Music Notes – March 2013

March 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm (Uncategorized)


1. Johnny Marr – The Messenger

OK, I liked Boomslang. I thought it was an interesting new direction; also I’m a big reptile nerd. Not a lot agreed. That said, The Messengerr is one of those classic pop records that sounds better with each listen – you just notice new things each time. I don’t want to compare this to that other group Marr was in, sorry – can’t remember the name, but it has that same panicy urgency that made those records so great. OK, Marr isn’t the most memorable singer in the world, but the tunes more than make up for it. Fantastic.

2. How to Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion

OK, I saw Mr. Reznor’s last band on the first Lollapalooza tour. Didn’t much care for them. Did like his soundtrack work (The Natural Born Killers soundtrack is better than the movie). This, I do like. NIN lite?  Nah, that’s just snotty, but there’s also a certain truth. HTDA expands the range of emotions beyond rage, self-loathing and despair. And on a song like “Ice Age,” they create something quite lovely. Critics argue that Mariqueen Maanndig’s  voice is buried in the mix, but I’d say it functions as another effective instrument. Soaring at times; muted at others. I’m much more excited by this than the prospect of a new NIN record.

3. Sam and the Womp –

Huh? This song came out last summer and was a #1 hit in the UK. I heard it on a Joe Fresh commercial. Sickeningly addictive, it’s a Dee-Lite for the 21st century.

4. Stornoway – “Knock me on the Head”

The lead track from the new record. Very much looking forward to seeing the seeing the band in May. Have a listen to the song and  to remixes of this track at their site

5. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse

Going to see FR tomorrow night. A year ago, I knew only the name, now I’m a big fan of their gloomy Scottish indie-pop. Go have a listen

6. Dragonette – “Neighbourhood” (Target ad,)

Not a big fan of Dragonnette’s brand of electronic-pop, nor Mr. Rogers. But this ad announcing Target’s entry into Canada is kind of fun.

7. Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside – Untamed Beast

I saw Sallie Ford a few nights back opening for Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. (Review posted soon!) Really quite amazing. This record is more of that. It’s hard to pin down in terms of sound; there’s lots going on: rockabilly,neo-jazz rock n roll, all bound together in a  terrific catchy package. Favourite song? Each one as I hear it. Current fave is “Roll around.”

8 Punk: An Aesthetic

A nice coffee table collection of (mostly) British punk materials, along with essays by William Gibson, Jon Savage. Linder Sterling, Gee Vaucher and Johan Kugelberg. Pricey but nicey. Great if you weren’t there; nostalgia if you were.

9 Punk: The Best of Punk Magazine

Never read the magazine, so this is a good account of the seventies magazine from New York. in an oversized  format. Like the previous book, it’s not cheap, but it is worth having.

10 Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor – Faking it

Picked up this book remaindered at a local bookstore chain. Shame it wasn’t a bigger seller, because the subject is quite interesting: the quest for authenticity in popular music.

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