The Meandering Hexagon

Listener's Log: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Album: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
Artist: Bob Dylan
Release Date: 27 May 1963
Date Listened: 25 April 2017
Remarks: I guess you could call this Dylan's breakout record. He definitely emerges as a songwriter here, but in many ways I prefer the less heavy handed first album. Still a classic, and still brings a smile to my face.
Stand Out Tracks: Blowin' in the Wind, Girl from the North Country, Masters of War, Down the Highway, A Hard Rain's A-Goin to Fall, Don't Think Twice It's All Right, Oxford Town, Talkin' World War III Blues

Listener's Log: The Best of Spooky Tooth: That Was Only Yesterday

Album: The Best of Spooky Tooth: That Was Only Yesterday
Artist: Spooky Tooth
Release Date: 1999
Date Listened: 23 April 2017
Remarks: I think I can safely reach the conclusion that I don't really like Spooky Tooth. They're just pretty mediocre. Some of their tunes are somewhat pleasant as background noise, but it just doesn't do anything for me. But you never know, maybe I'll revisit somewhere down the road.
Stand Out Tracks: Tobacco Road, Waitin' For The Wind, Evil Woman, The Wrong Time

Listener's Log: Sweet Child by Pentangle

Album: Sweet Child
Artist: Pentangle
Release Date: 1 November 1968
Date Listened: 17 April 2017
Remarks: Pentangle moves straight to a double album for their second outing. Their eclectic sound is on full display here, as well as a fun concert recording. It's a must for fans with plenty that the casual listener should hear as well.
Stand Out Tracks: Market Song, No More My Lord, Haitian Fight Song, A Woman Like You, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Three Dances, No Exit, Bruton Town, Sweet Child, Three Part Thing, Sovay, In Time, In Your Mind, The Trees They Do Grow High, Moondog, Hole in the Cole

Listener's Log: Tarkus by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Album: Tarkus
Artist: Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Release Date: 14 June 1971
Date Listened: 15 April 2017
Remarks: Wow. ELP's second is a masterpiece. It surges into material rarely explored in rock n roll (like criticism of God and side long composition) yet it doesn't lose an ounce of power. ELP were, in many ways, the definitive progressive rock band and the more I listen to their catalog, the more I understand why people believe so.
Stand Out Tracks: Tarkus, Jeremy Bender, Bitches Crystal, The Only Way (Hymn), Infinite Space (Conclusion),

Listener's Log: A Sun Came by Surfjan Stevens

Album: A Sun Came
Artist: Surfjan Stevens
Release Date: 13 June 2000
Date Listened: 7 April 2017
Remarks: Surfjan Steven's debut seems like it's going to be the start of something great, but it veers off course several times. It seems like he hasn't quite found himself yet.
Stand Out Tracks: We Are What You Say, A Winner Needs a Wand, Happy Birthday, Ya Leil, A Sun Came

Listener's Log: David Bowie by David Bowie

Album: David Bowie
Artist: David Bowie
Release Date: 1 June 1967
Date Listened: 5 April 2017
Remarks: David's debut is a charmingly sweet Brit pop record laced with cyanide-like black humor. Among the topics mentioned in the blissful, unmemorable, little ditties are unhappy marriage, homelessness, the ravages of age, cannibalism, child abuse, and even an a capella post-apocalyptic murder plot. No, I'm not kidding. This is not a good record, but I kind of liked it. It's pretty strange and fun, even if the music is not all that good.
Stand Out Tracks: Uncle Arthur, Rubber Band, She's Got Medals, Please Mr. Gravedigger

Listener's Log: Fresh Cream by Cream

Album: Fresh Cream
Artist: Cream
Release Date: 9 December 1966
Date Listened: 4 April 2017
Remarks: I've often wondered why everyone is so crazy about Cream. Eric Clapton is a great guitarist, and Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker are remarkable on their instruments, but I've always found the vast majority of their material to be uninspired. But then when I finally gave their debut album a spin, I realized. Cream preceded nearly everybody in the blues rock and hard rock world. They are the missing link between the pop rock of the Beatles and the thunder of Led Zeppelin. Of course, The Who, The Rolling Stones and (principally) the Yardbirds and the Kinks were on the same track, but who's counting? That said, I feel I have a better appreciation for Cream now and I'm interested to hear if they grow in power later on. 
Stand Out Tracks: I Feel Free, N.S.U., Sweet Wine, Spoonful, Cat's Squirrel, Rollin' and Tumblin', Toad

Listener's Log: The Pentangle

Album: The Pentangle
Artist: Pentangle
Release Date: 17 May 1968
Date Listened: 2 April 2017
Remarks: What can I say about Pentangle? Part jazz, part folk, all English. Their debut is infused with energy and beautiful melodies. What a wonderful sound.
Stand Out Tracks: Let No Man Steal Your Thyme, Hear My Call, Pentangling, Mirage, Way Behind the Sun, Bruton Town, Waltz

Listener's Log Classical: Symphony No. 1 by Ludwig Van Beethoven

Composition: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Opus 21
Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Performed by: The New York Philharmonic
Release Date: 1795-1801
Date Listened: 1 April 2017
Remarks: My first official dive into classical music is not what I expected. It's almost cheerful, not the powerful and heavy melodies I have always associated with Beethoven. There's also a staggering amount of research and literature available on the symphony, and I wish more popular music was awarded the same kind of attention to detail.

Listener's Log: Atem by Tangerine Dream

Album: Atem (Breath)
Artist: Tangerine Dream
Release Date: March 1973
Date Listened: 1 April 2017
Remarks: A shift takes place in the Dream. Powerful percussion, vocals, and a return to the flute. Whatever could be coming next for our heroes as they venture deeper into the caverns of inner space?
Stand Out Tracks: Atem, Circulation of Events, Wahn

Listener's Log: Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan

Album: Bob Dylan
Artist: Bob Dyaln
Release Date: March 19 1962
Date Listened: 31 March 2017
Remarks: Color me crazy, but I've always been preferential to this Dylan. Young, undiscovered, eager and with a handful of traditional tunes approached in a fresh way. All acoustic and no bells or whistles. Of course, that opinion will probably change as I dig a little deeper into his body of work. A final note: I asked my wife who we were listening to:
"I don't know."
"Bob Dylan."
"Really? This is not how I think of Bob Dylan. This is GOOD!"
Stand Out Tracks: You're No Good, In My Time of Dyin', Man of Constant Sorrow, Fixin' to Die, House of the Risin' Sun, Song to Woody, See That My Grave Is Kept Clean