Music Notes: September 2012

September 30, 2012 at 8:01 pm (Uncategorized)

The fall edition…

1. The XX – Coexist

I confess, I can never remember which XX song I’m listening to whenever the album is playing. They all have a dreamy vibe to them. The second album is no different, except it does seem more confident in its setting. Somehow more roomy. Perfect for Saturday night or Sunday morning.

2. All Tomorrow’s Parties

Named for the Velvets song, this film and the music festival for which it was named, is certainly worth checking out. The basic principle is that each year a group is named to “curate” the festival, which makes for a pretty interesting selection of artists every year. The film takes the form of a series of interviews and snippets of live performances. Not really much direction, but some very fine bands. And to think it usually takes place at British Holiday camps.

3. The Smiths – s/t

Never owned a copy of this until a few weeks back. A local used CD shop was having a sale, and I picked this up. Really a terrific record – a great balance of Johnny Marr’s guitar nad Morrissey’s miserableness. “Suffer Little Children” (the song about the Moors Murderers still sends chills up my spine)

4. Townes Van Zandt – Live at the Old Quarter, Houston Texas

A live 2 CD set containing highlights from Townes’ 1973 shows. Simply a marvellous, fucked-up songwriter and story-teller. I saw Townes in Toronto   a few years before his death, along with what seemed like most of Toronto’s country-folk establishment in the audience (inc the Cowboy Junkies and Blue Rodeo). That was a great show too. This set features a younger, more vital Townes. Go find it.

5. Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols

Ah, it’s the 35th anniversary of this one, so expect all sorts of nostalgia along with the re-issue package. It’s easy to forget in all of the time that has passed and in all the subsequent reunions accompanying cynicism, just how dangerous this record was. No, not really dangerous, but there was such hatred for this band. I was a little young to fully appreciate this until the moment had passed, but still a stunning record. Whatever followed, this was the real thing.

6. The Pogues – Poguetry in Motion

I’m working my way through The Wire and am halfway through season three. At the ed of an episode, there’s a wake for a fellow officer. “The Body of an American” is the song they sing along to. The rest of this EP is quite wonderful as well. Whatever mood you’re in, the Pogues make you feel better.

7. One Direction – “Live While We’re Young ”

No I haven’t gone soft, but I do have a 12 year-old daughter. For the past, oh I don’t know, forever, One D have been a staple in my house. And as much as I detest boy bands, I’ll admit that the lads aren’t the worst – “What Makes you Beautiful” is a well-crafted pop song. However, boy bands tend to have an expiry date, and with their new album a matter of weeks away, talk turns to whether or not they still have “it.” This new single, in my opinion, doesn’t. It’s not terrible. It just sounds like one of those songs that end up as outtakes on the deluxe edition of the album. Countless One D-ers may disagree, so we’ll see. Just sounds a bit samey to my ears.

8. Non-“Intro/Total War”

Dating back to 1992, this song appears on the free CD given away with the September issue of Mojo magazine. The theme of the CD is electricity and is selected by Mute’s Daniel Miller. Hard to really describe except to say it has a suffocating intensity. Miller writes on the liner notes: I ended this compilation with [it] because it’s a track that can’t be followed.” Uh huh.

9. Le Tigre – “Deceptacon”

No, not the autobots sworn enemies. Hadn’t listened to this in ages, but the track is featured in last week’s episode of the mediocre “The Mindy Project.” Interesting. (Actually prefer the DFA remix though).

10. Sam Sniderman

The passing of Sam the Record Man founder Sam Sniderman marks an end of some kind of era. Sam’s was the first record store I went into in Canada (probably the one in Niagara Square – think I bought Lou Reed’s Rock n Roll Animal). The big Sam’s on Yonge Street was one of the first mega-stores in Toronto, and you could easily while away hours there. Never the coolest record chain (can a chain ever be cool?), its disappearance a few years back in the digital age made me reminiscent about the days when you lined up outside the store to buy the new record from your favourite band. Downloading just doesn’t have the same thrill. Goodbye Sam.

PS Saw First Aid Kit last week. Review coming soon.

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