Music Notes May 2012

May 31, 2012 at 1:05 am (Uncategorized)

Here’s May’s list of good things for your ears.

1. Jack White –Blunderbuss

And it’s good, very good. It took a few plays to sink in, but there’s lots of good things from what sounds like a compilation spanning the whole of the White Stripes career. I don’t mean that it’s a throwback, but White seems to have captured different styles and aspects of his career from rockers to more plaintive numbers and even the odd soul sounding rave-up. Terrific.

2. Public Image Ltd -One Drop

I can’t say I’ve been sitting around waiting for the new John Lydon product. True Metal Box and the Flowers of Romance are astonishing works, but there’s also a lot of fluff, and while I still get a kick out of Lydon’s L’Enfant terrible personality …anyway, this is rather a pleasant surprise. That Slits reggae sound vaguely reminiscent of  Album-era PiL. Nice.

3. Paul Weller- Heliocentric

Weller was in town a few weeks back. Didn’t go. I never saw Weller with the Jam or the Style Council, but I did catch him twice as a solo artist. Heliocentric is a few albums back, and happened to be in a pile of things being sorted. It’s not as immediate as the Jam recordings, but it’s a stylish pop record with some great tunes. Well worth seeking out.

4. Mojo – May 2012

T’other month I mentioned Steve Marriott. Pick up the new issue of  Mojo for  a lovely profile of the man along with a tasty free CD of Small Faces-esque sounds.

5. Wilko Johnson

It’s a funny thing. I was watching Game of Thrones, when I realized that the King’s Justice Sur IlymPayne was none other than Wilko. Payne had his tongue torn out by the Mad King, so all Wilko has to do is look mean. Heard a rumour he might be coming to Toronto to promote Oil City Confidential.  Check the site. And the autobiography.

6. AC/DC – If You Want Blood

No apologies for this one; as summer approaches, it’s harder and harder to resist these boys. True, Back in Black is often cited as the summer experience, but the old Bon Scott records are hard to beat. They gave the punks a run for their money.

7.  NXNE

Coming up in a couple of weeks. Looks of cool stuff and free things too. Bad Religion play for free at Dundas Square on June 14 and the Flaming Lips on the 16th. On my first date with my wife, we saw the Flaming Lips with the Butthole Surfers. Ah memories.

8. Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin – “J’taime”

Banned all over the place when it was released in 1969, it’s probably quite tame by today’s standards, right? Er, I was listening to Original Seeds a compilation of songs which influenced Nick Cave when this one came one. Phew! Great song, but phew! It’s pretty racy even for today. Serge, you old dog!

9. Donna Summer

Disco sucks right? Well, as it turns out, no it doesn’t. And Donna Summer was the Queen of disco. When I first came to musical age, I liked punk. Still do. Disco however was not cool. But as I grow older I find myself appreciating it more and more. Mostly the electronica stuff, but Georgio Morodna’s stuff is pretty amazing. Donna Summer whatever her subsequent evolution was an innovator.

10. MCA

I can’t remember the first Beastie Boys record I heard. Maybe “She’s on it” or possibly “Rock Hard.” As moronic as Licensed to Ill was, it was still marvellous. And then came Paul’s Boutique. A bit of a shock, and to be honest, I didn’t like it as much, but over time it’s brilliance became apparent to me. Adam Yauch was one of those rare musicians who grew as an artist throughout his career. His death at 47 is a real loss.


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