Music Notes July 2014

July 31, 2014 at 12:22 pm (Uncategorized)

Here it is, your music notes for the month…

1. Harry Dean Stanton –Partly Fiction

I am prepared to watch pretty much anything with Harry Dean Stanton in it. Nuff said? This album of favourites, recorded in his living room, is a treat. Stanton could never be called a great singer, but there’s a rawness, an authenticity, a growth over the course of the record which is marvellous. On the records, which includes songs like “Promised Land” or “He’ll Have to Go” there’s a magic.

2. Oasis – Definitely Maybe (remastered)

Liam Gallagher took to social media to denounce this release arguing it was already perfect. It won’t deter fans though. We all want to see behind the curtain, to see the demos and the outtakes that led to this, arguable the best Oasis album. And, yeah, while the original album is pretty close to perfect, this provides the context, and it seems better for it.

3. Kim Gordon – Is This My Body?

Bought this on my recent New York trip. A collection of essays and texts by Kim Gordon. Stuff from her art school days and a very nice Sonic Youth tour diary.

4. Spacemen 3 – Dreamweapon

The main track on this is a 45-minute live recording entitled “An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music.” Droning guitar, audience chatter, words softly spoken. Not something to listen to every day, but there’s an intensity to it.

5. Lana Del Ray – Ultraviolence

Last year at a recital, my daughter sang the Lana Del Ray song “Young and Beautiful.” OK, let’s look at her work. So, I’ve listened to this a couple of times and have come up with a few conclusions. I like the idea of LDL better than the overall effect. The David Lynchian noir feel to her music, the black and white idealization of classic American culture has a great, well, feel to it.¬† Second, I’m not sure she has any songs, but rather a sound. Oddly enough, the neo-Marxist The New Inquiry has just published a collection of essays about Ms. Del Ray echoing some of the above.

6. Sharon Van Ettan – Are We There?

I can’t say much about this. You just need to listen to it. It’s a record which grows stronger with every listen.

7. Jack White – Lazeretto

Poor Jack White. No matter what he does, there’s a certain percentage of his audience that would like nothing more than another White Stripes album (and if I’m honest…). White’s second solo album continues the trend from Blunderbuss. No anthems, but some very cool songs along the way.

8. The Forgotten Rebels – In Love With the System

Can you go home? I wrote earlier about going to see the Forgotten Rebels this year. I probably saw that local band more than any other when I was in university, but I was disappointed because it seemed like faded glory. so, why should I own their debut. Probably for the same reason. Lots to shock, lots to enjoy. And, whether or not this is satire, I once loved these songs.

9. The Boomtown Rats – The Boomtown Rats

Deeply, deeply unfashionable. The Rats second album, A Tonic for the Troops was the second real album I bought, but this one is the one I’ve come to prefer over time. It’s not punk. Too steeped in rockist influences, but it has osme lovely punky moments (“Mary of the Fourth Form”) along with the Springsteenish “Joey’s on the Street Again.” This edition adds demos and some live tracks.

10. Tommy Ramone

And lastly, Tommy Ramone. The final surviving original Ramone who passed away earlier this month. Without Tommy, there might not have a been a band. He was the manager who switched to drums when it became clear Joey couldn’t keep a beat. RIP.

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