Music Notes – September 2009

October 1, 2009 at 12:13 am (Uncategorized)

A few minutes late (it’s still September in my time zone), September’s ramblings on a musical theme:

1. Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators

My elevators obsession continues to grow, and will likely peak at the Roky Erickson show on October 29th. I just finished the Elevators biography Eye Mind.  It’s an amazing read. Full of insights and includes some very cool pictures. I’m also spending a lot of time listening to the second Elevators record Easter Everywhere. It’s a different feel from Psychodelic Sounds but includes some classics like “Levitation” and “Slip inside this House.” We were in the car today listening to a live very of “You Don’t Know” when my son piped up from the back: “Dad, I can hear the electric jug.” How much prouder could a father be?

2. The Stone Roses – The Stones Roses

So good, so good. I don’t know if it’s the greatest album of all time, as some would have it, but boy is it good. The twentieth anniversary comes in a variety of packages: A single remastered disc. A three disc version with the original album, an album of demos and a DVD. An ultimate edition with all of the above, vinyl versions and a lemon shaped flash drive (at a ridiculously inflated price).  I’m probably going to spring for the 3-disc version, which sadly doesn’t include the B-sides album which the big version does. (It’s OK, you can get it as Turns into Stone)

3. The Box Elders – Alice and Friends

Goofy highly enjoyable fun. 14 songs, 32 minutes. Garage rock from Ohio. They’re opening for Jay Reatard when he returns to Toronto. I’m tempted to go, but after the TV Smith letdown, I don’t think I’ll make it. I do like the new Jay Reatard album though.

4. The Vivian Girls – Vivian Girls

10 songs, 21 minutes. More goofy enjoyable fun. Who says punk is dead? As a movement sure, but as a fine fine sound, it’s still going on. Vivian Girls are loads of punk rock fun.

5. Fatboy Slim – You’ve Come a Long Way Baby

Dug this out of the pile of long unlistened CDs for a road trip this month. Ten years later, and it’s very listenable. Great car record. The kids loved it.

6. Bob Dylan – The Christmas Album

The horror, the horror. Have a listen at the Mojo Blog A couple of my friends still get excited about new Dylan releases, but even they were scratching their heads about this one. What was he thinking? It’s bad enough Dylan can’t sing anymore and with that moustache he looks a little like Mohmar Gaddafi, but a Christmas album?

7. Spacemen 3 – Sound of Confusion.

On the sleeve notes to the re-issue, Sonic Boom writes that they wanted to get their influences out of the way and then move onto  new things. This record includes covers by the 13th Floor Elevators and the Stooges. It’s a much more rockist album that the second, Perfect prescriptions, but it’s a great intro to the band. Notable for a 17 minute cover of the Elevator’s “Rollercoaster.”

8. Glee

This probably belongs on the upcoming TV list, but it’s worth mentioning here. Glee is the new Fox show about, well, about glee club at a high school. The club consists of misfits who populate, as Jane Lynch puts it, the sub-basement of the school order. Each week the club ends up covering and re-interpreting popular songs. Imagine a football team dancing to Beyonce. The first episode featured a building soaring rock song. Couldn’t quite place it until the chorus. It was “Don’t Stop Believing.”  Pitchfork suggests that how you feel about the song determines how you feel about music. If you sing along but are somewhat embarrassed to like it, you’re probably a music geek. If you rock out, you probably listen to whatever’s on the radio. If you don’t like the song, you simply don’t like music. Glee is on Fox Wednesday at 9PM.

9. LCD Soundsystem

Long overdue, but the band has finally released some new material. Sort of. It’s remixes  of the 45:33 album. Given that LCD remixes often sound completely different, it’s worth a listen. New album next year.

10. The power of song.

At the school where I work, the principal decided it would be a good idea to start the morning with music. Partly as a way to move the students along, but also to remind staff the day was starting. The first few weeks, it was mostly Motown or classic rock. I suggested that since the majority of the students are from overseas, this might not be more appropriate.  The principal asked if I could recommend something. Finally, I got around to supplying music. (see playlist below). It’s really amazing to hear Bollywood sounds, Fairuz singing Mozart or any of the others echoing through the building. People stop. People listen. People talk: The power of music.

PS. sometimes the CD gets left in the player by mistake. Twice last week, Students stop expecting to hear O Canada, but got the opening bars to Telstar instead.

Telstar – The Tornados  
Jaan Pahechan Ho – Mohd. Rafi
Jai Ho – A. R. Rahman
Brimful Of Asha – Cornershop 
Paper Planes – M.I.A. 
Im Nin’alu – Ofra Haza 
Ya Ana Ya Ana Wiyak  – Fairuz 
Uptown Top Ranking – Althea and Donna 
Pressure Drop – Toots & The Maytals 
The Sunnyside Of The Street – The Pogues 
Hippychick – Soho 
Rehab – Amy Winehouse 
Jump – Aztec Camera 
Evening Gown –  Alejandro Escovedo 
Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis) – Cowboy Junkies 
Across the Borderline – Ry Cooder 
Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) – Peter Sarstedt 
Bonnie and Clyde (Clyde Barrow Version) – Luna 
Throw Your Arms Around Me – Hunters & Collectors


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