Music Notes July 2013

July 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Ears wide, here we go…

1. The Strypes – Blue Collar Girl EP

I posted about the Strypes a few months back, but they are so good, (in an utterly derivative way) they are worth another plug. Currently touring with the Arctic Monkeys, but perhaps a solo Toronto date sometime…

2. The Liminanas – The Liminanas

This their first album is well worth spending time with. Great French psyche-pop that could have been recorded forty years ago or anytime since.

3. Asia Argento – Total Entropy

Breathy electronica from the Italian actress. Certainly more enjoyable than XXX.

4. The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood

I don’t like Bollywood cinema. For me the plots are too same-y and the acting contrived (I know, the same argument is also true for western cinema), but the music is fantastic. This set collects some of the downright strange stuff form the 60s, but it’s all essential listening. You can also find this paired with a set of material by composer RD Burman. Recommended.

5. Various artists  – Tres Chic

The successor volume to C’est Chic a collection of ye-ye records from the 1960s.  And I’m happy to report this is every bit as good. My French is just about strong enough to figure out the titles, but it doesn’t matter. Even latter-day fascist Brigitte Bardot’s stuff is great. Get this.

6. The Pet Shop Boys – Pop Art

I hated the Pet Shop Boys. Really I did. Now almost thirty years after “West End Girls” I can listen to it and admit, it’s a pretty good pop song. Hell, this two CD collection is filled with good pop though there are a few duds). Maybe time was all it needed for me to realize it. (I feel the same way about Saturday Night Fever – at the height of punk I loathed it. Let a couple of decades pass and I’ll admit, I not only liked the movie, but the soundtrack wasn’t so bad either).

7. Robin Thicke – “Blurred Lines”

Yeah I know.  At times it comes across as contrived and designed to get people to react: Questionable lyrics and a video with half-naked women  (in one version, and more than half-naked in the other) prancing around. Yeah, yeah, but it doesn’t disguise the fact the song is insanely catchy.

8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – EP

As a band matures, they change. Often they develop in a direction that alienates their original fan base, or they become caricatures of themselves.  You be the judge if the YYYs suck yet. I don’t think so, but a lot of old fans bailed after the last record. Anyway, I’ve spent a while listening to their first EPs recently if only because I lie the rawness of it.

9. Snatch soundtrack

On the plane back from Italy, I watched Snatch again. Terrific movie and a great soundtrack featuring the Stranglers, Madonna, 10CC, Massive Attack, Oasis,  and more. From the days when people put dialogue from the film on the soundtrack.

10. Glee

I watched the first season of Glee and a few episodes from the second. The first few episodes were sensational TV. Then there was a break, and it was never quite the same. Far too many episodes came off as hand-jobs for whichever musician was featured (Madonna, Britney, Gaga etc). This year my daughter become a fan, so I retained an interest. And it was a shock when Cory Montieth died a few weeks back. Died needlessly, died stupidly.  The first episode of the show where Montieth and co-star Lea Michelle sang Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing ” is a great moment.  That song, surely Journey’s greatest moment (were there others?), is really what music at its best is about: To close your eyes and be lost in that moment.


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