Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Joe

Joe Strummer would've been 59 on August 21, 2010. Too bad he's gone. However, he cast a long shadow, that I'm still comfortable to rest under, as if he were a tree.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I take it as a given, sometimes, but it strikes me that not everyone has a complete musical education. So, some bands that I take as "classic", and records I think of as "Essential" many folks will not know at all. Such is the case with the Mekons "Rock and Roll". Believe me or not, you simply don't have a complete understanding of music unless you've heard this record. The Mekons pretty much invented the blend of Country and Punk rock, and with "Rock and Roll" perfected the style along the same lines that the Clash had perfected their blend of Reggae Glam, Rockabilly and Punk with "London Calling". Hey, even Robert Christgau liked it.
So, if you don't know what I mean when I say that such and such sounds like the Mekons- listen to them, and I'll bet some of the records in your collection sound different afterwards.

Catching up (a little)

I've been a pretty voracious consumer of media the past few weeks. I've been catching up on my favorite TV shows (on TV, that is. I never fell behind on Net-shows). So, I've been watching Burn Notice and Rescue Me. I also have been watching a few movies that I hadn't seen, like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist ( short review- I hated it, and Michael Cera needs a new job). But mostly, as per usual, it's been music. Here's the list of new, new copy, or now-on-digital media albums I've been listinging to the past few weeks (in no order at all)
Robyn- Robyn (Fun electro pop)
Bat For Lashes - Two Suns ( spooky,experimental pop, like Bjork meets Mazzy Star)
The National- High Violet (told you I was giving them a shot)
Six Finger Satellite- A Good Year for Hardness ( not so much Chrome, still angular)
NOISEttes-What's the time, Mr Wolf? (Punky R&B, like Ska bands played Punky reggae)
The Specials- Specials ( always been a fan. I even was in a ska band, once)
V V Brown- Travelling like the Light ( there's no justice, if she ain't bigger than Amy Winehouse)
Ida Marie- Fortress 'Round My Heart ( extremely good Mekons-y Indie rock)
Leatherface- Dog Disco ( Lemmy meets Richard Thompson to play NoFX songs)
Leatherface- Stormy Petrel ( Again, raw voice, incredible guitar playing Punk)
sElf- Gizmodgery (who says art has to be inaccessible?)
The Joy Formidable- a Balloon called Moaning ( this year's Paramore)
The Nightingales- Insult to Injury ( like Tom Waits mumbling Mekons songs)
Veil Veil Vanish- Change in the Neon Light ( it's the 80's!!!)
Mew- No More stories are told today... ( incredibly arty digital progressive Indiepop)
The Darkside- All that Noise ( O.G. Drone rock)
Static of the Gods- Knowledge Machine (Pretty sounding Neo-shoegaze)
The Twilight Sad- Forget the Night Ahead ( very caustic coldwave/neo-80's)
Aereogramme- Sleep and Release ( supposedly post-rock. I think it just has great dynamics)
Aereogramme- My Heart has a wish that you would not Go ( the good stuff- melodramatic, orchestral pop-jazz with dynamics straight outta Beethoven. This ain't "post-rock" it's just very well done music)
Jesu-Conqueror ( Justin Broadrick. Need I say more?)
Die! Die! Die!- Promises, Promises ( well, looky there! New Zealand has their own Urinals)
Loop- A Gilded Eternity ( THEE ultimate drone/rock band. Stoners beware!)
dEUS- the Ideal Crash ( I prefer the mark II stuff, but this is good)
Soulsavers- Broken ( Lanegan could sing the phone book and I'd give it shot. This is great swampy, bluesy gospel infused-rock of the kind Tom Waits abandoned, and Lanegan excels at)
Elbow- The Seldom Seen Kid ( yes, I'm late to the party. Good music, if a bit derivative of mid-period Genesis- like right before they lost Peter Gabriel)
Kashmir- No Balance Palace ( sweeping, epic indie rock, with prog-folk touches like Silence is Sexy- but nowhere near as safe as anglo counterparts like Coldplay and Keane)
Editors- The Back Room ( I wore out my old copy. They're a one trick pony- england's Interpol. Much like Interpol you just need one cd by them. This is their version of Antics)
I'll probably do actual reviews of some but there you go. Am I a good consumer, or what?