Music Notes February 2012

February 29, 2012 at 2:27 am (Uncategorized)

Time to rinse out your ears.

1. Shonen Knife – Osaka Ramones

Usually when a band releases a covers record, it means it’s running out of ideas. So Shonen Knife’s decision to release CD of Ramones songs might cause fans to be concerned. No worries. Osaka Ramones is entirely unnecessary, but much appreciated. 13 serving of utterly delightful punk-pop.

2. Peaking Lights – 936

Trippy dance music from the US. I’m not entirely sure if I like this, but it bears repeated listening.

3. Heartless Bastards – Arrow

Yes, yes, I still have to write the review of last week’s show, but in the meantime, let me rave about the album. The record is filled with bluesy rockers, and memorable tunes. And even though I felt the slow songs broke up the momentum at the show, they work well here.  The Heartless Bastards are clearly at the top of their game

4. Hunter –Hands on Fire

Saw this band open for the Kills a few weeks back. Not entirely original punk, but well executed. Download the album at Bandcamp.

5. MIA – Bad Girls

Time was a new MIA release was cause for excitement, but I have to say “Bad Girls” doesn’t do it for me. It’s a shambling mess, and the video really seems like style over substance. Maybe it’ll grow on me, but so far it leaves me cold.

6. Brian Eno/David Byrne – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

I hadn’t listened to this in ages, but on a whim, it ended up in the CD player. Man, I’d forgotten how good it is. Full of exotic samples and splices. Jezebel Spirit was the track which originally turned me onto this collaboration, but there’s so much more to it. Hard to say just how influential this was.

7. Donovan – Summer Day Reflection Songs

There’s a renewed interest in Donovan because of the use of his song “Season of the Witch” in the promo to Para Norman, but you should really seek out the earlier folky stuff.   Summer Day… is a 2-CD collection of his early Dylanesque material, including Catch the Wind and his marvellous version of Buffy St. Marie’s Universal Soldier.

8. The Jam – Extras

Ooh what a talented bastard Paul Weller was (is). Extras is a collection of Jam outtakes dating from 1979 until the end of the band’s existence. What you get is Beatles, Who and Small Faces covers along with a magnificent set of demos from Setting Sons. Probably just for the fans, but then you really should be one.

9.  (What’s so Funny bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.

A Brinsley Schwartz song written and sung by Nick Lowe. On the b-side to nick Lowe’s single “American Squirm” came a re-recorded version that sounded an awful lot like Elvis Costello but was credited to Nick Lowe and his Sound. When the US version of Costello’s album Armed Forces was released, Costello’s version was on it. Costello’s is the superlative version in my opinion, and the last notes of the guitar solo is my favourite part.  Apparently Curtis Stiger’s version of the Bodyguard soundtrack made Lowe independently wealthy. A great song. Listen again.

Hey, it’s the shortest month (even with the extra day), so only 9.



  1. Richard S. said,

    It’s strange that you feel that way about M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls”… I think it’s the best thing she’s done in four years! (At least musically, though, yes, I’m looking for more of the interesting lyrical substance that I used to hear – maybe some day.) Anyway, I love the video – it’s hilarious!

    • fischerzed said,

      Maybe, I should give it another listen then. I dunno, I really didn’t like it though.
      Listening to the Simple Minds box set X5 currently. Amazing band before they became truly truly awful in the mid 80s. Started off copying Roxy Music and then evolved into some seriously interesting dance-rock post punk stuff before flaming out.

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