So I'll write with no target, and write what I think. This is NOU's first record. It would fall under the stupid label "punk," and perhaps "indie. The lead singer I'm not cool enough to know his name can't sing too well. They have a fun, snobby attitude, and write nice manifestos in the little CD booklet that accompanies the album it's like Refused but with humour and without the self-righteousness.
It's a light, synth-laden pop number that sounded absolutely unlike any Who song that had come before it. But the album is much more than that. Townshend explores the homoerotic overtones of the punk scene in "Rough Boys," a song he partially dedicated to the Sex Pistols.
Daltrey was reported angry that Pete didn't save the song for The Who, but I can't picture Daltrey singing it: "And I Moved" was originally written for Bette Midler and Townshend didn't change the gender of the person the narrator is longing for, which again probably tweaked a few Who fans who were wondering exactly what Townshend was saying here.
Featuring Kenney Jones on drums, the album hit 4 on the U. It struck me as a continuation of the territory staked out by Empty Glass, which isn't a bad thing, but to this year-old hard rock enthusiast, it didn't rock to the appropriate degree. This record was tougher for rock radio to pin down, as it featured even more synth musings than its predecessor as well as spoken word sections. As a result, I didn't hear much of it until I ordered the album from the Columbia House record club.
The song that best combines Townshend's old and new personas is "Slit Skirts," which is an autobiographical sounding, piano-heavy song that also builds up to rocking crescendos: "The Sea Refuses No River" is a majestic tale of Townshend overcoming his heroin addiction, filled with religious allusions, while "Somebody Saved Me" and "Exquisitely Bored" also deal with the fallout from his drug problems.
And of course, there's that ridiculous album title. It all added up to the album being a commercial failure it hit 26 on the Billboard album chart and drifting off into the ether. But there are some great songs on this record. This was less successful than Face Dances and continued the sound of that album. On the whole, the album was pretty unimpressive, although "Eminence Front" is a truly terrific song. The Who made the tour for this album its "final" jaunt, taking the Clash out as its opening act as sort of a passing of the torch.
Sadly, the Clash didn't last much longer than the Who and never reformed. It was a few years before Townshend was heard from again, but he returned with a vengeance. In November , he released White City: A Novel, a concept album that focused on a London housing project similar to the one he grew up in.
The album was accompanied by a short film based on the story; here's the first 10 minutes: Townshend even went on Letterman to talk about it, although he didn't want to play that night: Right from the start, the album's first single was a complete change.
And it was terrific: The rollicking live video was a hit on the MTV and the song was all over the radio. But Townshend didn't totally turn his back on rock. The album opener "Give Blood" featured David Gilmour on guitar and is as rocking as anything Townshend had done in the last 10 years; it also featured the murky bass noodlings of Pino Palladino, who would step in to fill the bass slot in the Who when Entwhistle died while on tour in The bluesy "Secondhand Love" features some terrific Townshend guitar work and also had a great video to accompany it: Townshend originally wrote "White City Fighting" for David Gilmour's album About Face, but it ended up fitting better on White City instead.
White City ended up going gold, even though its highest chart position was 26, the same as Chinese Eyes. Or so I believed, anyway. Alas, his only solo releases since then were 's The Iron Man, which was based on the children's story, and 's Psychoderelict, another concept album that revisits Townshend's old Lifehouse story which was begun and then aborted in favor of the classic Who's Next album.
It's a mish-mash of spoken word and a radio play that doesn't quite work. In between these projects, Townshend's been organizing various and sundry Who reunions. But unfortunately, we never got a true follow-up to White City.
Which is too bad, because it would have been neat to see where he would have gone next. After all he's contributed to rock over the decades, Townshend certainly doesn't owe anybody anything. He's given us more timeless music than nearly any other rock artist. But it is interesting to wonder what he could have done if he'd continued on the solo path he'd forged in the s. I had just picked up a bunch of new CDs remember when people used to buy CDs? The previous weekend we went down to Sesame Place , an amusement park not far from Philly, and I was listening to a bunch of the discs on the drive down and back.
I also had recently purchased a CD from one of the first dates of the Pixies reunion tour, so that was represented here as well. I had also subscribed to eMusic, which at the time was an all-you-can-eat service: unlimited downloads for a monthly fee. It was pretty great, and I discovered a lot of new indie music that way:!!! I was also finding a lot of great bootlegs, like the Franz Ferdinand one I sampled for this mix. The French DJs yapping all over it just add to the enjoyment in my book.
All told, this mix was a good representation of that summer. I spent much of it changing diapers, as Lily was a few months old and Hannah was only 2. If I try hard enough, I can still smell that nasty trash bin we had designated just for diapers.
The name of the mix came from a saying often used by my good friend Senor Breitling. Says it all, really. Special guest Jay Breitling joins me on the podcast for part 2 of our discussion of the best music of The Superchunk song is on the album Majesty Shredding on Merge Records , where you can download it for free right click and "save as".
The Everyone Everywhere song is on the band's self-titled album on Tiny Engines. Download it for free courtesy of Clicky Clicky. After nearly a year of documenting the mix tapes I compiled, I've finally run out. I'm pretty sure there are a few more that I just haven't found yet, but for the time being, that's all of 'em.
But a few years after my tape deck died in early , I got my first CD burner. Which meant I was able to create mixes again, albeit ones without an A and B side. For about three years, I made mixes using a couple of different burners, ripping tracks from CDs. Then I downloaded iTunes for the first time and discovered the joy of playlists. I was making a monthly playlist of MP3s I had just downloaded and burned a lot of them to CD for a while, until the last two years or so, when I got lazy and just listened to them on iTunes.
Alas, when our old PC was starting to croak a little aka ye olde Blue Screen of Death , we had it wiped clean. Which unfortunately wiped out all my iTunes playlists. But I still have plenty of CD mixes to talk about here. This particular mix was one of the first ones I burned, back in the summer of I wanted a mix of songs that just totally kick ass, regardless of whether I'd put them on mixes in the past. The name of the mix was a nod to metal-lovin' stoner Otto "I like to get blotto" the bus driver from The Simpsons, although there was probably a lot of stuff on here that he probably would never listen to, like Fugazi, Mission of Burma, Big Black, Pavement, etc.
The song that probably best typifies the Otto mindset is one of the most rockin' songs of all time, Fu Manchu's "Evil Eye. I snagged it at the Webnoize conference in LA and immediately dug it and bought the previous album The Action is Go! Pure awesomeness. I put a good chunk of the songs on my old Rio MP3 player; ended up listening the mix four times as I ran the race.
It was a hot day for November and I needed that mix to keep my legs moving as I struggle through the last few miles. I think the song that got me the most fired up was Motorhead's "Killed by Death. Killed by Death:. This week on the podcast , I'm joined by special guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our picks for the best music of Download the song for free at Spinner. My fall rockstravaganza seven shows in the last three months came to a close Saturday night with a bang: the Nick Cave-led Grinderman at the House of Blues.
Act Surprised is on Thanksgiving break, and will return on Monday, December 1. Posted by Brandon Gentry at AM. These guys never met a la-la-la, a whoa-oh-oh, or a handclap they didn't like, and have clearly invested a deep love of all things major-key into these grand mini-epics, combining a multi-instrumental kitchen-sink philosophy with an inborn knowledge of what it means to rock one's socks off.
These songs are intricate without being precious, pretty without being delicate, joyous without being toothless. It's a day at the beach with a vicious undertow. And it's effing great. It's an elegant, beautifully arranged song which uses subtle tempo and tonal shifts to build into a ruthlessly tuneful anthem that brings slashing guitars into the mix at the mark to carry the song through to its rousing conclusion. It's enough to elicit the most overwrought, breathless hyperbole.
The twisted guitar solos and heavy thump of "Dearest Bernard Living" transform a wistful remembrance into a blustery celebration of knuckle-dusting rawk at the mark. The three-song "Suite Cherry" is a sophisticated mini-rock-opera, full of charm, wit, and a dreamy sensibility that stops well short of tiresome.
Costello-like burner "Citizen's Army Uniform" brings the album to a biting conclusion, using a buzzy organ and barbed six-string distortion to sharpen the bite even as the melodies go down smooth as honey.
Little did I know that I was getting ready to hear some of the best songs I've heard in quite some time. And if this first long player is any sign of things to come, then we should thank our stars and garters for these Motor City maniacs and their high-performance melody machines.
Posted by Brandon Gentry at PM. Monday, November 24, Death Cab for Cutie. EPs tend to be really focused works, with clear positions distinctly and succinctly conveyed in a handful of tracks, effective and potent distillations of ideas and concepts. Sometimes the ideas work and sometimes they don't, but there's only a few songs on the thing, so it'll be over soon either way.
For this same reason, EPs have been, I've found, a good way to determine whether or not you're gonna like a band in its full-length incarnation. EPs often find bands showing off their influences, or setting the tone for future long players. And sometimes an EP gives a band the chance to release some high quality material that simply couldn't fit on the preceding or succeeding LPs. Death Cab for Cutie's intoxicating The Forbidden Love EP is a case of the latter, a brief glimpse into what earned this band its early reputation for expertly constructed, introverted indie pop.
Forbidden Love is, to be perfectly honest, as strong a collection as Death Cab have ever put out. This EP features three previously unreleased songs and two reworked tracks from Death Cab's genius full length We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes, one of the best albums of the aughts, in my opinion.
The three new tracks are to a man amazing. As good as the new songs are, the two reworked tracks can't be dismissed. An acoustic version of We Have the Facts's "" reveals the song's undeniable beauty as well as Death Cab's considerable vocal harmony abilities. The band unfortunately seems to have surrendered to its blander nature, turning out pleasant, competent, not overly captivating records distinguished chiefly by their failure to live up to Death Cab's initial output. It's vast talent wrapped in a tiny package, and if this is the only Death Cab you ever hear, then that'll do nicely.
Labels: Death Cab for Cutie. Friday, November 21, Georgie James. Places Saddle Creek, It's not overly serious, not too complicated, and is by nature incredibly eager to please. Take a few chords, lay 'em over a peppy backbeat, and there you go, right?
But honestly, who doesn't like power pop? Especially when it's expertly crafted, bedecked in layer after layer of shiny hooks and unforgettable major key melodies? Case in point: it takes some serious chops to come up with a collection as instantly enjoyable and profoundly catchy as Places, Georgie James's single sadly release.
The criminally short-lived Georgie James popped onto the DC scene in late , following the break-up of the much-missed capitol city dance-punkers Q and Not U. They played a bunch of shows, won the hearts of loads, and then announced their demise in August But at least we'll always have Places, in all its grinning, sun-drenched glory. This was one of my favorite albums of , an insanely satisfying forty minutes of pure pop for now people.
And I think I like it all the more because it doesn't sound like much else coming out of DC, now or ever: it's got one foot in the District's staunchly rhythmic, hard-charging territory, certainly; but Georgie James had their sights clearly set on '70s touchstones like Big Star, the Raspberries, Badfinger, and early Todd Rundgren.
The tunes are lovingly crafted and pleasantly straightforward, with subtle instrumental filigrees to keep your attention riveted from first song to last. Laura Burhenn is a big part of why Georgie James works so well.
She shares vocal duties with Davis throughout, and she has pipes to die for. Amazing range, and a soulful, intimate delivery that insinuates itself into your braincase and pretty much sets up shop there for the long-term. Plus, she contributes piano, Rhodes electric piano, and wurlitzer to a bunch of the tracks, and the Rhodes, especially, dresses the songs in a rich, warm tone that beautifully burnishes the compositions.
Every track, practically, is a stand out. Yes, I keep a list. Imagine being someone who works at a venue and being out of a job or the owner of the venue being crushed by the expenses that leasing a space entails. I had shows this year and they all got canceled. This is the NIVA site address if you want to know more. I go out only to get the mail twice a week and groceries now and then. I noticed a lot of people on the road last night when I went to get food.
We must maintain our vigilance and stay disciplined. Thanks for listening. The Nation Of Ulysses! Another week of liquid time. It is? A few things I want to run by you. As might imagine, the damned virus has made release schedules move around. Here is some writing about the album and ordering info.
Throughout the album, Bag reveals her incredible ability to turn nuanced political statement into impossibly catchy punk songs. A song about self-acceptance and self-love, it exalts the differences that other people might see as odd or queer because they are what makes you unique. Her third solo effort, the album marks a thrilling return to the full-throttle punk that Bag pioneered with her legendary first-wave punk band, The Bags.
Co-produced by Bag and her longtime collaborator Lysa Flores who plays rhythm guitar and sings backing vocals on several songs at L. Jones with Candace P.
Also, an excellent record from our friends at Trouble In Mind Records I wanted to bring to your attention. Super cool band from Spain, Melenas. Their Dias Raros LP is great from start to finish. I had this one cranked a few nights ago.
Imagine SUNN 0 but more aggressive. I know, what?! So into this record. Our first track tonight is from the new Cool Greenhouse album. Finally coming out later this month. Phil Todd never stops. We have a track from it for you tonight. When I can say more, I will. Next week, we will rock some Tony solo and Kraftwerk tracks and get to some Little Richard later in the month. Fanatic, hang in there, hang in there, hang in there.
Masks, hands, distance, touching. You just do it. Meanwhile, I am working seven days a week on the next Stay Fanatic!!!
I crossed the scan mark a few days ago. Excited about this one. Ornette Coleman - Mr. And Mrs. The band is called Melenas.
You listen to a few tracks from their new Dias Raros album at their bandcamp site. The new album by X is solid. Discussing their second release, Svenonius asserted: "it's like a blueprint for the destruction of the Parent Culture. It's like a zip gun It's an instruction pamphlet for kids on how to destroy their home life, you know, their domestic state. Although their first album was named Point Program to Destroy America , Nation of Ulysses didn't align themselves with a particular political philosophy: "We don't usually address normal political dictums.
We aim toward the everyday fixtures of life, like aesthetics , sound, non-spoken things that are inherently political in nature instead of, like bogus politicians who focus on glossy surface issues which avoid any kind of revolutionary change.
Nation of Ulysses published a zine called "Ulysses Speaks," which was an extension of their ideology expressed in their music and liner notes. The zines espoused what they referred to as "The Ulysses Aesthetic," which was a mix of s and s radical politics, French Situationist writings, and juvenile delinquency.
The zine was distributed at live shows as well as made available by writing the band. A total of 9 issues were published. The band was known for their extremely physical performances, during some of which Svenonius recalls breaking his arm, his leg, and breaking his head open on numerous occasions. Audience members were also hurt during performances. Svenonius described Nation of Ulysses performances as "an extraordinary freak-out kind of thing [ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
OTERO rated era. The Black Keys--Brothers Album) guitar-drums duo has been La Marseillaise, France - Musique De La Garde Républicaine - Hymne Des Etats-Unis DEurope (Vinyl) out the blues-rock for about 10 years now, but this was the year they hit it big. Kid Congo has a merch site. Limited Editions, buffalo horn frames and patinas that make their glasses talk about the passing of time. It's going to be Baby We Can Do It - Father MC - Close To You (Vinyl, LP). These days, Thin Lizzy is regarded by too many as a beer commercial band, with Jailbreak's "The Boys are Back in Town" having been plundered by company after company to shill all manner of crap. The exhibition Various - A Native American Odyssey - Inuit To Inca (Cassette), through works, Jessie Joe (You Got To Go) career, Paysages - Patrick Rondat - Just For Fun (Vinyl, LP, Album) which he Uptown - Minako Yoshida - Twilight Zone (Vinyl, LP) Look Out! Soul Is Back - Nation Of Ulysses* - 13-Point Program To Destroy America (Cassette, collages, paintings, sculptures and installations to explore the processes and materials that could enhance the expressiveness of the image. After releasing Plays Pretty for Babythe band began recording Unison third full-length album, but Steve Kroner separated from the band before recording was completed. Marines, Vol.
The March - Horslips - The Táin (CD, Album), Shimmer - Knut Værnes - Super Duper (CD, Album), Questi Leggiadri Odorosetti Fiori - Gesualdo* - The Complete Madrigals (CD), The Jam - Away From The Numbers / The Modern World / Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (Vinyl), Eye Of The Tiger (Short Vocal Version) - Nighthawk - Eye Of The Tiger (Vinyl)