Neverwednesday Nights

>> Wednesday, April 02, 2008

If you said to me, "Think fast! Who's your favorite singer-songwriter?" the words "Michael Penn" would shoot right out of my mouth with no hesitation whatsoever, not even a pause.

Not exactly a household name. He had one hit in 1989 ("No Myth," from March) and a smidgeon of radio play in 1992 ("Seen The Doctor," from Free For All, a good album that sold poorly and is now nigh-impossible to get new; used copies are still floating around on the cheap, though*), and then he dropped from most people's radar. Paul Thomas Anderson fans probably recognize him from Boogie Nights, but have they bought any of his albums? Probably not. Bastards.

Anyway, here's the video for "Walter Reed," a tremendously good song from Mr. Penn's tremendously good 2005 album, Mr. Hollywood, Jr. 1947, which is absolutely worth buying (the whole album--this is an example of how getting one song from iTunes would be totally cheating yourself):

*I know, I know: how good can Free For All really be if you can only find it used, and used copies can be found for as little as a-penny-plus-shipping? I like this album, what can I say? A lot of other people apparently didn't. But let me put it to you this way, for whatever it's worth: it's not like you have a lot to lose by buying it. You spend three bucks: if you agree with me, you have a great record at a bargain price; you disagree with me, you have a three-dollar coaster.


Michelle K Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 8:47:00 PM EDT  

I like (and own) "Free For All", but I have to admit that I like "March" better.

No Myth is completely awesome, but that album as a whole is wonderful to listen to. "I'll do this, I'll do that..."

But I haven't bought anything recently, because I haven't bought much music recently.

Eric Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 12:02:00 AM EDT  

The only Penn album I wasn't totally thrilled by was MP4 (Days Since A Lost Time Accident), and it was still good, it just wasn't as good as Resigned, which might be his best record. March is fantastic, of course.

When you have a chance, you really should pick up Resigned and Mr. Hollywood Jr.--they really are incredible records.

And treasure (and backup) that copy of Free For All; it's out of print and seems to stay that way. The last time it was in print (as far as I know) was as part of a two-albums-on-one-disc deal where it was packaged with March; unfortunately, to "fit" both albums onto one CD, they cut songs from the records. I.e. DO NOT WANT.

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