Music Notes May 2014

May 31, 2014 at 9:58 pm (Uncategorized)

Lots of new stuff this month

1. Looking for Johnny

The classic story. Boy loves baseball, boy discovers the Beatles, boy forms great but unappreciated band, boy discovers drugs, then pisses away his talent over a decade or two, showing increasingly fewer signs of brilliance before dying prematurely in squalid circumstances. Now, Looking for Johnny, the new Johnny Thunders documentary does have some brilliant footage and it’s worth seeing for that, but the production and editing does leave  little to be desired; the audio in particular is particularly sloppy. It’s also interesting for who is interviewed an who isn’t/ Sylvain Sylvain appears, but David Johansen doesn’t. Walter Lure does, but Richard Hell doesn’t. Oh, and there’s also the skeletor-like Billy Rath. Interesting, but only essential for fans.

2. Chrissie Hynde – “Dark Sunglasses”

Damn! Chrissie Hynde is 62 and she still sounds sexy. The album doesn’t come out for a couple of weeks, but this is the single: The very cool sounding pop she’s been effortlessly turning out for decades.

3. Lykke Li – I Never Learn

Oh Lykke, that’s OK. As long as you keep producing these Spectoresque album of loss, we won’t criticize. The new album is not quite as immediate as  Wounded Rhymes, but a few plays reveal, the majesty of the record. I usually like poppier, faster songs, but there’s something gloriously melancholic about these tunes. Get some.

4. Promised Land Sound – Fadin Fast

Saw these guys a couple of weeks back opening for Angel Olsen. Kinda Jayhawks-like in their sounds, but that’s not a bad thing is it.

5. Only Lovers Left Alive – Soundtrack

If you haven’t seen this intelligent vampire movie directed by Jim Jarmusch, go and check it out. Then get the soundtrack. Spooky, atmospheric stuff mostly composed by Jarmusch.  Then see the movie again.

6. Bush Tetras – “Too Many Creeps”

This turned up on a comp. I came across this month. Punk-funk from the early days.

7. Black Keys – Turn Blue

Huh? After the cheesy psych-pop of “Fever,” the finished album is a fairly faithful Black Keys’ blues-soul record. Too be honest, I was hoping for more of the single, but the album is quite tasty. There’ s a lovely slow burning opener, “Weight of Love,” and only the final song “Gottta Getaway” sounds like a throwback. Interesting piece for the lads.

8. The Pixies – Indie Cindy

Who was it said the best you can hope for when a favourite band reforms is they don’t suck completely? So what to make of the Pixies Indie Cindy?I like the fact that new material was Kim Deal’s idea because she knew it would piss people off. I like it less that Kim doesn’t appear, but they hired someone to sound like her backing vocals. And while I didn’t get the EPs, I can imagine someone who did resenting the fact this is being marketed as a new album when there are no unreleased songs on it. Enough? What about the music. Erm, it’s…OK. I liked “Silver Snail” and “Snakes” and to be fair, there’s nothing that made me want to skip onto the next track, btu there’s also nothing that thrilled me in the way so many other Pixies records have. It’s a successor to Trompe le Monde, sure, but it’s the last place Pixies album for me.

9. Blood Red Shoes – In Time to Voices

From a couple of years back, the BRS album is not quite as much of a sonic assault as their lives shows, but still, a pretty solid record. Punky, but thoughtful too.

10. Holly George-Warren – Alex Chilton: A Man Called Destruction

A lovingly detailed biography of Alex Chilton following him through the pop success of the Boxtops and the critical triumphs of Big Star, through the shambling punk years and his final metamorphosis into a kind of rock revival interpreter. In each phase of his career, Chilton displayed a brilliance, and it shines thorough in Warren-Holly’s amazing biography.

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