Tuesday, November 29, 2005

i've created a monster!

list/link mania continues....

here's one i discovered today that posits the 33 hottest bands in canada. lots of interesting links to other blogs as well as artists sites.
you are probably not interested in the Issac Hayes ....I just got a little excited about this links function Kyle taught me......Ill try to keep it in control ....
Thanks Kyle ...check out this Issac hayes
btw derek....looks like itunes has that imogen heap cd for $9.99, which is probably cheaper than what they had it for at hmv.
i read that pitchfork article a few weeks back and had lots of chuckles. a friend of mine actually played the 'heintje' record (featured on the first page) last year at a dinner party and the groupo nearly wet itself in laughter. the track he played, 'i'm your little boy' features heintje softly whispering the words, 'mama, i love you' during the bridge.

as for digging through the silly album covers in my own collection:

one of the first albums i owned was heart's 'magazine', which features the silly ass cover listed here. love pavement but always thought the cover for 1995's 'wowee zowee' was particularly stupid. actually, i could be here for awhile this is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel...

have you ever not bought an album because of the cover? i guess in the age of downloading this is becoming less of an issue but it did happen to me once this year. i'd heard a couple of tracks from the NYC-based group, Brazilian Girls and was interested in picking up the disc but refused when I saw this cover. I was kind of on the fence about the album and looking at the cover, felt that I'd probably regret the purchase in the very near future; it was as if they seemed less like musicians and more like a bunch of jackasses messing around with some sounds and coming up with something that sounded good to me on first listen but maybe wasn't worth my time.

question: what are the coolest album covers of all time?

abbey road and dark side of the moon immediately come to mind are of course classics. another of the first albums i ever bought was supertramp's 'breakfast in america', which i still really like.

any others you'd all care to add?

also, not that i mind copying and pasting, but here's a tip on making actual links: Highlight the word you want to use as the link, like I did with the words 'magazine' and 'cover' above, then click on the link icon, located above the text box you're typing in and represented by a picture of a globe with what appears to be a chain resting on its northern axis. Then paste the link in the URL field and click OK. There, now you've linked to that site. And don't you feel better?

Friday, November 25, 2005

from my own collection I think this is the worst I have....


Copy and paste the link above
Bad album art. This might be a good topic for discussion as I'm sure we've all come across some clangers in our day. Some of the covers shown here are laugh out loud funny but be warned that by the time you get to the last few pages some are just over the top repulsive. Sadly I own 4 of these records and have a 5th from which the single extracted is on this list also. I'll leave it to you aces to guess which ones if you've got nothing to do this afternoon.

Some of the worst covers I remember from my days when I had hair and trawled the two indie record stores in downtown hammertown were those of the Dayglo Abortions. Any that come to mind that aren't shown here?

well....it seems we've all bit a bit sporadic with posts lately....to be frank, I had sort of given up last month when it seemed like it was only Derek and Kyle out there....It seems you need at least 3 others (BARE MINIMUM) outside of yourself to make for any kind of meaningful dialogue, so since marc seems to have abandoned the site completely , but Brian is now back after understandably being absent with the newborn , itll be up to the 4 of us to be a bit more active.....myself included...
so in that spirit....
TRy again Brian with your name the band...I didnt have enough time.....
Ill try your music tips guys cause im in a bit of a drought........
Thus ....Ive gone a bit retro....picking up JF Sorrow (kudos to Brian) and also the early sampler Cure "staring at the sea" nothing you guys dont already know about....
I also picked up a very concise Lennon 2 disc set which better summarizes his career
then the Lennon BOX ...The 4 discs had too much filler , which though interesting , didnt really hold up to repeated listenings...Anyone who wants to trade or buy it off me is welcome.....

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hate to see you two chaps trade words with no input from the rest of us so here goes. Liked the band guessing game there Brian just never got around to posting a response so don't forsake the idea completely just yet. Could have sworn band 2 was Nirvana. Speaking of which have any of you seen that dirge of a movie by Van Sant yet. It's called "Last Days" and you might never see yours if you watch this somnolent piece of indulgence.

As for music of the month I can say without doubt what my song of the month has been. Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek". If you're averse to the vocoder please run the other way. Personally I'm with the guy who does NPR's All Songs Considered. Every 10 years or so you need a really great vocoder song whether it be Laurie Anderson or Cher. This one's a beauty and I just can't get enough of it. Check out Salon's Audiofile (Oct 14) if you want to download a copy of it and please all your chums when you cut it as track #3 on all the Christmas comps. Only downside here is that when I went to buy the album last week at HMV it had that dastardly CC logo on it and so ixnay on that purchase.

Another piece of music that came to my attention courtesy of NPR is Orenda Fink's (love the names of these women) album "Invisible Ones". You can listen to the whole thing in streaming audio at http://www.orendafink.com/orendafink.html.

There's a bit of Kate Bush going on here and some Tori Amos I suppose but not in that idiosyncratic way that makes every Tori song sound the same and has me reaching for the mute button. If you like the Cocteau Twins you'll probably love track #6 "Miracle Worker".

I concur with Kyle on the Animal Collective but I'll say that "Sung Tongs" also grew on me. For me AC are a lot like BSS in that you would be hard pressed to pick out the "songs" on the record but there's a lot of primal emotion and when you're in the right frame of mind it can really rock.

I'm also digging the new Deerhoof record. I'm three records into these guys now and they seem to turn them out at a pretty fast pace. I was really turned on by 2003's "Apple O" but last year's "Milk Man" was a real chore and didn't see the light of day more than 3 or 4 times. Glad to say that the new record might be there most accessible yet so if you were scared off by the yelping of the Japanese female vocalist and the rather too angular riffs of records past this might be the place to parachute in.

Must check out the Ladytron disc as I've been on the verge several times then backed off. Still have the horrible sound of Electroclash ringing in my ears.
Nothing worse than the sound of one hand clapping, eh? I too get glum when my posts generate zero response but I assume it's because everyone is so enthralled with what I've written that they're stressed about producing something approaching my genius.

Switching off jackass mode for a second...I like the monthly music pick thang and will here attempt some of my own...

I'm warming up to the new Animal Collective disc, 'Feels' quite nicely. I downloaded one of their previous albums and found it a little too...what's a good word to use...abstruse? Abbrasive? Difficult to appreciate unless one is the process of commiting a terrible act of violence? To hear an example, click here. 'Feels' has been described as one of their most accessible discs to date and while this latest may not get them on heavy rotation in Much More Music anytime soon, it does manage to channel some of the ready-to-explode energy into catchy melodies on several tracks while slowly building pretty, string-laden incantations on others. I think it's worth giving some time to get to know.

Equally challenging but yet to 'find my wheelhouse' as mon amis Ecossais would say, is the Coco Rosie disc 'Noah's Ark'. Though I like the title track, I'm still trying to get into the rest of the disc. I dig the the gauzy, discombobulated, jazzy female vocals and the overall production, but I find some of the songs get bogged down in their own esoterica. Perhaps this will change with a few more listens.

What else...the new Elbow disc, "Leaders of the Free World" is a bit of a disappointment on the first couple of listens. I really liked 2003's "Cast of Thousands", which managed to sound fresh and confident throughout while drawing immediate comparisons to Spiritualized, Catherine Wheel, and Coldplay. In the latest disc, the lyrics seem a little more forced and the vocals a little lethargic...kind of more lethargic Coldplay which I don't think anybody needs. Still, it's on the mp3 player so a few more listens it will get.

More of a pleasant surprise is Ladytron's 'Witching Hour', which I wasn't expecting much from, having not really enjoyed what'd I'd listened to previously. This album got some decent reviews so I bought it (emusic). When I listen to it, I hear Lush, Curve, M83, Kraftwerk, and maybe a little Laetitia Sadier from Stereolab, which hits all the right notes for me but maybe not for y'all out there.

Whatta you boys been listening to lately?
Oh come ON men! A complete swing and a miss on my part with Chesterfield Critic it seems (other than Kyle). I thought it had it all - being clever, biting, au courant, and utterly meaningless...wasn't it?.......ah well. Apparently pseudo-trashing The Clash, The Pixies, and The Beatles is not an exercise the collective we is into. In fact, it may have created an embarrassed, slightly peevish silence on the Blog. But these are the risks we take.

So moving on, I am about to generate my first "picks of the month" list, which will be challenging given that I listen to about ten minutes of music a day right now (and then in a slightly comatose state). Nevertheless, coming soon. I encourage others, who, perhaps, are more in the scene, to follow suit.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Kylie - The Band review is from Derek's blog of October 26th. Just re-read it again and it still slays me.

Re Chesterfield Critric - congratulations! You have one correct answer! In fairness to all of the other contestants I will hold off on telling you which one - can you stand the suspense?
When was 'The Band' referenced? From my last recollection, it was mentioned here when discussing live performances. I hate 'The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down' for what it's worth, but not enough to mount a case against it. I do like 'The Weight', if that's any consolation.

Would it be possible for someone to link to the Guardian article? I tried searching their site but was unsuccessful.

I like the game, Bri. Are we talking: R.E.M., Nirvana, and the Beatles?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hey boys....finally catching up on some of the last few weeks' blogs. And it's been pretty quiet out there. However, I am laughing out loud at the critical exchange you referenced on the Band, Derek, particularly the oh-so irreverent Guardian review. Fucking hilarious, and it must have been a ton of fun to blast to smithereens one of the hallowed bands of the past forty years.....and let's face it, he has a point about the Band, they were over-earnest, they did sing a lot of shit about Southern culture, the songs did go on and on sometimes......but their best songs, and there are a significant number of them (including the apparently execrable The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down) are absolutely timeless and transcendent (there it is, I called them transcendent).

And unless Mr. Gloomy Gus reviewer is prepared to slag all blue-eyed soul artists (Little Feat, Delany and Bonnie, Van Morrison, et al), and/or all blues-folk-country cross-overs (Young, Dylan, Grateful Dead, etc), because apparently the music has no right to eXIST..... well then, buddy, just shut your mouth, because the Band were pretty fucking special. Sorry, got a bit worked up there.

On that note (I'm rolling now), I've just thought of a new game, I'll call it Chesterfield Critic. The appointed CC (me, for now), chooses a few bands, preferrably who have few critical naysayers, and, inspired by Guardian boy, turns a wholly negative lens on their output, and tries to write critical dross from that perspective to stump the panel....i.e., guess which bands I'm referring to:

Band # 1 - self-important political posers unable to stick to a musical genre for more than 6 months who missed the zeitgeist of 19?0's (city name)__ by a country mile and ultimately dissolved in an embarassing mulch of self-parodying commercial stridency.

Band # 2 - utterly unremarkable early noise-poppers whose lack of ear for melody was only outdone by their boring sparse arrangements and annoyingly smug tongue-in-cheek lyrics and vocal delivery.... sometimes, somehow, credited with inspiring the (God help us) grunge movement.

Band # 3 - regrettable direction-setters of pop whose inexplicable influence still has not run its course despite forty years of hard slogging - simple pentatonic harmonies over top of naive (my three-year old has more complex thoughts) lyrics never did consititute genius and even less so today. Increasingly flaccid arrangements towards the end of their blissfully short career dragged them down even further and many if not all of their songs are entirely cringeable today.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sarah and I buy songs from time to time (mostly popular songs to accompany workouts) from Itunes. All Itunes pricing are in local currency so that $9.99 will be in Canadian funds, tax included. They usually send you an email with what is charged to your visa shortly after the purchase. Looks like a pretty big cost savings for that soundtrack. Though you don't get the liner notes and case, it's still a significant difference.

Most of the music I buy these days is downloads, either through Emusic or Itunes. Though I like having the package of a disc, I can get more music and find I listen more these days on the go than I do at home.

Thanks for lending me the second Clientele disc. Enjoyed it yesterday after while cooking.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Have any of you lads purchased anything from iTunes? I was browsing their site last night and the soundtrack to the movie "The Squid and the Whale" was available for $9.99 which is a much better price than Sams who are selling it for $24.99. At least they have it as they seem to be the only place in town that does. But despite my best trawl through customer support (an oxymoron for our times if ever there was one) I could find no indication anywhere that the $9.99 that I would fork over would be in Canadian currency. Does anyone know if the prices posted are in $US or $CDN.

This month appears to be a good time if you're a Coltrane fan, and who isn't. Not only did we see the release of the Coltrane/Monk disc but now there is a double live CD release from 1965 with Coltrane, Tyner, Jones and Garrison. It received a 5 star review in this months Downbeat and you can check out another review here.


I picked it up at Sams earlier this week for $14.99 which may have been a bargoon as it's selling at HMV for about $33 which is similar to some prices I've seen on-line.