"Album Night" will return in 2015. Any ideas?

The inaugural year of "Album Night" was an exciting one!  Seventeen different artists were featured spanning five different decades. From Daniel Johnston and Weezer to John Coltrane and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, we covered a lot of bases.  But with 2014 just about in the bag, I see the potential to improve the "Album Night" format even more for 2015.  During the holiday break I'll be brainstorming ideas to improve the "Album Night" experience for us all.  And you can help!  I welcome and encourage you to submit any ideas for a better "Album Night" format in 2015.  Let me know what you like and don't like about the current format and let me know of any exciting ideas you may have for making "Album Night" a better experience for us all in 2015!  I appreciate all your feedback and will consider any and all new ideas put forth.  I look forward to another year of listening to great albums with all of you!

Here's a recap of the albums featured in 2014:

17.) 'Giant Steps' by John Coltrane
16.) 'Yip/Jump Music' by Daniel Johnston
15.) 'Exile in Guyville' by Liz Phair
14.) 'The Friends of Rachel Worth' by The Go-Betweens
13.) 'The Doors' by The Doors
12.) 'Moon Safari' by Air
11.) 'American Beauty' by the Grateful Dead
10.) 'Moondance' by Van Morrison
9.) 'Have Moicy!' by Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones
8.) 'Closing Time' by Tom Waits
7.) 'Forever Changes' by Love
6.) 'White Light/White Heat' by The Velvet Underground
5.) 'Appetite For Destruction' by Guns N' Roses
4.) 'Weezer' by Weezer 
3.) 'Electric Ladyland' by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
2.) 'Highway 61 Revisited' by Bob Dylan
1.) 'Nevermind' by Nirvana

9 comments

  • John T

    John T NY

    I have really enjoyed the Album Night (AN) series and look forward to listening and sharing ideas and opinions with other who join in every other week. A few suggestions with no consideration given to feasibility: 1. The goal is to get as many people to join in. So to the extent that access to the chosen album might limit participation it would be great if we could stream the music directly from the John Banrock web site. This would also help synching what we hear and when and encourage sales of the album afterwards to those who not own it. 2. A little voting during the session might stir up some controversy and interest - for example thumbs up/down on the artist, album or individual tracks. 3. Encourage more new artists/albums and not just classics. Perhaps some up and coming artists might make their material available for streaming to get additional exposure. The group could suggest artists they are interested in and if they are open to it the artists can actually join in the commentary. A "buy button" link for the album could make it even more appealing to them. 4. Schedule a "live" session where AN participants can meet and listen together at local venues periodically. Logistics might prove difficult but could create a "cult" of album listeners. 5. Have some voting on the site so people can rank the albums according to preference. This might be a good way to start off 2015 by voting on the top 2014 albums that were part of the series. These are some initial thoughts and I am sure I will post any other suggestions I think might be helpful. Good luck John and thanks for keeping the series going into 2015!!

    I have really enjoyed the Album Night (AN) series and look forward to listening and sharing ideas and opinions with other who join in every other week. A few suggestions with no consideration given to feasibility:

    1. The goal is to get as many people to join in. So to the extent that access to the chosen album might limit participation it would be great if we could stream the music directly from the John Banrock web site. This would also help synching what we hear and when and encourage sales of the album afterwards to those who not own it.

    2. A little voting during the session might stir up some controversy and interest - for example thumbs up/down on the artist, album or individual tracks.

    3. Encourage more new artists/albums and not just classics. Perhaps some up and coming artists might make their material available for streaming to get additional exposure. The group could suggest artists they are interested in and if they are open to it the artists can actually join in the commentary. A "buy button" link for the album could make it even more appealing to them.

    4. Schedule a "live" session where AN participants can meet and listen together at local venues periodically. Logistics might prove difficult but could create a "cult" of album listeners.

    5. Have some voting on the site so people can rank the albums according to preference. This might be a good way to start off 2015 by voting on the top 2014 albums that were part of the series.

    These are some initial thoughts and I am sure I will post any other suggestions I think might be helpful.

    Good luck John and thanks for keeping the series going into 2015!!

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Hi John, Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions. You certainly have some great ideas. The issue of the streaming actually has been on my mind for some time. Legally, I'm just not sure how I would obtain the rights to stream the album, even if only for the one night. Would I need the permission of the artist and/or publisher and/or record company (assuming they own the master recordings?). If anyone can shed light on this issue, please let me know. It would be great to have the ability to make the music accessible to everyone who joins album night right on my website. If I cannot get this issue resolved, I think my backup plan is to include a link on my site to the featured album on a legal streaming service (perhaps Spotify). I will not address here whether or not artists are compensated fairly by these streaming services, but only mention Spotify as a legal option (i.e. not stealing). Getting the artists involved in the discussion is another great idea and one I will look into. I would think that some of the lesser known artists would welcome an opportunity to connect with some new fans and would likely grant me the permission to stream the album on the site. The voting sounds like a great thought also. I've now put up a poll on the main "Album Night" page where you can vote for your favorite album from the 2014 lineup. You need not have attended the particular "Album Night" to vote for the album. If you prefer to do an entire ranking of all seventeen albums, I would recommend just adding them in a comment on this post. I might do it myself too, though looking now, it could be hard. We listened to some really great stuff this year! A local gathering at a venue would be fantastic too, though this is probably best suited for down the road. Once attendance increases with enough people from the same general geographic area, this could be very doable and enjoyable. The only difficulty I see with this would be connecting the people at the physical event with those joining online. Perhaps they would have to be separate events or perhaps the people at the venue would have to bring laptop/tablet/smart phone/etc to keep the conversation online going. Once the album is finished, the people at the live event could continue to discuss the album offline. That's my initial thinking anyway. Thanks again for your insights John. You've really got me thinking now, and I hope we can bring this event to the next level in the new year!

    Hi John,

    Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions. You certainly have some great ideas. The issue of the streaming actually has been on my mind for some time. Legally, I'm just not sure how I would obtain the rights to stream the album, even if only for the one night. Would I need the permission of the artist and/or publisher and/or record company (assuming they own the master recordings?). If anyone can shed light on this issue, please let me know. It would be great to have the ability to make the music accessible to everyone who joins album night right on my website. If I cannot get this issue resolved, I think my backup plan is to include a link on my site to the featured album on a legal streaming service (perhaps Spotify). I will not address here whether or not artists are compensated fairly by these streaming services, but only mention Spotify as a legal option (i.e. not stealing).

    Getting the artists involved in the discussion is another great idea and one I will look into. I would think that some of the lesser known artists would welcome an opportunity to connect with some new fans and would likely grant me the permission to stream the album on the site.

    The voting sounds like a great thought also. I've now put up a poll on the main "Album Night" page where you can vote for your favorite album from the 2014 lineup. You need not have attended the particular "Album Night" to vote for the album. If you prefer to do an entire ranking of all seventeen albums, I would recommend just adding them in a comment on this post. I might do it myself too, though looking now, it could be hard. We listened to some really great stuff this year!

    A local gathering at a venue would be fantastic too, though this is probably best suited for down the road. Once attendance increases with enough people from the same general geographic area, this could be very doable and enjoyable. The only difficulty I see with this would be connecting the people at the physical event with those joining online. Perhaps they would have to be separate events or perhaps the people at the venue would have to bring laptop/tablet/smart phone/etc to keep the conversation online going. Once the album is finished, the people at the live event could continue to discuss the album offline. That's my initial thinking anyway.

    Thanks again for your insights John. You've really got me thinking now, and I hope we can bring this event to the next level in the new year!

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    By the way, here's my personal ranking of the albums we listened to this year. I'd have to say that I enjoyed them all and had a difficult time ordering them for that reason. I'd love to see everyone else's ranking too! 1.) 'The Doors' by The Doors 2.) 'Forever Changes' by Love 3.) 'Electric Ladyland' by The Jimi Hendrix Experience 4.) 'Have Moicy!' by Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones 5.) 'Moondance' by Van Morrison 6.) 'Closing Time' by Tom Waits 7.) 'Giant Steps' by John Coltrane 8.) 'Highway 61 Revisited' by Bob Dylan 9.) 'Nevermind' by Nirvana 10.) 'White Light/White Heat' by The Velvet Underground 11.) 'Exile in Guyville' by Liz Phair 12.) 'Yip/Jump Music' by Daniel Johnston 13.) 'The Friends of Rachel Worth' by The Go-Betweens 14.) 'Moon Safari' by Air 15.) 'Weezer' by Weezer 16.) 'American Beauty' by the Grateful Dead 17.) 'Appetite For Destruction' by Guns N' Roses

    By the way, here's my personal ranking of the albums we listened to this year. I'd have to say that I enjoyed them all and had a difficult time ordering them for that reason. I'd love to see everyone else's ranking too!

    1.) 'The Doors' by The Doors
    2.) 'Forever Changes' by Love
    3.) 'Electric Ladyland' by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    4.) 'Have Moicy!' by Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones
    5.) 'Moondance' by Van Morrison
    6.) 'Closing Time' by Tom Waits
    7.) 'Giant Steps' by John Coltrane
    8.) 'Highway 61 Revisited' by Bob Dylan
    9.) 'Nevermind' by Nirvana
    10.) 'White Light/White Heat' by The Velvet Underground
    11.) 'Exile in Guyville' by Liz Phair
    12.) 'Yip/Jump Music' by Daniel Johnston
    13.) 'The Friends of Rachel Worth' by The Go-Betweens
    14.) 'Moon Safari' by Air
    15.) 'Weezer' by Weezer
    16.) 'American Beauty' by the Grateful Dead
    17.) 'Appetite For Destruction' by Guns N' Roses

  • Sarah

    Sarah NY

    hi john. here's my list. it was hard to make because i really like a lot of the albums we listened to. i like the format the way it was but i think john t did bring up some interesting ideas. whatever happens, i'll be ready for album night in 2015!!! 1- 'Moon Safari' by Air 2- 'Nevermind' by Nirvana 3- 'Exile in Guyville' by Liz Phair 4- 'Moondance' by Van Morrison 5- 'American Beauty' by the Grateful Dead 6- 'Weezer' by Weezer 7- 'The Doors' by The Doors 8- 'Have Moicy!' by Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones 9- 'Appetite For Destruction' by Guns N' Roses 10- 'Forever Changes' by Love 11- 'Electric Ladyland' by The Jimi Hendrix Experience 12- 'The Friends of Rachel Worth' by The Go-Betweens 13- 'Highway 61 Revisited' by Bob Dylan 14- 'Closing Time' by Tom Waits 15- 'White Light/White Heat' by The Velvet Underground 16- 'Giant Steps' by John Coltrane 17- 'Yip/Jump Music' by Daniel Johnston

    hi john. here's my list. it was hard to make because i really like a lot of the albums we listened to. i like the format the way it was but i think john t did bring up some interesting ideas. whatever happens, i'll be ready for album night in 2015!!!

    1- 'Moon Safari' by Air
    2- 'Nevermind' by Nirvana
    3- 'Exile in Guyville' by Liz Phair
    4- 'Moondance' by Van Morrison
    5- 'American Beauty' by the Grateful Dead
    6- 'Weezer' by Weezer
    7- 'The Doors' by The Doors
    8- 'Have Moicy!' by Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones
    9- 'Appetite For Destruction' by Guns N' Roses
    10- 'Forever Changes' by Love
    11- 'Electric Ladyland' by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    12- 'The Friends of Rachel Worth' by The Go-Betweens
    13- 'Highway 61 Revisited' by Bob Dylan
    14- 'Closing Time' by Tom Waits
    15- 'White Light/White Heat' by The Velvet Underground
    16- 'Giant Steps' by John Coltrane
    17- 'Yip/Jump Music' by Daniel Johnston

  • John T

    John T NY

    John, here are my rankings. We listened to lots of great albums so putting in them in exact order was hard but gave me another reason to listen to them again. I am sure that Album Night will give us plenty more classics to enjoy in 2015. 1. Have Moicy! 2. Friends of Rachel Worth 3. Forever Changes 4. Giant Steps 5. Moondance 6. Highway 61 Revisited 7. White Light/White Heat 8. Nevermind 9. Electric Ladyland 10. Closing Time 11. American Beauty 12. The Doors 13. Exile in Guyville 14. Air Safari 15. Appetite for Destruction 16. Weezer 17. Yip/Yump Music

    John, here are my rankings. We listened to lots of great albums so putting in them in exact order was hard but gave me another reason to listen to them again. I am sure that Album Night will give us plenty more classics to enjoy in 2015.

    1. Have Moicy!
    2. Friends of Rachel Worth
    3. Forever Changes
    4. Giant Steps
    5. Moondance
    6. Highway 61 Revisited
    7. White Light/White Heat
    8. Nevermind
    9. Electric Ladyland
    10. Closing Time
    11. American Beauty
    12. The Doors
    13. Exile in Guyville
    14. Air Safari
    15. Appetite for Destruction
    16. Weezer
    17. Yip/Yump Music

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    Hi all. Here's my list. Not a huge jazz fan, hence Giant Steps being last. I really enjoyed the whole album night concept though. We listened to some fantastic albums together and it was great to be able to interact with others who were also passionate about the music. It would be great to stream the music on the site for 2015, but then again the current format gives me a reason to purchase the albums I don't already own ( which for this year I have listened to many times after we listened on album night). It's really added a lot to my music collection! 1.) Have Moicy! 2.) Closing Time 3.) Moondance 4.) White Light/White Heat 5.) Highway 61 Revisited 6.) Electric Ladyland 7.) Forever Changes 8.) The Doors 9.) American Beauty 10.) Yip/Jump Music by Daniel Johnston 11.) Moon Safari 12.) Nevermind 13.) Exile in Guyville 14.) Weezer 15.) Appetite For Destruction 16.) The Friends of Rachel Worth 17.) Giant Steps

    Hi all. Here's my list. Not a huge jazz fan, hence Giant Steps being last. I really enjoyed the whole album night concept though. We listened to some fantastic albums together and it was great to be able to interact with others who were also passionate about the music. It would be great to stream the music on the site for 2015, but then again the current format gives me a reason to purchase the albums I don't already own ( which for this year I have listened to many times after we listened on album night). It's really added a lot to my music collection!

    1.) Have Moicy!
    2.) Closing Time
    3.) Moondance
    4.) White Light/White Heat
    5.) Highway 61 Revisited
    6.) Electric Ladyland
    7.) Forever Changes
    8.) The Doors
    9.) American Beauty
    10.) Yip/Jump Music by Daniel Johnston
    11.) Moon Safari
    12.) Nevermind
    13.) Exile in Guyville
    14.) Weezer
    15.) Appetite For Destruction
    16.) The Friends of Rachel Worth
    17.) Giant Steps

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    It's fascinating to see everyone's ranking of the 2014 "Album Night" lineup. There's a good deal of variation which really shows how personal music is and how varied our tastes are. Thankfully there is a plethora of great music out there so we can all find music that we truly love. Hopefully we'll find more of that in the 2015 version of "Album Night"!

    It's fascinating to see everyone's ranking of the 2014 "Album Night" lineup. There's a good deal of variation which really shows how personal music is and how varied our tastes are. Thankfully there is a plethora of great music out there so we can all find music that we truly love. Hopefully we'll find more of that in the 2015 version of "Album Night"!

  • John T Jr

    John T Jr NY

    Hey John, Figured I'd add my list of album nights as well! Can't wait for 2015's line up! 1) Have Moicy 2) The Friends of Rachel Worth 3) Nevermind 4) Forever Changes 5) White Light/ White Heat 6) Highway 61 Revisited 7) Yip/Jump Music 8) Moondance 9) American Beauty 10) Weezer 11) The Doors 12) Closing Time 13) Electric Ladyland 14) Giant Steps 15) Moon Safari 16) Appetite For Destruction 17) Exile in Guyville

    Hey John,
    Figured I'd add my list of album nights as well! Can't wait for 2015's line up!

    1) Have Moicy
    2) The Friends of Rachel Worth
    3) Nevermind
    4) Forever Changes
    5) White Light/ White Heat
    6) Highway 61 Revisited
    7) Yip/Jump Music
    8) Moondance
    9) American Beauty
    10) Weezer
    11) The Doors
    12) Closing Time
    13) Electric Ladyland
    14) Giant Steps
    15) Moon Safari
    16) Appetite For Destruction
    17) Exile in Guyville

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Thanks John. Great to see another ranking! I appreciate your input. If anyone were to ask me if 'Appetite for Destruction' is a great album I would say "of course", without hesitation. Despite that, it's towards the bottom of all our lists (last on mine, in fact). Guess it just goes to show the caliber of albums we've listened to. I'm looking forward to even more enlightened listening 2015!

    Thanks John. Great to see another ranking! I appreciate your input.
    If anyone were to ask me if 'Appetite for Destruction' is a great album I would say "of course", without hesitation. Despite that, it's towards the bottom of all our lists (last on mine, in fact). Guess it just goes to show the caliber of albums we've listened to. I'm looking forward to even more enlightened listening 2015!

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