Music Notes July 2012

July 30, 2012 at 12:01 am (Uncategorized) (, )

A few days early, but here’s July’s things of musical interest…

1. Can – The Lost Tapes

A fan’s dream come true. We all hope for our favourites that somewhere there is a song or two of equal quality that’s unreleased. Usually we’re unlucky. And all too often we learn, there’s a reason the outtakes on the special edition weren’t released: they weren’t that good. This three CD set isn’t like that. It’s tapes that were simply never released. Around 50 hours of tapes, that sat in a studio for several decades. These tracks are the best of those. Packaged with a lovely book, my only complaint would be the physical way the CD’s are in the tray -easy to scratch. Otherwise fabulous.

2. The Bats – Free all the Monsters

Jangly Velvets-ish pop from this long-lasting New Zealand band. Worth a listen.

3. Damian and Naomi – With Ghost

The other 2/3 of Galaxie 500. Atmospheric Japanese folk music. Not particularly immediate, but it grows on you. It really does. Quite lovely.

4. Sigur Ros – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly. Ah, well, that makes everything clear. With a Sigur Ros record, you know what you’re getting, although having said that, this one rocks a little more than others. Still full of compelling instrumentation and falsetto vocals though. If you described this band to me, I wouldn’t be interested. However, that’s why you should listen to them rather than talk about them. My biggest disappointment this year? I’ll be out-of-town during their Toronto show this week.

5. Rosanne Cash -” Land of Dreams”

OK, OK, it’s the song used by the American tourism board, but that doesn’t diminish its value as a great song.

6. Neil Diamond – The Bang Years

Wanna here the original version of Red Red Wine, I’m a Believer and more? This is the CD for you.  Recorded in soulful mono, this is Neil Diamond before he became a superstar.

7. Television – Live at the Academy

Solid live Television record featuring material from all of their albums. The tracks from Television really soar.

8. Billy Bragg – Back to Basics

Pulled this one-off of the shelf this morning for a spin. It’s a compilation of the first mini-album, the first album and another EP. Boy, Bill sure can’t sing, his Labour politics seem simplistic, but his words are just amazing. Takes me back to my early days in politics when the world seemed a very different place.

9. Various artists – The Indestructible Beat of Soweto

Last month, I recommended Graceland. Get this too. Incredible compilation of tracks from South Africa from the mid-1980s. Absolutely stunning. And as good as Graceland is, this is so much better. You won’t be disappointed.

10 Puffy AmiYumi – “Teen Titans Theme”

My son’s favourite TV show right now is the Teen Titans which ran on in the mid 00s.  The theme is by the ever-adorable Puffy Ami Yumi. Special points for including Guitar Wolf in the video. Enjoy.

And the Fall is shaping up to be a good season. New Jon Spencer album and tour to follow (download a track now at the web site); First Aid Kit back in town, and the Alabama Shakes are playing Toronto in October. All very good.

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2 Comments

  1. eggdogg said,

    The Lost Tapes really made my year as far as music goes. I was downright giddy the day it was released, at the door of the record store when it opened, and have been listening to it nonstop.

    • fischerzed said,

      It’s quite amazing isn’t it? I don’t care for some of the noise-freak outs, but there are layers upon layers on this record. Terrific.

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