sausage, jalapeño, olive, & wild mushroom). Both were delicious.

As cool as this bar is overall and as good as the food and beer was, my favorite part of my experience at Stag and one of the only reasons I’m posting about it is their crazy-amazing 21st century take on a jukebox. It’s called TouchTunes. And I love a real vintage jukebox as much as the next person, but there is something to be said for a digital jukebox that allows you to choose from an almost unlimited selection of songs.

As soon as I realized what the shiny screen on the wall was, I was standing in front of it stuffing in dollar bills to play “Magic Man” by Heart, “One of These Nights” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by Eagles, and “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne. When the songs I had chosen weren’t playing, the playlist was still solid. Mötley Crüe got the most plays, but Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide” was playing as we walked out.

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Here are some photos I took on my phone.

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Despite my impending move to Long Beach, which I am incredibly excited about, I’m planning to get back here as soon as possible. I honestly loved this bar. How mad do you think they’d be if I paid to play every Jackson Browne song in the catalogue in one sitting?

A Classic Rock Playlist for the End of Summer

I’ve been working on this playlist for a while, keeping track of the tunes that I’ve played and loved the most this summer. As my summer wraps up, I thought it was a good time to share this one. It’s a melancholy mix, perfect for the end of a groovy summer.

Summer of ’17:

 

Eagles’ “Lyin’ Eyes,” Jackson Browne’s “Sky Blue and Black,” and The Doors’ “Waiting for the Sun” are old favorites that I listened to a lot in the last three months. However, I’ve discovered a lot of incredible music recently. If you like this playlist, I recommend these albums that I found over the summer:

Simon & Garfunkel’s Wednedsday Morning, 3A.M. — This mellow folk record was the soundtrack to most of my summer. Simon and Garfunkel’s harmonies on this album are incredible. I had listened to the album half a dozen times within the first day of hearing it. After “Bleeker Street,” listen to “Wednesday Morning, 3A.M.”

Lana Del Rey’s Lust for Life — Granted, Lana Del Rey is not a classic rock artist, but she’s very heavily influenced by classic rock. Lana is one of my favorite young artists, and this record, which she released on July 21st, does not disappoint. After “Tomorrow Never Came,” which features John and Yoko’s son Sean, listen to “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems,” which features my love, Stevie Nicks.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmo’s Factory — I’ve listened to and loved Willy and the Poor Boys for a long time, but I was missing out on this album! I’ve fallen in love with the bluesy rock sound lately; this album has some great examples of that. After the two included songs, listen to “Long As I Can See The Light”

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young’s So Far — This is the band’s “Best of” album, a good mix of acoustic songs and heavier hits. I knew I liked Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, but this album made me realize just how much I like them. Those harmonies! After “Helplessly Hoping,” listen to “Woodstock”

Jackson Browne’s The Naked Ride Home — Some fans are willing to throw away most of Jackson Browne’s later work, but this is a solid record from my favorite artist, which I hadn’t listened to before he played “The Naked Ride Home” at a show I went to in July. After “The Naked Ride Home,” listen to “Don’t You Want To Be There” and “My Stunning Mystery Companion”

If you haven’t had a chance, read my introductory post, here.

A Classic Rock Blog

As I sit at the foot of my bed, staring at my computer screen and listening to Eagles’ self-titled, 1972 debut album, I’m trying to think of the best way to introduce this blog to the internet.

The name Goodnight, Laurel Canyon is a nod to many of my favorite bands and artists, who spent their time in the Hollywood Hills of the ’60s and ’70s. I’m here to share my life in pursuit of music.

This afternoon, I was walking along Long Beach’s Retro Row in the sunshine, carrying a copy of Paul McCartney’s first solo album, which I had just picked up at Third Eye Records. As I passed Lola’s, where there are tables and umbrellas set near the road in a little patio, a man in his sixties said, “That’s a great album.” I turned to agree with him, standing just outside the patio, and he added that McCartney was the best thing Paul ever did. I asked if he really thought so, and he asked if I had ever heard it, adding, “He released that while the Beatles were breaking up, and I remember listening to that album and thinking that this was Paul McCartney saying, ‘I was the Beatles.'”

I’ll probably never see the man again, I didn’t even catch his name, but I shook his hand before I left him to his late lunch. This is one of the reasons I love music, because it allows me opportunities to connect with other people in unexpected, brief, genuine, sometimes enlightening ways.

Content will vary, as I have time to pursue the things I’m interested in. For now, I anticipate sharing concerts I go to, record stores I find, records I buy, people I meet, playlists I make, thoughts on the music I love, and whatever else my pursuit of music looks like, day to day.