Intro: Happy Inauguration Day! I’m a little bitter that I didn’t get today (or, indeed, yesterday) off from work.
Listening: I’ve been listening a lot this past week to two disparate artists. On the one hand, I’ve been going through all my Sonic Youth albums with gusto (Rather Ripped = crazy brilliant!). On the other hand, I finally got around to grabbing Lady Sovereign’s Public Warning. So between Sonic Youth’s grinding, fuzzy Noise Rock and Lady Sovereign’s thumping, slurred Grime, I guess I’m just not digging clear sounds this week.
I have to confess, I’m really sort of digging the whole Grime thing. I love the use of random, odd sounds, and the dark bass-heavy sound. Combine that with the fact that I’m a sucker for a well-syncopated sound and Grime kind of hits all my “get up and dance” buttons. Check out this track (called “Random”) off Public Warning:
Upcoming: Next week we get new albums from Franz Ferdinand and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. As far as I’m concerned those both qualify as Good Things. The week after that sees releases from The Fray and The Von Bondies.
Thinking: Thanks to the magic of NetFlix, I finally got a chance to see The Future Is Unwritten, the biopic of Joe Strummer that Julien Temple put out a few years ago. If you don’t mind Temple’s somewhat heavy-handed style of film making, then the film is really well done. Probably the most compelling part of it are bonfire-side interviews with artists who played with Strummer (not only in the Clash, but in his other bands) and entertainers who had been inspired by him. If you’re a fan of Strummer himself or of the Clash, it’s definitely worth watching.
News: Well, those clever bastards over at Microsoft have finally put an end to that annoying trend of music requiring actual work to produce. Their new Songsmith software completely obviates the need for all that annoying “writing music” and “playing instruments” bullshit. Just sing into a microphone and Songsmith will generate the perfect backing music for you. And as long as you’re okay with your songs sounding like they were produced by a 6-year-old with some turntables and several pounds of blow, you’re all set. Case in point? Here’s Songsmith’s version of Oasis’ “Wonderwall”:
In less appalling news, a journalist and filmmaker by the name of Alan Parker is set to release a documentary which attempts to exonerate Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious of the murder of his girlfriend. It’ll be interesting to see what, after all these years, he’s been able to come up with. The film is called Who Killed Nancy? and it’s slated to be released February 6th. I’m quite intrigued to see what Mr. Parker has to say.
Song of the Week: Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot”, the lead track off their Daydream Nation album:
Intro: I’m never sure what to put here and am decreasingly sure that I should even have this section in the column.
Listening: Okay, so this Silversun Pickups habit of mine? I, uh, I think I need an intervention or something. It’s the first thing I listen to when I wake up in the morning and usually the last thing at night. I can’t seem to get through the day without at least a few listens of Carnavas. I mean, I even have a copy of their Pikul EP and that gets usually several repeats a day as well. I, I think I have a problem.
Hi, my name’s Aaron and I’m a Silversun Pickups addict.
It’s okay, though: I picked up a nice little dose of musical methadone this past week in the form of the latest Killers album, Day & Age. It’s a glitzy, glam-poppy antedote, and I’m finding it to be a very pleasant occasional diversion of my grungy, noisy Power Pop addiction. Especially nice are the single, “Human” (this week’s Song of the Week), “A Dustland Fairytale”, and “Losing Touch”.
I really hope that The Killers’ total and unapologetic embracing of their 80s Glam Pop roots on this album is the start of a trend. This lighter, more synth-driven sound really works for them and they would do well to stick with it.
Also: apparently Brandon Flowers found a vocal reverb effect he really likes, because it’s all over the album.
Upcoming: Well, we’ve survived the first release salvo of the holiday season. Between now and the holiday, there seems to be a pretty light field. The long-awaited US re-issue of the Stereophonics discography is this next Tuesday. All-American Rejects and Fall Out Boy have albums out the week after that. I guess there’s also some Dave Matthews Band live discs coming out on the 16th, as well.
I kind of feel like I have to be missing some great upcoming releases, but I’m just not finding them. If I’m missing something, please let me know in the comments.
Thinking: I kind of want to get a door-bell that is connected to an electric air-pump, which is connected to an Alpenhorn. Either that, or just have my “doorbell” be a full-sized synthesizer hooked up to my stereo, just to see what visitors might play.
Yet another reason why I need to be a professional wealthy eccentric when I grow up.
News: Leading our news this week, Noel Gallagher can still say absolutely anything and get free publicity from the music press. (Serious, look for next week’s headline: “Noel Gallagher says ‘Um, well…” and Looks Pensively Into the Middle Distance.”)
There’s some sort of, like, big music festival going on in Scotland right now.
Gwen Stefani’s in the family way once again.
And finally: Mick Jones is in a new band. This excites me greatly.
Song of the Week: Here’s The Killers in all their synth-pop glory with “Human” off their new album.
P. S. – Universal music continue to disable embedding on all the videos on their YouTube channel.
Spreading your artists music far and wide is a GOOD thing. Let the fans do the work for you. Disabling embedding on your videos is good for you.
Plus disabling it is kind of dick-ish anyway.
P.P.S – Thanks to YouTube user SkidVid70 for posting an embeddable copy.
Well, I’m off on a cross-country flight. So in honor of being crammed into steerage class for hours on end, here are five songs that never fail to get me grooving in my seat:
The Clash, “Guns of Brixton”
The Lawrence Arms, “Faintly Falling Ashes”
Oasis, “Morning Glory”
Iggy and the Stooges, “Search and Destroy”
Random question: favorite albums for early mornings?
One of mine (not sure if I’d give it top billing, but certainly Top 5), is the Clash’s Combat Rock.
In the interests of making your Monday morning a little more danceable, here’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” with Mick Jones on vocals and the amazing Paul Simonon busting out some great dance moves towards the end.
Just listening to the Clash’s brilliant Combat Rock album. I honestly think that “slamdance cosmopolis” is one of my favorite phrases in the English language. Why? Can’t totally tell you. I just think it sounds awesome.
At any rate, here’s a cool little video I came across: it’s a fan homage to bassist Paul Simonon, set to “Guns of Brixton”, off of London Calling. Lots of good shots of the band. Enjoy!
Well, I’m gonna be a little bit more late with my review than I thought. Many many apologies. Here’s another music video to keep you occupied and to (hopefully) assuage your irritation. The Clash performing “White Man (In Hammersmith Palais)” live at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, March 1980.
In more bad news, the ART 238 album which was GOING to be next week’s review has been delayed until next month. So, Ann: I owe you a review of the album when it comes out, and you shall most certainly get it.
Unfortunately, Ann’s solitary vote for the ART 238 album was the only vote cast last week. So do me a favor, folks: drop by the voting post and rain a little democracy down on me?