Monday, May 31, 2010

somehow I missed that mark linkous died in March of this year...suicide of course, sometimes I find it hard to believe the steriotypical mornful suicidal poet cliche - but it seems to happen w alarming frequency.... I for one am heartily sorry to see him go... an anchor artist for me...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I also recommend the new Josh Ritter. I have a couple of his older discs - The Golden Age of Radio, which is not bad, and Hello Starling, which I think is excellent. The new one hasn't struck me as positively as Hello Starling yet, but it is very good. I'll have to give this Damian Jurado a listen as well. I have a couple of his songs from old issues of Paste, but I don't know much about him. I see that emusic has lots of his stuff - any recommendations of where to start?

Ditto that Damien Jurado. Too often I've overlooked his work over the years having first encountered him with 1999's Rehearsals for Departure but not the new one. Like Richard Buckner he's so damn consistent that it's easy for them to fall off the radar in search of the new.
Kylie, belatedly, I would say "yeah" to the Josh Ritter (got 'er a coupla weeks ago in fact), though I would probably pick up the new Damien Jurado first.

Friday, May 28, 2010

was it the pubic-like facial hair or the piercing otherworldly eyes that so scarred you adam? for me, it was the words, "miley cyrus" (again, just dry-heaved). goddamn.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

wow...I finally returned to the blog... and whamo, I was struck with this. I literally had a "holy moly" moment. His freaky look has driven me under the couch to hide. I'll be back again once my therapist talks me out.
Ever visited emusic and thought, "There seems to be some good stuff here but I wonder if there were any songs that combined the worst excesses of z-list celebrity-reality television with the satanic spawn of z-list early 90s one-hit new county wonders in the musical equivalent of a cockroach crawling across my open mouth while sleeping"? Wonder no more.

Friday, May 21, 2010

only tangentially related to the topic of music, but an amusing quick read nonetheless. happy victoria day weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

hey stuart (and anyone who is not brian or derek), new National disc is out and available on emusic. have heard a few tracks on satellite and npr stateside and while not a big departure from the last disc, nonetheless great songwriting.

Downloads refreshed today so I'm considering how to spend them. Anyone want to make a case for Josh Ritter? I see his latest disc staring up at me every morning as i queue for coffee at Starbucks but the samples at emusic suggest a poor man's Archer Prewitt. General critical consensus is good but wondering if any of you lot have heard it and have any strong opinions either way.

Btw...soul-less update...BSS is better on fourth and fifth listens but I'll stick with my original comments to Stefan (sarah's brother) that the only track that really resonates on this one is the female vocal 'All in All'. Latest Spoon has moments that work but only after a third drink which, btw, raises the question:

How big of an impact does alcohol have on your appreciation of music? Are there certain songs that only work when your drunk or certain bands or songs that really only come alive for you after a few pints?

I'm guessing Mike, you'll say that it's the only explanation for Brian's embrace of Ornette Coleman. No doubt it's fueled this whole country music compilation discussion.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Country disk? I thought you were making a punk disk?? Or wait, was it going to be a "Best of Double Live Albums" disk?
Thanks for the offer - I'd like to hear your country disc, Stuart, but you don't have to go to the bother of mailing me a copy. If you give an extra copy to Brian, I'll pick it up from him next time I'm in Toronto. Alternatively, you could post the song list, and I can try to put together a playlist on grooveshark - unless some of the tunes are too obscure to appear there.

I am creating a country mix cd for Derek and Brian , who requested this a few weeks back when they were under the influence of good beer and good music, (and now no doubt regret I have remembered) It started out being a George Jones disc, but as i have gotten into it the project ,it has segued into a more wide ranging survey of country music in general, from iconic to less know artists , from iconic to less well known songs , from 50's to 90' short I hope to persuade people of the worth of the genre in general... Should any others of you want a copy of this disc please let me know....If all I get is a resounding wall of silence I wont be offended....hell ...your loss.....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Actually The Wall was/is a double album. I believe Brian was referring to the George Harrison disc which was indeed a triple album.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Didn't realize The Wall was a triple. Mea culpa. Go back to...okay, enough. Hope you and the boys come up with some other good 'riddle me this'es for the blog tonight over cuervasas/single malt.
I just assumed, KP, since your most inspired choice was also a triple album, that they were allowed. All of this alone time might be throwing me off though.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Agree with Mike that we have lost something with the switch to digital--a really long playlist isn't quite the same as a two-disc 50 hours of conceptually related songs. While I won't comment on your onanistic proclivities, Bri, I am compelled to point out that 69 Love Songs is a triple disc and so doesn't qualify. Go back to what you were doing. Or don't.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I agree with many that have already been mentioned - The Wall, London Calling, The White Album, Physical Graffiti, Quadrophenia and The River, certainly. And I’d add Out of the Blue by ELO to the list. One double album that I listened to as much as any of those during my formative years was Jesus Christ Superstar - the original recording with Ian Gillan as Jesus. I really loved that album.

There were some notable double live albums in my collection as well - Fleetwood Mac Live is, in my opinion, much better than any of their studio efforts, and Neil Diamond's Hot August Night is a similarly strong effort (I've taken a lot of flak for liking that album over the years, and I'm not afraid to take more)! Also Queen Live Killers, The Kinks’ One for the Road, Live Rust and The Last Waltz.

If my brother were in on this discussion, he’d definitely include “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”, but personally, I never really loved Genesis.

To me, the double album is a distinctly vinyl concept. I don’t think of double CDs in the same way somehow, and now that I’m entirely digital, the whole concept is somewhat meaningless. It’s a shame.
Another great one (although I'm beginning to think I'm playing with myself, so to speak, given the overall silence on this question) is Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie W. And ANOTHER great one is 69 Love Songs by Magnetic Fields.

AND ANOOOOTHER GREAT ONE......Ok, I got nothing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

All Things is a great choice, one I hadn't though of, though I might say that the jam sides are pretty lame. If you're prepared to ignore that, then it's right up there with the best ever.

I still tend to think that the White Album is the one for me (and I like Piggies), for all of the reasons you suggest Kyle. London Calling is outstanding too, but just because Stuart couldn't contain his enthusiasm for it last week I'm going to relegate it to second. Other great choices are (as KP pointed out) Exile on Main Street (maybe a sober Stuart's number one?), and definitely The River, and perhaps Physical Graffiti, and Tommy and/or Quadrophenia.

Another great album that's a bit off the radar these days is Derek and the Dominoes only record - Layla and other assorted. And speaking of Clapton, some would say that Cream's Wheels of Fire is an all-time great. And moving onto other great guitar double records, Electric Ladyland might get some votes. For some non-prehistoric ones, how about Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, or Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville?
Do collection albums count? (cowering in response to the collective howls of 'NO!'). Okay then:

  • The White Album - yes, 'Piggies' and 'Number 9' are easy targets but there's just so much beautiful music, not a lot of which gets played very often and therefore somehow more special ('Julia', 'I Will', 'Dear Prudence') plus some great rocking numbers ('...USSR', 'Helter...') plus fun songs that tell a story ('Rocky Raccoon', 'Bungalow Bill')...
  • The Wall - not to be confused with MJ's single album Off the Wall, same release date
  • Being There-Wilco - for 'Misunderstood' alone though other gems/cries for help
  • All Things Must Pass - George Harrison - at least the recently re-issued disc I bought a few years back

Will let someone else make the case for the Stones, Springsteen, Dylan.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bear would be wise to refrain from posting after being awake for close to 20 hours and having downed several gallons of red wine.

I certainly don't come here expecting to revise how any of you feel about particular bands. God knows none of us is fifteen anymore and as we get older and more curmudgeonly (I speak only for myself) the possibility of being swayed by the likes and dislikes of those we know and love becomes ever smaller. All one can do is throw out there the music. books, movies, wine etc that moves us in some way and if you should latch on to it and feel remotely likewise then the blog has served some purpose.

It will, however, in no way replace the drunken disjointed ramblings that occur when we get together face to face. There's nothing like the 1am slurring over a band you love to bits to set me on a mission to find out just what I've been missing. "SF Sorrow", "Odessey and Oracle" and "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" being a few prime examples. Sadly I don't think I'm ever going to warm up as much of the rest of you crew where Bob Dylan applies. Still enjoyed the thread.

And just in case your spring of 2011 calendar is getting a bit crowded you might just want to leave a bit of space for this.

And as a follow-up to one of those aforementioned bevvy-laden nights out while Stuart, Brian and I were having a few pints prior to the Frightened Rabbit show last week they were playing "London Calling" in its entirety over the stereo. Which led to a discussion of the best double albums all-time. Two I failed to mention that are favourites of mine are Husker Du's "Warehouse Songs and Stories" and "Sign O the Times" by Prince. Anyone have a particular sprawling favourite that comes to mind? And no pointing out that "it would have made a better single disc...". We know.
I should add, existentially:

I do sometimes feel a bit guilty for criticizing Canadian bands who: a) have talent b) are willing to take risks and explore interesting forms of musical expression c) are not Nickelback d) have put out some truly great music. And I'm quite aware of the fact that I personally haven't been able to accomplish any of these things (with the exception of c). Given the magnitude of godawful music pumped out of every radio and television every second of every day, on some level it seems...I don't know...insular?decadent? insane? to be picking through faults of those who actually care about creating art.
But--here's where I justify it, and you knew this was coming--this is kind of the point of this blog: to comb through the minutiae and share frustrations and reactions and recommendations, etc. A lot of times I read it and post while I'm listening to music, which shapes what I think about and post here as well. So I well understand Derek's passion for the songs and tracks that he mentions and I don't take offense at his swipes at bands I might like. And I believe that he, and the rest of you as well, feel likewise. Thought it was worth pointing this out, at least for the benefit of any new invitees, who may wonder what this is all about.
Bear was quiet. Bear was poked. Bear howled. Job done.

A little simplistic. I'll elaborate.

Yes, I partly agreed with Brian's 'souless' statement to provoke the response, but I also find some of the more recent BSS and NPs emotionally flat. Yes, Bejar's jarring voice can pack an emotional wallop and Neko, as you have rightly noted in the past, is a goddess but...I don't know, as polished and poppy as the Newman-penned stuff is, that beyond the adrenaline rush, is there much there there? You mention 'The Jessica Numbers' as a track from 'Twin Cinema' as a standout track but for me, it's a track that is reminiscent of some of the stuff I enjoyed more on 'The Electric Version'; beyond quick staccato drumming, not much else stands out for me on that one. Another track on TC, like 'Jackie, Dressed in Cobras', could just have easily been plucked from a previous album, which doesn't make it bad track in and of itself, but the similarity to previous output begins to dull its potential impact. By the time Challengers comes out, even the Behar-dominant stuff like 'Myriad Harbour' seems like more rehash. Willing to concede that 'souless' is an adjective too far but for me, it's lurching along a continuum towards that with each new release.

As for BSS, well you and I have agreed to disagree on their eponymous 2005 disc, which I think spirals off into unstructured and at times irritable noodling (that song where you hear the word freedom kind of half-assedly tossed out at the eighth minute of what seems like a 20 minute long jamboree being the biggest offender and prime example of what I dislike about it). Yes, 'Major Label Debut', which is a quite pretty track but the rest....again, we'll disagree on the rest.

In the span of the past two days, both you and Sarah's brother have urged me to give their latest disc more chances, so I will dutifully give it another few spins, though I fear I will never come around to even casually tolerating 'Texico Bitches'. I will also check out the '09 Bejar release, and report back.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I found the rant quite refreshing, what disturbed me is the mea culpa.... god knows we dont want the Scott turning polite on us... i mean for christ sakes what is the world coming to ??????more polite tame friends, who the fuck needs that.....on sorry bout that vulgar use of profanity, I hope I didnt offend anyone...
Glad to have the ol' piss and vinegar back, big fella. Not that you'll win any concessions from me on this one. Feel free, though, to disparage some more of my favourite bands. It can be strangely cathartic.

The Flying Lotus sounds interesting - hugely multifarious in influences, really moody. Perhaps a bit too focused on synthetic beat for me (no surprise there) but definitely reaching for something new.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Please excuse the tone of my late-night alcohol fuelled over the top rant. Needless to say I'm a very big fan of the New Pornographers and felt they had been done a great disservice in having their music labeled as soulless. Obviously we all have different musical tastes, which keeps this blog interesting, but you need to give me more than a one line slapdown if you're going to dimiss a very good band's output as lacking in soul.

And speaking of the hard to quantify "soul" let me recommend, as I have already to Kyle, the new Flying Lotus album Cosmogramma. Give it a listen.
The New Pornographers! No Soul?

Complete and absolute bollocks. Are you taking the mickey?

Try the following you zombie-like mofos.

Album: Twin Cinema - The Bleeding Heart Show or The Jessica Numbers

Album: Challengers - Adventures in Solitude or Myriad Harbour

Album: Together - Crash Years or If You Can't See My Mirrors

Quite obviously there are numerous other tracks that would tug at all but the most hardened, life burdened heart strings keeping all you cynical blog fuckers at bay.

Try taking a breath of new, moist-ladened, spring-time air and when you exhale talk to me once again and in the mean time listen to your Nationals, Matt Ponds, Midlakes and all the other half-assed bands that blandly repeat all that has come afore and yet you think actually have something new to say.

Goodnight, out.

Oh btw, two of the most soulful musicians out there Neko Case and Dan Bejar just happen to be large parts of the New Pornographers. If you are an e-music participant and you have not downloaded Destroyer's (aka Dan Bejar) 2009 "Bay of Pigs" (2 tracks chiming in at 21 minutes) then you're just not paying attention.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Brian, I'm sorry but you're....right? I find I now agree with you in your assessment of these three bands. I clearly haven't been drinking enough with Derek lately.
For my two cents, I say it's time to move on from the New Pornos.

If this were a break up you'd say "I don't want to live like this anymore". The music, and I would put other critical darlings like BSS and Spoon squarely in this camp, is highly skilled and therefore an interesting listen initially, but it has no soul. Leaves me cold.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

As I wallow in self-pity and scrounge around for music in the usual places, I notice that the New Pornographers have a new disc. Tempted to buy but I'm wondering, "Do I really need it? Haven't I heard it all before?" I never bought and didn't hear much from, 'Challengers' and listening to the samples for the latest, it seems to be la même chose que ses musiques precedent. Thinking I may pass but am willing to entertain arguments for getting it, reinforcement of my decision not to, and/or corrections to my high school french.
How is it that I miss the fantastic shows but make it out for all the mediocre shows, attended, in the majority, by males under the age of 30 with ironic facial hair and fedoras? Dang. Will give the album a listen, though, in part because of your reviews and in part, because i bought it last week and it would be a waste not to do so.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

yes Brian, I agree with all ... Fantastic show, best for me since Band of Horses a few years ago...
Much better then I was expecting... I may pick up the new album after all...
Kind of like Band of horses actuallly, esp w his sharp pronounced vocals standing front and center...great venue, forgot how much I love that place.... good site lines, good sound and decent size so you feel like you are at a much more happinen event then say at the small horseshoe...
Fwightened Wabbit were vewy good! Kind of a downbeat-meets-inspirational mix of a deeply Scottish U2 crossed with Arcade Fire. Works very well live. I didn't know the music well but was carried along by the emotion of the crowd.

Couple of cool moments - one in particular when the singer came out for the first encore without the band to do a solo acoustic number (Derek can add in song names) and in a fit of artistic angst (after a couple of lines, followed by a "fuck this") stepped in front of the mike to perform the song without amplification. The sound was not surprisingly very muted until a point in the song where the vocals drop out and there is a melodic "ooh" over top of a couple of chord changes, and the entire crowd (sans me because I knew not) spontaneously sang the ooh, and beautifully I might add. Probably as many girls as guys, incidentally, in the crowd, despite the miserably Scottish nature of the music (so it's not just Derek who loves this stuff). Anyway, it was pretty powerful at the time in a hushed ampitheatre.

Also (highlight number 2) a great brawl among drunken 19-year old boys on the way out. First fight I've seen in a few years (I have to get out more).
so? how was frightened rabbit?