Yes, it’s been a pathetically long time since my last appearance here. But remember, it’s like John Lennon said, “life is what happens when you’re busy making plans,” and man, I have been busy making plans to post here for WAY too long. So here’s some of the shit I’ve been listening to. More to come, ‘cos I’ve filled my iPod with all kinds of stuffs. Wahoo!
Terrible Hostess, Volume 2
Hooray for our friends at Mint Records! As you all know, Carolyn Mark and NQ Arbuckle have just released a tasty new disc of excellent music called Let’s Just Stay Here. Talk about making our year! So, in honour of this release, our great friends at Mint sent us some really sweet swag… buttons and stickers (love the airline ‘Fragile’ stickers with Air Carolyn on them!), a Carolyn and NQ luggage tag, and a blood red dish towel to go with a beautiful copy of Carolyn’s Terrible Hostess: Recipes For Disaster, Volume 2 cookbook! Some of the recipes look downright tasty and I can’t wait to try them (with recommended music playing and recommended drink in hand).
Slayer – World Painted Blood
Business-as-usual chaos as only Slayer can muster it. Play this as loud as your player can go. SLAYER!
Slipknot – Slipknot 10th Anniversary Edition
The CD’s the real draw in this set, with all the brutal honesty and aggression intact… and bonus tracks! Sweet.
Hawksley Workman – We’ll Make Time (Even When There Ain’t No Time)
New Hawksley is coming! Get ready! James found this radio broadcast world premiere. It’s a one-idea slow build with enough lyrics to make anyone run out of breath, crashing full-on into rock-out bliss. Ah, Hawksley.
Guided By Sloan
Just noticed that in the liner notes for Sloan’s Navy Blues, Guided By Voices is listed as having shared the stage. Imagine THAT show! I think I’d pass out with bliss…
Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love
Spent the whole time listening to this recognizing all of the influences that have given them their sound (U2, Oasis, Coldplay and tiresomely beyond). Shame they haven’t found their own sound out of the list.
Cage The Elephant – Cage The Elephant
This would sound great live. Kind of reminds me of the Trews although, if they meant what they said in the first track, they don’t give a shit what comparisons I can make. Just a great, fun rawk record.
Wild Beasts – Limbo, Panto
Oddly compelling, with weird party music and falsetto vocals. Could almost be the soundtrack to a 60’s stage show musical. Are we sure this isn’t a Darkness side project?
Yim Yames – A Tribute To
My Morning Jacket dude’s tribute to George Harrison. Stripped-down renditions show the strength of the originals and let the covers shine too.
Miranda Lambert – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
New country meets the moxy of the classic country ladies of days gone by, with a few dud tracks thrown in. This lady can sing, that’s for sure. One foot in a bold new direction, the other stuck in the same old schtick.
Iggy Pop – Preliminaires
Man, Iggy rules. Only this particular wild man could foist such a collection of jazzy. bluesy, rock-ish and Parisian-sounding stuff on our ears and get away with it. And without ridicule, too. Strangely compulsive, and not just because it’s Iggy (and therefore we must love it). A welcome diversion, so long as it’s not an admission that he’s finally slowing down for good.
Harry Connick, Jr. – Blue Light, Red Light
This takes me back to high school .Yes, I was THAT guy back then. Still am now, I’ll have you know. Great swing, astounding arrangements in the best of this style’s traditions. Could be the soundtrack to a grainy-colour 60’s musical, and that’s a very, very good thing.
Flight Of The Conchords – I Told You I Was Freaky
We all love these guys by now, with their quirky humour that’s laugh-out-loud funny. Even if you set aside the images from the TV show in your mind, this is still an hilariously danceable record. These guys are really onto something.
This Is Radio Hell
Is it just me, or have you also noticed that the Lite FM pap schlock has grown inconceivably even more mindless and insipid? I work two jobs, and at both places this crap is piped into the environment. After eight hours, I’m near homicidal. Seriously, that ‘Say what you need to say’ song has said what it needs to say, no need to repeat it endlessly. And between James Blunt telling me I’m beautiful and Sarah McLachlan telling me my love is better than ice cream, hell yes, Daniel Powter, I’ve had a bad day, and it’s because an endless supply of this shite is stabbing my brain cells one at a time. And lastly, who the hell is that woman butchering Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On?’ She needs to be dragged out at dawn for foisting that steaming pile on us. Is there really anyone out there that finds this garbage acceptable?
Tal Wilkenfeld – Transformation
This young lady is definitely making a name for herself, playing brilliant bass in Jeff Beck’s band (check out the recent show live from Ronnie Scott’s), among other notable gigs. But this completely tight, jazzy solo record is maybe an even better indicator that she totally kicks ass. Here she really steps up and lets go with a sweet flow, and her fellow musicians are in top form too. These instrumental adventures will blow your mind. Hot damn, indeed.
AC/DC – Black Ice
Quelle suprise. AC/DC has made another blues rock record using their well-worn template. The only new thing here is that this one definitely comes in at half-speed. Probably they’re just getting old, wanting to pepper their concert set lists with plodding songs that will let them rest a bit more. And if you can believe it, I swear the track Anything Goes sounds like a Mellencamp cover. I know! Fans will love this, and so will rock radio. To me, it ain’t even within shouting distance of their best, but whatever. It’s AC/DC. Turn it up and let it endlessly be 1985.
Flight Of The Conchords – The Distant Future
We love the Conchords! James introduced us to their hilarious brilliance, and we can’t thank him enough. This is their debut ep, and every track is solid gold. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll know what to expect. If not, well, get on the bus ‘cos this is where it’s at. There is too little of this kind of comedic excellence in our plastic, idiocy-addled culture. Long live the Conchords.
Gabba Gabba Hey – A Tribute To The Ramones
The Ramones deserve every tribute possible, and then some. This is an interesting disc, because in a way it’s cool (these are, after all, Ramones songs and therefore awesome. Also, Keith Morris is involved, so right on), but in another way it’s kind of lackluster. Odd that a long list of artists would get together and create what sounds mostly like a predictable, half-assed job. Not all the tracks are like this, of course, but enough so that this disc is just okay, not the pile of amazing it should be. At least they didn’t just pick all the obvious songs. You’d be further ahead to just listen to the originals, if you want the real blast.