Music Notes September 2011

September 30, 2011 at 12:57 am (Uncategorized)

It’s the last day of the month, so…

1. Link Wray – Some Kinda Nut Missing Links Volume 3

There’s a few records that make you think, if this had never been made how would things sound today? “Rumble” is one of course. Pete Townshend has said, it’s the record that made him pick up a guitar. This collection by Norton cranks out more odds and sods by LInk, including another version of “Rumble.” Like most collections, some hits and some misses, but tracks like “The Girl Can’t Dance” and “Genocide” sizzle.

2. Nick Lowe – The Old Magic

I’m not sure exactly when Nick Lower morphed so seamlessly from new wave rocker into master tunesmith, but as much as I loved the former, I sure like the latter. In the review of the Wilco show earlier this month, readers could easily be forgiven for the impression that I liked Lowe better than the headliners. I wouldn’t go that far, but his forty minute set seemed over too soon. Lowe played a couple of songs from this album at the show including the lovely “Stoplight Roses” and “I read a Lot.” A beautiful record.

3. Sigur Ros – Hvaf/Heim

I subscribe to Iceland’s official tourism newsletter. How weird is that? It’s not weird at all when I listen to this band. This release contains studio versions of unreleased songs on one disc and live acoustic versions of released songs on the other. It’s dreamy Icelandic pop, and it’s completely wonderful.

4.  J. Geils Band –Live: Full House

In an upcoming post I’m going to write about a trip I took to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. My mate Paul and I drove down with a carful of music, but this live recording from 1972 was one of the favourites. Only eight songs on this release, and the first half is powerful r & b, but when you hit the second side, the band really hits its stride. Four cuts of absolutely wild rock music. If J Geils means “Centerfold” and “Freezeframe” seek this out. It’ll change your perceptions.

5. The Jim Jones Revue – Burning Your House Down

And speaking of blazing no-holds-barred rock and roll. If you missed the show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto this month, or elsewhere on their tour, you missed a treat. I listened to the CD in the car at a rather reckless volume on the way home from the show. Searing.  I’m not sure why it took a year for this to be released in North America when it was out in the UK, but never mind. If you’ve listened to other JJR records you know the patter, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Produced by Jim Sclavanous, this was has great sound which doesn’t sacrifice any of the band’s power. Perfect party music.

6. Wire – The Third Day

If you read this column regularly, you know I’ve become something of a Wire nut. This live EP dates to 1999, and rather that simply replay the songs on it, Wire recreate them. Two versions of “Pink Flag” and three other classics. Unfortunately the family find Wire a bit abrasive, ah, but when they’re not home…

7. Danger Mouse – Rome

The soundtrack to a never made spaghetti western with Jack White and Norah Jones? not usually the kind of this that would end up on my listening play list, but one has a quiet seductive charm. it’s a grower. Lots of twang.

8. Anna Calvi – Susanna & I / Baby It’s You

A single from Anna’s self titled debut (one of the finest record out this year.). I’m a little wary about mentioning singles when they are already on the album, but the B-side Baby It’s You (yes, the Shirelles song) is definitely worth having. Doing a cover is always a risk: too close to the original, why bother? Too different and risk offending the purists. Anna’s version succeeds because it reminds me of the original, but it still has that lovely  Calvi guitar sound. Can’t wait for her return to Toronto in December.

9. Devo – Pioneers Who Got Scalped

A 2 CD compilations of outtakes and rarities from the Spudboys. I’m still digging into that vault as a result of the tornot show this summer, and this has some nice material, and some very odd covers ( Itsy Bitsy Polka Dot Bikini anyway?) But it’s those early versions that are worth having. Now can anyone hook me up with pre-Q: Are We Not Men bootlegs?  

10. The Velvet Underground – “After Hours”

A Mo Tucker sung song from the Velvets’ third album. Lou Reed commented it was too sweet for him to sing.  Now the soundtrack to an arty perfume commercial. Didn’t catch the name of the perfume, but I have to admit the song works there.

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