Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Assuming that the new Girl Talk isn't everyone's cup of tea let me suggest my favourite jazz album of 2010 as an alternative. It's a 2009 release but as I only downloaded it at the beginning of this calendar year it makes my year-end list and best of all it can still be found on e-music.

The Seamus Blake Quartet's Live in Italy double album clocking in at almost 2 hours of great swinging jazz comprises only 9 tracks and is thus an unbeatable bargain for those who subscribe.

Monday, November 29, 2010

This mash-up certainly won't be to all tastes, Kyle and mine perhaps, but I find each of this guys mixes very entertaining and the best part is you can download it for free.

Here's the review from today's Pitchfork.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gents I'm very much looking forward to Thursday but will likely be somewhat under prepared. I'll try to pull together some music before the get together but am overly busy with work at the moment. See you then.
Great link, Derek and interesting development. Wonder if the indies are planning on setting up shop elsewhere or their own independent platform. Whole bunch of interesting threads at Merge website discussing emusic, with a couple of posts suggesting that a consortium of indie labels could come together. Would love it if they did so. The last line of the lone commenter pretty well sums it up the direction emusic is taking.

What's worse for us non-US clients is that this supposedly massive dump of new music--the whole reason for the change to pricing and exodus of the big indies--is not available for download here. So the sacrifice of the great indie labels gets us zilch.

I sent an email to their customer service asking for clarification on the direction of the service for anyone outside the US but have not heard back yet. I'd guess that at least 50% of my purchases are from those labels. And when I then went for some jazz, half of the jazz I had saved for later (i.e. Miles "Workin' It") are no longer available for download either. Bugged emusic about this on twitter and they insisted that Fantasy/Riverside had not been removed for Canadian users but try searching for either of these labels and you'll find very little left for either. The one example I gave was for Monk's Brilliant Corners which I had saved but not downloaded. They located another copy I could download on Concord Records, which was nice of them to do, but I'm still struggling to find a lot of other stuff that I'm guessing is now gone.

I actually don't mind buying independent music directly from the lable or artists so if I could use my monthly allotment on more established artists and back catalogues that would be fine. But I agree with Derek that it's not looking good.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Here's some of the goods on e-music. I can't even download the new Belle & Sebastian now. Looks pretty grim. Might have to re-think the subscription as well. Something to discuss on Thursday night.
You'll have to bring some FandtheP to Stu's on Thursday, Marc. I'm unfamiliar with their body of work so would like to hear "Ladykiller". Not sure if that's snickering I hear in the background but whatever.

As for self-indulgence v. vapidity, wanking, onanistic meanderings, self-love sessions, jerk...okay you get my point which is, arent' they pretty much all synonymous? I mean, yes, by definition, an artist is going to be self-indulgent to some extent and we hope that they do so in order to produce something we can enjoy or appreciate. We only call them on it when it seems vapid. An album like The Wall is self-indulgent but we're not likely to complain because it's (mostly) brilliant. On the other hand, the superfluous 10 minute guitar solo at a Yo La Tengo concert or any Smashing Pumpkins album after 1995 stand out as easy targets for villification.

Interested in discussing more at Stu's. Will hopefully then have made a decision as to whether or not to sever my long-term relationship with emusic, which seems to have lost not only Merge records but also the Fantasy jazz label, while none of the exciting new artists and labels available in the US available to those of us in Canada.

Friday, November 19, 2010

DM, I must confess that Flash and the Pan has never really been unplayed on my turntable for more that a year or so and that in fact when you posted it had been sitting without its angel sleeve in a stack of recently enjoyed vinyl. I have to say that upon recent listenings that the tune "Ladykiller" takes on a wonderful poignancy now that we are one tenth of the way through the twenty first century. I tend to hate to think that i cling on to music for purely nostalgic reasons but F&TheP is a damn fine album. ...worthy of great debut album list? ...maybe not. One of the things that helps it to stand apart in my mind is that it still, to this day, sounds unique. First and Last is a surprisingly sweet wrap to a fine album indeed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sorry gents, i'm working my way back through the past nine months worth of blogaterial so forgive me for commenting on oh so passe topics.

I've been giving the idea of self indulgence in art some thought. I recently heard it said that the moment you stop doing things that YOU want to do as an artist, that is the moment that your fans will turn from you and loose interest. I think it is an interesting comment and i believe it in part but i think it is a very complex question. What make you popular as an artist? ...or as an individual for that matter!

I think we would all agree that good art does not necessarily sell and pop commodity often far outstrips the "popularity" or commercialization of that is truly good, meaningful, provocative or exploratory in art, or, in this case music.

I started to muse about it in relation to the conversation about the trio. I am of the belief that a musician can be as much of a wanker if he is playing with two others, by themselves, or with a stage full of musicians.

The greater part of me feels that art (music) should be self indulgent and needs to be so in order to say something meaningful. If not self-indulgence (from the Latin: to give free rein to, hence giving free rein to oneself), what we are always asking of them? ...to express themselves fully and without abandon? ...to open themselves up and expose their soles to us? ...if they have one?

The problem with self-indulgence is that it can open up a can of ugly worms ...all of a sudden someone feels the confidence and love of a crowd and goes off the deep end, deluded into thinking what they are saying musically is in fact, well, deep.

The problem is not with self-indulgence but rather with vapidity, vacuous wanking and supercilious noodling.

Which brings me around to the new Neil Young album LeNoise which i, unlike Stuart, thinks might have some merit. Incidentally, also speaking of noodling, i had the pleasure of seeing Daniel Lanois on Nuit Blanche and thoroughly enjoyed his soundscape and would have stuck around and let it wash over me for hours if i had not had frozen noixsettes and having also been dragged away by someone more critical and sane than myself ...the dancing girls where a bit much though Danny!

But onto LeNoise ...one could argue a very self-indulgent work? I think it's art, frankly. Neil is showing his age and is bitter and crotchety but i'm glad he's willing to share. Rarely have i heard anything so honest. I feel as if Neil has opened up his little black sketch book picked up his guitar and played. Many or most of the songs are not fully formed but are rather sketches, ideas that are gestures in charcoal on pages of cheap, coarse tooth art paper in book who's pages are flipped in frustration, anger and bewilderment.

Neil sings about his life and i feel as if i am reading his thoughts he has scribbled in his diary ...thoughts i was not supposed to hear ...thoughts that only someone who doesn't give a flying-fuck about what you think anymore (as if he ever did) is willing to bare his sole ...self-indulgent? yes. Good? huhm? work listening to? yes.

I have always been a HUGE fan of Lanois' and this album is no exception. I love what he has done with this "solo", live off the floor album. Frankly this cannot be considered a solo project; Lanois plays too big a part in it. Apparently it was all produced in one or two takes live off the floor with no overdub. That having been said, Lanois has manipulated the sound of Neil's guitar and voice to, on occasions, create walls of sound that are so remarkably rich. All the layers that form the bombastic tapestry of the sonic soundstage are all created in post from any one given take of any one given song. Lanois uses reverb, effect and memory of bygone sound in a way that echos Neil's rambling of a bygone life. My only criticism of Lanois's production is that he introduces "memories of sounds" that have not yet come into existence, a sort of pre-echo ...pre-echo ...pre-echo ...pre-echo ...or, or, ... is it foreshadowing? never thought of that until now! ...oh, he's so brilliant!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I was mulling over Stuart's post from last week re bands that underwent drastic changes in personnel and how it affected their subsequent output and success and the one band that kept rearing its head was Genesis. Here's a band that had several pretty great records as a fivesome in the early 70's and were to some degree fairly successful but then Gabriel leaves with "A Trick of the Tail" and within a few more albums Genesis is one of the biggest stadium bands on the planet.

And at least for the first couple of records sans Gabriel their output is every bit as good as during his tenure with the band. Their greatest success however seems to come when their material is at its weakest. Of course this coincides with Phil Collins' rise to megastardom which bad enough in itself (although I did very much like his debut album), doesn't compare to the pap that Mike & the Mechanics put out.

Of course as Genesis and Phil Collins are reaching the zenith of their careers Peter Gabriel is also putting out great records and quickly becoming a stadium filler in his own right. I'm not sure there are too many bands that saw this many triumphs after a potentially disastrous parting of the ways.
Marc, ola! It's been a while, if not forever. Good to see your voice. I'm not allowed to mention "that group" for a little while (I'll give it two weeks) but I will say that "the guy you mentioned" was a phenomenal and uber-influential player and writer. If you look at The Band I Can't Discuss from a pure musicianship perspective, it's the guitar of Your Guy and the bass of My Guy that are standouts, that shape the sound of the band. Less so the Other Two.

And Ihate to dwell on old music even an instant longer, but I wanted to say thanks to Derek and Kyle for impassioned feedback on OMD...I have truly changed my opinion on them - have found and listened to "Arch and Mor" two nights in a row. It's an outstanding record, unlike their later work which I really (still) don't like. It's the spareness and "modern-ness" of the sound that grabs me, and the synths really stand out as a more experimental instrument - ie their use of them was promiment and somewhat exaggerated versus the smoothness / lushness / popiness of later recordings.

Re Bill F, I raised him because he is a frustrating musical personality for me. He comes from jazz, but has a ginormous range of styles that he incorporates into his recordings, not to mention his approach to the instrument. So unlike say John Scofield, whose pure playing isn't all that different, I find Frisell very difficult to pin down and make a "like him / don't like him" call on. I like Scofield, btw. I have a few albums, mostly from the late 90's onward. I like Blues Dream and one called with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones (both from early in the decade), I'm less thrilled with later work History Mystery, which is (and this would be my major coplaint of the man) absolutely all over the place. Still I have alarm bells inside me that remind that frustrating listening often equates with genius, so wanted to get other opinions. And Stu, is "not a headphone band" an insider term for he's crap? Banal? Not worth exploring? All of the above?

Re new music, what have ya'll downloaded with this month's emusic? Or better yet, bought in an actual store?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Whoop-dee-f**ckin-doo-indeed mr. Mercer but it all does seem a little ironic to me ...this battle that has gone on for decades over the "Apple" ...that it finally seems to be resolved when BOTH parties realise they can make more money if they put their differences aside and do what they do best and go out and make some more money. So ironic that when the battle over trademark started they had absolutely no idea they would be in bed together 30 years later!

Reminds me of the Harrison lawsuit in which he was sued and found guilty of unintentionally plagiarizing "He's So Fine" by the record label Bright Tunes and then his manager Allen Klein went out and bought Bright Tunes and continued with the lawsuit against his former client ...exactly the same but in reverse,no? ...huh?
Hey Marc, nice to have you back and to get your take on the Lennon-McCartney (and now Harrison) debate. Must give "All Things Must Pass" a listen one of these days.

Marc gets a free pass on this seemingly endless debate as he hasn't posted here since Flash and the Pan were topping the charts but could we put at least a temporary moratorium on all things Beatles. Even today's so-called breaking news was that iTunes now has the Beatles catalogue. Whoop-dee-f**cking-doo.

Those kids (and me) who thought the iPod and iTunes were so cool midway through the last decade must be chuckling at the codgers who think this is something worth getting excited about.

Would it be too much to ask that someone, anyone, tell us about some good new music. Maybe something that's off the beaten track. I'd love to hear about it. And could someone wake up Brian long enough for him to tell us just what he thinks about Bill "yawn" Frisell.
Bill Frisell? ....Bill Fizzle! I bought East Meets West on the strength of cuts i had heard off of it on the radio and stuff i had heard in the past, liked it on first listen and still like it enough when i hear a cut when my itunes genius throws me one, but otherwise, it's like a gentle fire ...good for putting me to sleep. And East Meets West ...I honestly don't get it ...would love to get it but i don't hear it!
Whenever the question comes up "would you choose McCartney or Lennon", some wanker has to come along and claim Harrison is his favourite Beatle. Now admittedly it's pretty well all brilliant, but when it comes to individuals, in a way i honestly have to say that i am drawn more to George as a human being and appreciate the WAY in which he went about expressing himself within the band and in his solo career. I know that the question was in part about who is your favourite songwriter but i honestly think that he had a lot more in him than he was never let to bring to the studio by his overbearing bandmates. Admittedly, it was that overbearing quality of John and Paul's that made the songwriting duo so successful but it was also no co-incidence that it was Harrison who was first out of the blocks and most successful when it came to early solo careers.

Of all the member's solo album's, it is "All Things Must Pass" that i have always been most attached to. Introspective, deliberate, crafted, passionate and soulful ...not overtly popish or bitter as some of his peers work was, it endures and is perennially listenable.

I think that George's contribution to the Beatles is often under-acknowledged. Though the quiet Beatle, i always thought of him as the glue that held them together or the lubricant that kept them moving forward through all their turmoil. His interest in the east had such a profound influence on the group that is cannot be discounted.

I love the Beatles and their music but in the same way that I am drawn to the songs of The Edge, I love those of Harrison. When given the opportunity to speak, he really shone. The things he said with his music stood out and were always stood out as powerful moments within (Within and Without You) albums.

Ah! what do you expect from a wanker!

On a similar note, i was interested to hear much focus on Double Fantasy recently as it was the 30th anniversary of it's release. I admittedly do not know the album in it's entirety but only cuts that i have heard over the years on the radio etc ...it might be time for me to give it a solid listen as i found it quite inspiring to hear the stories of it's creation. The anniversary of John's murder never goes by without it jarring me, but now it comes upon me as i realize that my years roll quickly on, and he, only 40 when he died ...such accomplishments in such a short life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Remember Ross Porter and "After Hours" the late night jazz show that was a must listen on CBC radio back in the 90s. It's where I first heard Bill Frisell's " Blues for Los Angeles", the lead track to his 1998 album "Gone, Just Like a Train". Wasn't really jazz (the title sort of gives that away) and the song wasn't really what Bill Frisell's all about. I was new to this guy and he was already pushing 50 and closing in on 20 records.

I bought that album, 1999's Good Dog, Happy Man and have listened to a geat deal of 2005's "East West". As I write this I'm listening to ECM's selected recordings of his work on that label from 1981-1996 and I still don't have my head around what Bill Frisell is supposed to sound like. I'm not sure that I love what he does, it doesn't move me in any meaningful way, but I do find it interesting at times. There is an expansiveness to his sound that is very warm and inviting. Unfortunately there is also a tendency at times for the music to feel rather noodly.

That though could simply be a problem I have with much of the jazz-guitar catalogue. Listened to Stanley Clarke's 2010 disc today and I almost left the office at a run. Still to do Frisell any justice at all I'll need to listen to much more than 3 or 4 albums of a catalogue that's 10 times as big.
It's rather sad and surprising that 30 years on OMD are thought to be the lighter, less serious, version of "better" bands. What's not though is that 30 years on I still listen to OMD records on a fairly regular basis whereas Depeche Mode and New Order almost never.

Depeche Mode and New Order existed to be danced to at very loud volumes in sweaty nightclubs. That's why there was such a proliferation of 12" mixes of their biggest songs. OMD are a much more cerebral band than either of these other two.

I think the problem with OMD is the Simple Minds syndrome. Both bands had a brilliant opening run of about 4 or 5 albums right out of the gate, making music that used synthesisers to some degree, OMD more so, but I wouldn't have thrown either band under the bus called synth-pop a label as damning as it is enlightening.

Then came for both bands, at almost exactly the same time, the big North American chart topper in "So In Love" and "Don't You Forget About Me" and "click!" both bands almost immediately lost much of their long time fanbase, myself included, and within a couple of years were for all intents and purposes finished as a money making entity. And now they're both seen, on this side of the pond as one-hit wonders.

Around 1982/1983 I would have had both these bands at the top of my critical list. OMD's 3rd album "Architecture and Morality" is one of my all-time faves and has lost nothing with the passage of 30 years. There is a lush organic quality to their so called electro-pop that looks ahead to the sound of bands like Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. It has a romanticism that is sorely lacking in bands who were lumped with them at the time like Ultravox, Gary Numan & The Tubeway Army and the Human League.

My comments re Bill Frisell will follow.
I am listening to a compilation of the doobie brothers and It reminded me of how annoying it was for Michael McDonald to take over from Tom Johnson...Here you had a great 70's hard rocking hook laden , rock band, and it became a california muzak band with the blandest sound going..
So it got me thinking, how many bands have gone through serious personal changes and ;
a- gotten better ( arguable fleetwood mac but some Peter Green fans would disagree)
b- gotten much worse but still remained superstars ( aforementioned doobies)
c- made no difference still remained good and commercially sucessful ( van halen???)
There is no point naming bands that changed and became total failures artistically and commercially as almost all bands fit that catagory after the principal songwriter goes solo...
Is this a 70's and 60's phenominon or are there examples of this from the 80's and 90's?
Also seeing decent reviews for the new Paul Auster book, a perennial fave.
Perhaps the latest Peter Robinson/Inspector Banks novel, "Bad Boy". Not only an enjoyable read thus far (3/4 in), but references to Highland Park consumption while listening to Fleet Foxes, Animal Collective, and My Morning Jacket by several characters led me to accuse Derek of being the real author behind the series in an email earlier this week. For something a little more high brow but not too much so, Ian McEwan's latest, 'Solar' was also a good read and quite funny.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cant help you w OMD but I do listen to a small amount of Bill Frissell (1 disc) which is pleasant enough but its not really earphone music for me...more ambiant work music, (I am sure Bill F would be unhappy with this less then estatic comment, but there you have it....)

In exchange for that stunning display of music journaslism I wonder if any of you lot could recommend a book, I am in a severe drought ...last 6 books or so that I read (fiction that is) have been largely uninspiring ....

lets not have any of that this is a music blog not a literature blog crap either...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'll defer to others on Frisell but OMD was one I really enjoyed as well.

I didn't deep into all the earlier albums as Mr. Mercer, but 1985's "Crush" was one I really dug at the time and still think stands up today. The wistful panging and falsetto vocals of 'So In Love' and 'Secret' being two songs that are indicative of their style:

Didn't really ever think of them relative to Depeche or New Order, though I suppose the front and centre synth is the commonality and the reason for your grouping (ghetto-ing? :)). OMD''s music was typically more heartfelt and emotive than the other two, both lyrically and vocally, with bigger, more dramatic synth flourishes. DM, by comparison, come across as more restrained, and detached, both in terms of lead singer David Gahan's delivery and the lyrics themselves. Contrast 'Just Can't Get Enough', which is celebratory and joyously enthusiastic about its unnamed muse, for sure, but doesn't hold a torch to the gushing, I-just-might-die-outpouring of sentimentality in a song like 'If You Leave'.

New Order definitely had some signature synth throughout their catalogue but to me, this always took a backseat to Peter Hook's signature high end bass lines. See, Age of Consent:

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I require your input (back to the RR Kirk series) on the following two artists, quite different in nature:

- Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (whom I've always though of as a "light" version of any number of better artists such as New Order, Depeche Mode eg, but whom Derek played with typical enthusiasm the other night - yes. we were on the couch).

- Bill Frisell - I'll withhold my thoughts on Bill until I hear from some of you.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

And you managed to finish off w/ a cool R.E.M. reference in the tag. Well done.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Hi Mike, I take your point about the solo careers of John and Paul - though I think the sense of disappointment that we all feel is relative to their brilliance as Beatles - but my question was more about their music in its entirety, ie including Fab 4. I actually think if there were no Beatles, then all three singers would be considered major artists of the seventies.

But regardless, back to the original question. I'm a massive Beatles fan of course, and won't hear a bad word about their talents. So my comments have to be taken with that in mind. Over my life I've heard expressed so often that John was the greater talent that my reflexive answer to that classic question has for many years been "Paul". I don't believe this categorically by any means, but I get frustrated by the apparently stock answer. Mac's genius is melody of course, IMO (by far) the greatest melody writer in pop history. I could say that again to emphasize the point.......such restraint on my part. The fact that he often tended to write in a jaunty style can mask that sometimes, but his songs, even his early ones, are complex and yet instantly memorable. Setting aside melody, I think he was the more representative of the Beatles, the more Beatlesque if you will. When critics generically refer to a sound or song being B /esque, I believe they are referring more to Penny Lane then Strawberry fields, for example. The Beatles scene and the huge influence thay had on the British Invasion was mostly about feel-good melodic pop music,which is more Paul's contribution than John's. He is the optimist, John the sarcastic cynic. Think about songs like "Got to Get You into My Life" or "Good Day Sunshine", two brilliant and life affirming songs that tend to get overlooked when counting the Fab's best, perhaps because they seem effortless, versus the more formally challenging Lennon numbers like Tomorrow Never Knows from the same period. I love the Lennon song, but those Mac Songs are wonderful.

Another thing, is that Mac was apparently more interested in putting the big packages together, the concept records if you will. ergo he was the driving force behind Sgt Peppers, Magical Mystery Tour, and Abbey Road. It's become a bit uncool to like Sgt Peppers (and certainly Mystery Tour), but it's a genre changing record, filled with a lot of great subtle melodic Mac songs, and relatively fewer (and two utterly magical) Lennon songs. It's not surprising to me that Mac made the more complete albums (well, a couple of them anyway) than JL in their solo careers - he was just better at that.

And finally a defense of Penny Lane versus Strawberry Fields. First of all, I think it's the greatest two-sided single in pop history. Why? Because both songs are equally brilliant. Strawberry Fields is a gender-bending psychedelic classic which I adore. Penny Lane is a song I like every bit as much. Such evocative lyrics, and a stunning melody and arrangement....again, clear, positive, sunny, gorgeousness. Hey I love the Velvet Underground too, but surely you can't be unaffected by the beauty of this song?? His voice is unbelievable, and the bass playing is beeyootiful. He is, as Stu mentioned, a world class player; very distinctive.

I'm running out of steam, but am aware that most of you stopped reading a couple of paragraphs ago. McCartney is massive for me, and perhaps more important than Lennon.
I wouldn't pick either of them. If I had to pick just one songwriter/performer, it would be somebody else. Neither Lennon's nor McCartney's solo work is good enough to crack my top list of songwriters and performers. They both had some very good stuff, and Band on the Run is right up there, but if they hadn't been the Beatles first, neither of their solo catalogs is consistently strong enough to warrant consideration. McCartney is too light and far too self-conscious, and Lennon is way too cynical and preachy. Together, they set the standard by which all others are measured, but individually they are both seriously flawed. There is no greater example in all of life of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

Friday, November 05, 2010

agree w/ stu and will cite 'Strawberry Fields Forever' vs. 'Penny Lane' as an example to illustrate his point. both are on the soundtrack for Magical Mystery Tour and while both enjoyable, the former offers so much more than the latter.
sorry that first draft really had atrocious spelliong even by my slacke stdards so i have made it slightly more integible here..


metaBeats: "In terms of the paul vs john debate, it is much like the beatle vs stones debate... ubiquitous , so in brief.... generally for me ( and most fans) John is the more serious artist, deeper music, deeper lyrics, Paul is the more superficial happy go lucky vaudville type.. ( 'a day in the life' is a prime example of this within the same song, compare Pauls verses against Johns....) Johns music stays with you longer (mind games is a particular lyric and music masterpiece)
However that said, my favorite post beatles record and song by far is 'band on The run' and the title track. Pauls singles are a joy to listen to and I never tire of them, so though John gets the nod, Paul is not far behind for me... I will let Brian expound on the wonders of his bass playing , which I never really appreciated until Brian pointed this out to me, and yes he is a fantastic bass player., perhaps underrated here if you can fathom that..
My daughters friend made a mix tape of all John lennon songs from Beatles era and post beatles era..to hear his entire cataloge on a mixed playlist in one go is wholely satisfying to a degree which surprised me.. I seem to listen to his carreer seperated into the 2 halves, but I highly recommend this exercise for any Lennon fan... I think if it was Pauls music it would be like getting too much sugar in your tea.."
well , first off...
did Derek make it to second base on the couch last night and if so what was it like...

In terms of the paul vs john debate, it is much like the beatle vs stones debate... ubiquitous , so in brief.... generally for me ( and most fans) John is the more serious artist, deeper music, deeper lyrics, Paul is the more superficial happy go lucky vaudville type.. ( "a day in the life" is a prime example of this within the same song, compare Pauls verses against Johns....) Johns music stays with you longer (mind games is a particular lyric and music masterpiece)
However that said, my favorite post beatles record and song by far is "band on The run" and the title track. Pauls singles are a joy to listen to and I never tire of them, so though John gets the nod, Paul is not far behind for me... I will let Brian expound on the wonders of his base playing , which I never really appreciated until Brian pointed this out to me, and yes he is a fantastic base player., perhaps underrated here if you can fathom that..
My daughters friend made a mix tape of all Joghn lennon songs from Beatles era and post beatl;es are...to here is entire castaloge on a mixed playlist in one go id wholely satisfying to a degree which surprised me.. I seem to listen to his carre seperated into the 2 halves, but I highly recommend this exercise for any Lennon fan... I think if it was Pauls music it would be like getting too music sugar in your tea..
I never meant to denigrade Band on the Run, which is an absolute fave of mine. Derek and I were sitting on the couch at midnight last night listening to it at non-kid-friendly volume and admiring its craft. The whole record is so incredibly strong, but the single itself is pure pop genius.

If we ever get out here / thought of giving it all away / To a registered charity / All I need is a pint a day / If we ever get out of here

The question that DM and I debated, and concluded (remarkably) agreeably on, was this...(and it's a classic music blog question....which we may have asked before, this blog has been around a while) if you had to choose one song writer / performer, would you choose McCartney or Lennon? And why.
Stuart: I think you mean ..."black and white critical music history world in which we live in".
"Stuck inside these four walls (da na na na na na na na na na na)/Sent inside forever ((da na na na na na na na na na na)/Never seeing no one...."

It's actually one of the first albums I remember looking at as a young kid. I somehow thought that the members depicted on the album cover were actually on the run from the police, for some unknown reason.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I thought I could do it, turn a blind eye while others relegated one of my all time favorite songs to the dust bins of their own cliche riddled worlds, but no I must speak out about such blasphemes,and though Paul is derided mercylessly in the steriotyped black and white critical music history world we live in , I must say that that album and that song were serious buteresses in the cultural void that my life was for some years in my youth...i mean
for me I took the hero of the song ( the band) as a metaphor for an escapist world of music WITH frivolty and that that life was all you needed... music and fun and adventure and nothing more.... the song has 3 dstinct parts all with there own building lyrics and melodies that erupts in an acoustic bonansa of joy for the sheer love of music...in short what our cdclub exists for... how many songs are like that? not many? he doesnt take himself too seriously here, its just about the music stupid....
Denny laines 70's steriophonic guitar work sublimely lifted me to a nworld where nothing else mattered....heres to you Paul..
Also, would be interested in seeing this, which played at TIFF and opens today at the Lightbox. As there's little hope in hell in me finding the time to see it in the theatre, I can only hope that it will be avaialable as a selection on a future Air Canada flight.
All all songs considered playlist to get you through your day. Simply 'open' and it will launch your itunes and play.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Deeman's mind is like a steel trap, Stu. He also remembers you wincing slightly at a selection he played at the cd club meeting immediately following that blog post, and since that time has been quietly seething inside with rage while secretly plotting your demise. I suspect the reckoning will come when you least expect it, will involve an axe, and will feature selections from Gene Clark's live "Silhouetted in Light (1992) – with Carla Olson" playing in the background. Have I given away too much Derek?
the question I have is , how does Derek remember a 5 year old blog posting, given the alcohol marinated memory cells in his posesssion... I cant believe you go back and read old blogs Derek, though it would be an intersting way of getting a music snapshot of the past..I may have to dig up one of the old Mercer cd mixes from the inception days of the cdclub for nostalgia sakes...
You say Gene Clark, I say Gene Pitney.

"(slight warbling)...he was the bravest man of all"...
You say Jailer, I say Gaoler.
I spell Jailor, you spell Sailer.
Jailer, Sailor,
Sailer, Gaoler
Let's call the bloody thing off.
Derek, Absolutely. I love the Gene Clark catalogue - his next record, Roadmaster is fantastic too - but that DOES not give you license to tell Stuart to be more in our face!! Geez man!
You've got me on sailor, Bri, but most would most spell jailer with an e. or should it have been gaoler?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Apparently I'm getting around to this one about 5 years after Stuart posted on this very site about his love for a record by Gene Clark called "White Light". Can't say I've ever been or ever will be a huge Byrds fan as much as I respect what they did. But this Gene Clark record is a gem. Needless to say Stuart you need to be more in our face with the records you cherish.

Having said that if you had recommended this 15 or 20 years ago I'd probably have run in the opposite direction. I must be getting old.
Hey, when did jailor and sailor get "e"'s in them?? Wait a second, did STUART write that blog?!
The jailer man/and sailer sam/were searching everyone for the ...

Monday, November 01, 2010

Boom boxes were big in the early eighties though I only ever owned a very small one, somewhat belatedly gifted to me one so I could listen to my own tapes in my bedroom. Do recall some charity walk-a-thons we were required to participate in during high school where ghetto blasters were toted to provide musical accompaniment. Apart from chewing through those massive D batteries (minimum of 8 required to power), they were damn heavy.
My memories stretch back even farther - when I was in high school, people did carry their music around, but the only way to do that was with a boom box. Those things consumed batteries by the ton (we're talking C or D cells here - none of this AA or AAA stuff), and they played music out loud. Those who could afford to have one (not me, I'm afraid) would walk around with the thing blaring out their own choice of tunes, proudly identifying with either the disco or the rock crowd (the only two genres that we recognized) and defying anybody to complain about the noise. The cool ones had extra bass boosters and VU Meters. I have a distinct and fond memory of walking around in Mons Belgium (this high school of which I speak was an overseas base school) with 5 or 6 of my head-banging friends clustered around Tim Watson, who's ghetto blaster was generously sharing Black Sabbath with the locals.

I don't remember exactly when I got my first Walkman - it was probably late in my university days. I must have owned a dozen of the things over the years, and they were among my most prized possessions. They were great on flights, except for the need to haul around all those casettes. I later switched to a CD Walkman, which was a lot more efficient in terms of media storage, but was itself much bulkier and less convenient. Now of course I have an MP3 player, but I am a cynical and jaded adult, and incapable of loving anything as much as I once loved my Walkman!
I had forgotten all about the different tape modes and the toggle switch between Normal, Chrome, and Metal. Did anyone of you ever use metal cassettes? I recall them being more expensive but never quite understood what they offered that normal cassettes did not. Also, now I kind of want to go home and play some of my minidiscs, particularly those mixed discs that were made back in the early 00s. Easily the shortest time frame of all the music media I owned (2 years max) I did enjoy them, but found the volume was always too low on any of the recordings I ever made.