Category Archives: Songs To Love

Discoveries: Trevor Sensor

While I recognize that my musical tastes are extreme and all over the map, I’m still lucky enough to enjoy many old (and new) classics that pass over to you easily enough. But I would be remiss if I didn’t pass along something that stays in my head some months after release, and to introduce the artist that creates that excitement. This particular song is “Andy Warhol’s Dream”. The artist is Trevor Sensor.

As in days and decades past, once a label produces consistent likable talent, you come to watch out for their releases if only to sample what they’re interested in at the moment. One such label these days is Jagjaguwar. Last year, they released a Trevor Sensor debut album, also called Andy Warhol’s Dream. This album is a dreamy folk-based collection of tunes that has been likened to Woody Guthrie (although more Arlo, to me), early Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Sufjan Stevens, and – I suppose – some Bon Iver, He was born in Sterling, Illinois, which gives a bit of a midwest intrigue with other places like NYC.

The song, “Andy Warhol’s Dream” (heard below) easily reveals a strong Dylanesque voice (No? Then listen to “Nothing Is Fair“), if not a tad more unique and reminiscent of another artist who’s name eludes me (Help?). His lyrics explore like the lyrics of the ’60s, in ways more intense and pleading than anything U2 or Springsteen could conjure up these days.

Needless to say, I can’t escape the “Andy Warhol’s Dream” gem. And it compels me to hear more of his music, of which there are this debut album, and two previously released EPs (Texas Girls and Jesus Christ – 2016, Starved Nights of Saturday Stars – 2016).

I can only introduce you to Trevor Sensor. What you do after this is up to you. But Jagjaguwar got this one completely right!

Songs To Love: Big City – David Johansen

InStyleJohansenI have had over 20,000 LPs in my life.  I have had around 10,000 CDs.  At one time, I had around 2000 45s, collected during my very young years.  I have realized that there aren’t that many albums created that were enjoyable all the way through, at least in my life.

Now, that’s not to say that I haven’t a wealth of revered albums that I can listen to completely.  I do.  So do you.  But we are more emotionally tied into what we listen to, often for life’s soundtrack reasons.  It’s why we hear a song that we are very pleased with, run out and buy the album that contains it, and discover that the song we loved was about the only great track on the album.

Honestly, of the 20,000 LPs, and 10,000 CDs that have passed through my life (and continue to do so), there aren’t that many that I have a complete love affair with.  One day I should try and tick them off on a list.  But some day…

It should be noted that there are all kinds of love for any album.  I recently came back into contact with In Style, the 1979 Blue Sky-issued second album from David Johansen.  On that album is a track that I adore, the jazz-flavored ballad that is an ode to NYC, “Big City”.  If there was ever a love song written to a city, especially one as storied as New York City, “Big City” is it.  When I hear it, I feel that love for Chicago.

David JohansenI remember playing this track over and over and over.  In Style itself was a very good album.  I really and genuinely liked every song on the album, some more than others.  The album itself is very listenable all the way through.  Still…”Big City” is so contagious that it demands five times the play than the rest of the albums does.

If I did iPods (I really should but I just can’t), “Big City” would be on a frequently played playlist.

So there are albums that we love completely, with every song a gem; infinite replay value.  Then there are albums with good songs throughout, but a few songs possess the infinite replay value.  Then , of course, more often, there are albums with forgettable tunes BUT one!  Ohhhh, that one track.

I’ll end here by recommending “Big City” for you to seek out somehow.  Go to Amazon, and listen to a 30 second snippet.  Or if you have Google Play, or Spotify, or enjoy any of the radio services on the ‘net, give it a listen.  I’ll provide a video to a Johansen show in 2012, but its complete acoustic rendering doesn’t do the song justice in any way.  It has to be heard with its saxophone, piano, percussion, and Johansen’s believable vocals.  He’s in love.  You can tell.  You can feel it.  A great song.  Once you’re there, you might want to even listen to other tracks on In Style (especially if you utilize Spotify, or Google’s new Music service).

“Big city, you wear such a frown
Big city, you just tear me down
But still I linger, I still hang around
‘Cause you’re the best thing that I’ve found

Every night I’m dancin’, new love, true romancin’,  out livin’, out prancin’

Big city, you’re the one that I love…”

“Big City”
David Johansen – In Style (1979)

There just isn’t enough time in the day.  Never enough time.