February152013

Did you see this?  Holy shit.

3PM

I thought a lot yesterday about the best anti-Valentine’s Day songs.

Seems like I could just list a bunch from AMC and Mark Eitzel, like… Lonely, I’ve Been a Mess.  I’ll keep thinking.

January142013
One of the many sites/bogs I follow had an update yesterday that mentioned Talk Talk.  Unfortunately for me, it was about an upcoming UK release of a Greatest Hits compendium.
But it still got me to put The Colour of Spring on the turntable.  I obviously loved this back in the day, as it took a bit of cleaning and smoothing to get rid of some of the scratches, but it was worth that and many repeat spins.  I didn’t know much about the band, just that they were one among many of the New Romantics that I leaned towards in the early 80’s.  But they also stood out.  As Jason Ankeny for All Music described of their debut album, they seemed “defined by contemporary synth pop sensibilities but with an honesty and lyrical depth absent from most other records of the moment.”  It’s a smooth, flowy album with many layers to it.  “Happiness is Easy” has those jazzy elements that the band explored further as they developed, and Mark Hollis’ voice is a pure haunting on “I don’t Believe in You.”  I am hypnotized by “Time It’s Time,” really all of side two.  Side one is very good, too, but it seems to me that they progressively loosened the reins throughout the record.  If you pay attention to lyrics, though, this all makes sense.  The album working as sort of a life-cycle.  Yeah, I hope I am MUCH looser at the end.
The good news for record sales, I am now on the hunt for Laughing Stock and Spirit of Eden.
Enjoy.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xlZUsU6dqY

One of the many sites/bogs I follow had an update yesterday that mentioned Talk Talk.  Unfortunately for me, it was about an upcoming UK release of a Greatest Hits compendium.

But it still got me to put The Colour of Spring on the turntable.  I obviously loved this back in the day, as it took a bit of cleaning and smoothing to get rid of some of the scratches, but it was worth that and many repeat spins.  I didn’t know much about the band, just that they were one among many of the New Romantics that I leaned towards in the early 80’s.  But they also stood out.  As Jason Ankeny for All Music described of their debut album, they seemed “defined by contemporary synth pop sensibilities but with an honesty and lyrical depth absent from most other records of the moment.”  It’s a smooth, flowy album with many layers to it.  “Happiness is Easy” has those jazzy elements that the band explored further as they developed, and Mark Hollis’ voice is a pure haunting on “I don’t Believe in You.”  I am hypnotized by “Time It’s Time,” really all of side two.  Side one is very good, too, but it seems to me that they progressively loosened the reins throughout the record.  If you pay attention to lyrics, though, this all makes sense.  The album working as sort of a life-cycle.  Yeah, I hope I am MUCH looser at the end.

The good news for record sales, I am now on the hunt for Laughing Stock and Spirit of Eden.

Enjoy.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xlZUsU6dqY

January92013
Yeah, so, It’s been a while.
I’ve changed direction, due to the renaissance of my vinyl fan-ship.  I refurbished my turn-table, and brought all of my albums home.  I stayed home on Monday, and focused my attentions on the high school and college record shelf.  I discovered a bounty, records I once loved and have not listened to in years.  It’s been fun.
When I was a senior in high school- boarding school, actually, I went to London in the spring.  I was an enormous fan of the Clash.  I had a Radio Shack cassette player- yes, I believe there were Walkman’s around then, but I had the budget-conscious version.  It was big, maybe 9”X 10”, and I always listened to the Clash (to the chagrin of my schoolmates.  “What is that crap?”)  I also spent ALL of my free-time wandering along King’s Road, hoping I’d run in to Joe Strummer.  That didn’t work out.
I believe that Combat Rock also came out that year.  I have the cassette, the album, and the CD, but it’s been a while.  This one is a real gem.  I’d have to confirm, but I think that this was the last Clash release to include Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, and some of it is magic.  Car Jammin’ is infectious, Overpowered by Funk a likely progression from their Dub fancies; Should I Stay or Should I Go and Rock the Casabah great dance-club favorites.  Straight To Hell is the one I remember most.  I guess it must have been that same senior year that my parents drove to MD and took me to Ocean City for the weekend.  This was definitely off-season, and the place was pretty deserted.  The Clash played on some Late Night show or other, and I knelt right in front of the TV as they performed this track.  At the same time, some wacky-looking couple came into my room, using a key- claiming It was given to them at the front desk. 
Everything was OK, they left. 
How great is that line in Car Jammin’ where it fades to Jeee-eeeee-eeee-eeee-eeeESUS?
(The first link has the studio version, with the aforementioned elongated Jesus.  The second a great live recording.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVxm-jtPzgw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opM5b7NQBXg

Yeah, so, It’s been a while.

I’ve changed direction, due to the renaissance of my vinyl fan-ship.  I refurbished my turn-table, and brought all of my albums home.  I stayed home on Monday, and focused my attentions on the high school and college record shelf.  I discovered a bounty, records I once loved and have not listened to in years.  It’s been fun.

When I was a senior in high school- boarding school, actually, I went to London in the spring.  I was an enormous fan of the Clash.  I had a Radio Shack cassette player- yes, I believe there were Walkman’s around then, but I had the budget-conscious version.  It was big, maybe 9”X 10”, and I always listened to the Clash (to the chagrin of my schoolmates.  “What is that crap?”)  I also spent ALL of my free-time wandering along King’s Road, hoping I’d run in to Joe Strummer.  That didn’t work out.

I believe that Combat Rock also came out that year.  I have the cassette, the album, and the CD, but it’s been a while.  This one is a real gem.  I’d have to confirm, but I think that this was the last Clash release to include Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, and some of it is magic.  Car Jammin’ is infectious, Overpowered by Funk a likely progression from their Dub fancies; Should I Stay or Should I Go and Rock the Casabah great dance-club favorites.  Straight To Hell is the one I remember most.  I guess it must have been that same senior year that my parents drove to MD and took me to Ocean City for the weekend.  This was definitely off-season, and the place was pretty deserted.  The Clash played on some Late Night show or other, and I knelt right in front of the TV as they performed this track.  At the same time, some wacky-looking couple came into my room, using a key- claiming It was given to them at the front desk. 

Everything was OK, they left. 

How great is that line in Car Jammin’ where it fades to Jeee-eeeee-eeee-eeee-eeeESUS?

(The first link has the studio version, with the aforementioned elongated Jesus.  The second a great live recording.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVxm-jtPzgw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opM5b7NQBXg

June292011

This may well be my favorite cover of all time.

June262011
June102011

As I was sending an email yesterday to my marketing colleagues, it struck me that we’re a team of women.  An old Beastie Boys song popped into my head- honestly, I’ve always considered Paul’s Boutigue to be a masterpiece- Hey Ladies.  An easy seque to email subject line, “Hey ladies in the place I’m callin’ out to ya…”

This was an awesome video.  Young cookie puss’s.

June52011

Quote

"My favorite review of my voice was once, it said, ‘Mark Eitzel is sort of like a cow, alone, in the middle of a field, under a tree, bellowing.’"

May152011

Two shows, one week.  The bad, the good, and the ugly.

Echo and the Bunnymen- the BAD and the UGLY.  I can’t really say they “reunited” for this show, as only two from the original line-up played.  Echo was probably my favorite band of my college years, and the fact that they were to perform their first two albums- Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here- made me giddy in anticipation.  I told a friend as we arrived that I was so excited I might cry.  Well, some bands do not age gracefully.  It was one of the worst shows I’ve been to in a long, long time.  The crowd at the Paradise was HORRENDOUS; it was sold-out, and to my dismay it was a reunion of the Great Unwashed.  Seriously, every person standing near me smelled- that rancid, dirty-scalp smell, from even the bald guy in front of me.  (Exhibit A.  Styx?  Really?  And does that hair look clean to you?)  Ian was a wreck.  Shit-faced, mumbling, and- saddest of all- unable to hit the notes of memory.  (Exhibit B- I wish I hadn’t used the zoom, this isn’t the Ian McCullough of my memory) He’d launch into a chorus in the right key, then abandon that quickly for some bizarre growl.  Will Sergeant never looked up, he barely moved.  We all age, but he looked more like a pedophilic music teacher than a guitarist of legend- exhibit C.  The sound was loud, somewhat dissonant, and the songs definitely lost their luster.  I made it through Crocodiles, and about half-way through Heaven- I left, sad and disappointed, after It Was a Pleasure.

The Feelies- the GOOD.  Every time I see them, they’re better than the last.  Unbelievably great performance, always.  They played downstairs at the Middle East, my preferred venue these days.  It was not a sold-out crowd; it was a crowd of 40-something hipsters, all respectful of the band and of their fellow attendees.  The Feelies played two sets.  The first was great, a slow build with many tracks off of their new album.  I worried a little that they’d lost some energy, but those fears were soon allayed as they launched into set two after a 15 minute break.  Then we saw Glenn Mercer in all his glory - jumping around like one with mild Tourettes; Bill Million attacking his guitar with gusto providing a crazy fast pace, Brenda adding quiet but persistent bass and Stanley Demeski flying on drums.  I can’t help but feel that this is a band who adores playing together, who know exactly what the other members will do at any given time.  They’d stand there for a second between songs- no “one, two, three”- just stand there.  And then with no discernible signal, launch perfectly in synch into a frenetic intro.  Their enthusiasm is infectious.  The entire set list was amazing- including Feelies faves and covers by the Rolling Stones (Rocks Off,) REM (Carnival of Sorts,) and, fabulously, the Stooges’ (I Wanna Be Your Dog.)  Almost THREE HOURS of musical bliss.  THIS is why I like going to shows.

April282011

Songs with good endings.

I was thinking about this as I listened to Smog’s Say Valley Maker.  There are some good ones, I might have to think about this for a while.

Destroyer’s Bay of Pigs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i9MAy7AEt4

Built To Spill’s Temporarily Blind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i9MAy7AEt4

Mood: Anticipatory

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