Music Notes March 2015

March 31, 2015 at 3:56 pm (Uncategorized)

Things of note and interest for your ears

1. The Sleaford Mods – Divide and Exit

Oh oh oh, I love these guys so. The breakthrough album.  Electronica? Rap? Punk? Who cares about labels? A very angry, very funny record full of tunes both caustic and hilarious. Tweet tweet tweet.

2. Benjamin Booker – s/t

Booker is a blues -punk from Virginia. This record, his debut, is a blistering breakneck blues that never quite got out of the garage. Not that it’s amateur hour, but it has that vitality that the best punk has. Standouts would be the single “Violent Shiver,” but I’m also partial to “Have you seen my son?” He’s playing a sold-out show at Lee’s Palace tonight. Looking forward to it.

3. Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville

In interviews promoting the album  Phair commented that it was a reply to Exile on Main Street. Nor sure how true that is, but when I put on the record in the car the other day, it’s greatness flooded back. “Divorce Song” may be the saddest song ever written.

4. The Dum Dum Girls – Too True

Now, it sounds great.  The production by Richard Gottehrer who produced the early Blondie records, and Sune Rose Wagner from the Ravonettes is perfect shimmery pop. But, and you knew that was coming, the tunes themselves are fairly nondescript. I liked listening to the record, but afterwards, I couldn’t remember a song or a lyric to sing along to next time.

5. The Violent Femmes – Hallowed Ground

After the slightly twisted but upbeat folk punk of their debut, Slash records must have thought they were on to a winner. Then the band delivered a dark album which begins with a chirpy song about a guy pushing his daughter down a well. It’s a masterpiece of an album, but needless to say, the religious fundamentalist twist and generally less catchy tunes made it destined to remain only an underground classic

6. Azelai Banks – Broke with Expensive Tastes

OK, I loved that first EP. Then I waited. And waited, and waited. Finally, the album arrived. Was it worth it? Ahh… dunno. To my ears a lot of it sounds the same, and the track which still really jumps is “212” from a couple of years back. Maybe, it’ll take a while to discover its charms.

7. The Pixies – Trompe le Monde

Funny thing is, this was traditionally the weakest Pixies album. But, after a listen last weekend, it sounds pretty fresh. “Planet of Sound”, the cover of “Head On” and “Subaculture” all sound great. Which led to …

8. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psycho Candy

If you haven’t listened to it in a while. Do it. Remember how great it sounded when you heard it first. It still does.

9. Rhiannon Giddons – It’s My Turn Now

The debut solo record from the Carolina Chocolate Drops front person. A simply stunning collection of covers and one original song. Blues, country, pop, the title is prophetic.

10. Roy Orbison – The Essential

A 2-CD set going back a couple of years. Suddenly, I’m listening to Orbison a lot. There’s just something about that voice. Unless you want to spring for the box set “The Soul of Rock and Roll,” this is a pretty good collection except…the version of “In Dreams” is from the eighties not the original. It’s good, but the original is the one you want.

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