Music Notes December 2010

December 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm (Uncategorized)

A little early this month, but I’m filled with the spirit of giving.

1. This is Spinal Tap

Holidays mean time to watch movies. I haven’t watched this one in a couple of years, but it’s always a pleaser. Rob Reiner’s inspired mockumentary about the gormless members of Spinal Tap and their disastrous US tour promoting Smell the Glove is apparently so close to life that when the Edge watched it, he felt like crying. “Oh by the way, the Boston gig is cancelled. Don’t worry, Boston’s not a big college town.”

2. The Weirdies – Volatile

It’s been out for a couple of weeks, but the new Weirdies album is still a joy. I haven’t quite made up my mind if it’s as brilliant as the first, but it’s certainly a joy. I’m also mildly puffed up that they use a tag from a review I wrote on their site: Betty Boop fronting the Ramones. They’re opening for the Sadies at the horseshoe New Year’s Eve.

3. Jeffrey Lee Pierce – Wildwood

JL Pierce was a victim of the American disease. Seriously talented, yet a slave to his own appetites, and by all accounts fascinated by violence and death. . Pierce died in the mid nineties, not yet 40. Although Pierce is best remembered for those first two Gun Club records, this one is worth a spin or two. It’s a lot like the Gun Club, but a little looser.

4. She & Him – “I Put a Spell on You” /”Lingering Still”

Notwithstanding my feelings about the camera policy at their shows, I still have a soft spot for She & Him, and their recording of the old Screaming Jay Hawkins song for a digital download is quite lovely.

5. Warpaint- Exquisite Corpse

Mmm, I think I like this better than the album. Not sure why, but the post-punky sound just sticks a little longer here that on their full length album. And who can ignore the nod to the Surrealists.

6. The T.A.M.I. Show

Thanks to my mate Paul for lending this one to me. The T.A.M.I. show is perhaps the greatest rock movie ever – featuring James Brown, the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, Smokey Robinson and so many more. Well worth some of your holiday hours.

7.  Soft Boys – Underwater Moonlight

Not the hippest act around when this was recorded, yet Underwater Moonlight, with its curious blend of Syd Barrett and the new wave has only grown stronger. The album has been re-issued several times, but the new version from Yep Rock has something like 30 demos and outtakes as free downloads.  Certainly value for money.

8. Katrina & the Waves.

I hate the song “Walking on Sunshine.” Phew, Glad I got that out-of-the-way, but when you take that song out of the mix, Katrina & the Waves were a pretty good pop-rock combo. Most of the songs were written by ex-Soft Boy Kimberly Rew and he did have a knack for catchy songs. There’s a nice collection packaging their first two LPs along with a DVD of a concert, and that’s pretty much all you need.

9. Target

I’ve never been inside a Target store; don’t have ’em in Canada. But they do have a nice little Xmas download album – for free . You don’t need everything, but the Wavves/Best Coast track is worth having. Get it here.

10. Graham Parker & the Rumour – Squeezing Out Sparks

Before Joe Jackson, before Elvis Costello, there was Graham Parker: Part of that R&B pub rock tradition; yet angry enough for punk. Parker released a series of great records in the late 70’s, but somehow never quite got the acclaim he should have done. Squeezing out Sparks is his best record. Full of great tunes and deep lyrics. This version comes with a liver version of the record immediately following the studio. Also includes, Parker’s bitter attack on his record company Mercury Poisoning and the Jacksons’ “I Want you back.”

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