Music Notes August 2012

August 31, 2012 at 10:06 pm (Uncategorized)

OK, the posts of late have been few and far between as I attempt to slip back into wage slavery, but here are the hits…

1. Shut up and Play the Hits

But maybe we don’t do hits… A marvellous documentary of the days leading up to, including, and after LCD Soundsystem’s farewell shows at Madison Square Gardens. Essential if you’re a fan of the band, and well worth seeing even if you’re not. It’s better to burn out than to fade away (or just keep making increasingly crappy records)

2. My Bloody Valentine – EPs 1988-1991

Apparently years in the making, but finally this year released (or re-released I supposed), remastered and expanded versions of MBV’s canon. So far I’ve only picked up the EPs disc, but in addition to the EPs themselves, there’s a second disc of unreleased, expanded and other slabs of melodic feedback laced magic. Essential.

3. M83 – appearance at Fort York Garrison Common

Thanks to the very nice people at Soundscapes Music, I got to see this show for free. The actual contest was for an evening of electronica with JUstice and M83 at the top bands. To be honest, I didn’t know much about any of the bands, but since M83 shows sell out so quickly, it seemed worth a look. Just before M83’s set, the heavens opened and we were treated to a fifteen minute downpour. And then the band played and the crowd were happy. It’s a bit poppy for my taste, but they had energy and the crowd responded in kind. I left before Justice came on due to the fact I was absolutely exhausted and the skies were about to open again. They did; this time longer and heavier.

4. The Velvet Underground and Nico – Unripened

Sometimes, unpeeled. This might be old news, but I’ve been listened to those old Velvet’s demos (even the scratchy alternative versions are fun). Then I heard that they are being officially released later this year. Along with the stereo/mono collection (already available) and some live stuff from the same period.  Yeah, it’s great, but it does feel a lot like milking it too. Just download it. BTW, price tag, Amazon lists it as $77.

5. The (English) Beat – I just Can’t Stop It

Dazzling re-issue. The original album.  A second CD of remixes and BBC sessions, and a DVD of live and Top of the Pops appearances. A stunning set, but after listening /watching several times, I might conclude that you really only need the first record. The extras suffer by comparison, and also from repetition (I think there’s six versions of “Mirror in the Bathroom” – great song, but still…) For the completist, go ahead make your day.

6. Jessica Pare – “Zou Bisou Bisou”

For some reason I checked out of the library, Suck, a rock n roll vampire movie with Malcolm McDowell (who must have spent his money unwisely) and Jessica Pare.   To say the movie was dreadful is a bit of an understatement, but watching it I couldn’t help but remember that groovy song Ms. Pare performed on Madmen at Don’s birthday party. Kitschy sure, but fun.

Oh, and here’s Pare with the Jesus and Mary Chain.

7. Keith Richards – Life

My kids got me this for Christmas, and I read it on holiday. Two things, first fun, it’s a terrific, fascinating, terrifying (feel free to insert more adjectives) read. Second, I don’t really think I’d like to know Keef. True his love of music is a redeeming quality, but he doesn’t really seem like a very nice person. (Don’t waste time looking for charitable words about Brian Jones). And the book doesn’t make him out to be one. Maybe that’s why it comes across as so fresh and honest. Do yourself a favour, even if you don’t care for the Stones.

8. Nina Simone – Anthology

So good little needs to be said. A two-disc 31 song collection of Nina Simone’s greatness.

9. Stereo MCs – Connected

Sometimes when I’m on my way out to the car, I reach for something from the back of the collection. Connected isn’t a CD I play often, but when it’s on, everything seems better. Simple flowing rhymes and great hooks. Remember when we were young?

10. Thea Gilmore – Loft Music

I think the first Thea Gilmore song I heard wasn’t in fact one of hers. It was “I’m Not Down,” a Clash song. Yeah, it’s a great song, but her voice was so much better than Mick Jones’ limited range. Loft Music is a 2003 collection of covers of the Ramones, Paul Westerberg, John Fogerty, Buzzcocks and more. Mostly slowed down and folkified, but for me the lovliest song is Phil Ochs’ “When I’m Gone.” A genuine tearjerker. (Seek out Ochs’ version too)

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