Back in the day, I really loved another album by this guy, called Amen (So Be It), which is a funny title for a first record. Should be a last record’s title, ya know? Anyway. Amen should have been reviewed in these pages, not sure why it wasn’t. Must get on that. I always thought of that record as a cross between Beck, David Gray and Bob Dylan. Yeah, I know. And, never looking him up since, I’d just assumed that that was his only record. Honestly, I’d forgotten all about him. But I was pleasantly surprised to find this effort in the $2.95 bin (sorry, dude), so I have given it a good home. Wikipedia also tells me there was another (interim) record called Living, as well, so I’ll have to find it.
This record is thoughtful, at times playful and full of background creativity. There’s a bit of flirtation with that old soul sensibility, too. Just like his first record. It’s very pleasant to listen to, mostly mid-tempo singer-songwriter stuff that would work equally well on a stage with a band or busking with an acoustic guitar (as he used to do) on a street corner somewhere in Dublin. The tracks Fear and It’s Over Now reappear here (in different form) from that first record. Why someone would do that so early into a career, unless they were trying to hammer home that they really hope these songs would be the ones that take off, is beyond me. Whatever. This is a fun record if you’re in the mood for exactly what I just described. You could do a lot worse with most of the crap that’s out there, trust me. Hope there’s a Part 2 of this, someday. Recommended.
Back from a fairly successful trip to Toronto this past Saturday. Hadn’t been down to the city for a couple of years, so I was suitably overwhelmed by the ridiculously packed 401 and Yorkdale, and the cacophony of cultures, sights, sounds and smells in the downtown area. Been in the sticks too long, I guess. But it was also good to get the city under our feet again, see what was new.
Hit Sonic Boom, of course, and scored some gems there, and got a couple of cool discs in the basement at BMV. Made a trip along College to Soundscapes, a shop which was new to me (oops, there goes my street cred!). It’s lovely. They’ve got a great selection, very tasteful and completist. I’d go back there especially when there was something harder to find I wanted, chances are they’d have it.
And my musics haul from this trip? Here’s a list (reviews forthcoming for some of them)…
Rollins Band – Nice (advance promo cd with epk footage)
Jack Johnson – Wasting Time (promo single)
Paddy Casey – Addicted To Company Pt. 1 (remember him?!)
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Acme Plus
Lee Ranaldo with Dave Dyment – New Life After Fire (for Tom Thompson)
Pavement – Quarantine The Past (hits collection)
Tribute – Everything Is Ending Here – A Tribute To Pavement
Tribute – Borrowed Tunes – A Tribute To Neil Young
I also have the new Gord Downie (The Grand Bounce), so I think I might do a series like I did for the Hip, listen to all 3 of his solo efforts in sequence…
Get ready, more is coming shortly!