Music Notes – December 2015

December 22, 2015 at 6:58 pm (Uncategorized)

December notes are always a little early early.

  1. Metric – Pagans in Vegas

The sixth album from Metric finds them a little more synth-poppy than I remember, and it’s a formula whose appeal fades over the course of the record; but for the first half it works well.

  1. Generation X – Generation X

Gen X were part of the original punk wave, but their reputation has not lasted. Unfairly dismissed as poseurs, their first album does have the tunes: “One Hundred Punks,” “Ready Steady go,” and “Kiss me Deadly” are all worth repeated plays.

  1. Patti Smith – M Train

The second volume of memoirs from Patti Smith is as good as the first, though it’s a series of vignettes rather than a narrative. I’m half way through the book, but now I know a lot about Patti’s love of coffee, detective shows and, oddly enough her membership in the Continental Drift Club. Great reading.

  1. Bobby Gillespie – Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Not a solo album, but one collected by Primal Scream’s front man. No surprise really, as whenever you have a retrospective edition of a “cool” record, there’s often a Gillespie quote on it.  Kris Kristopherson, the Byrds, the Beach Boys,  and Primal Scream’s take on “Darklands” among others. Put together by the wonderful people at Ace Records.

  1. CBGBs

So the word is that CBGBs will reopen as a restaurant at Newark Airport. Huh? My wife and I walked past the club once in the late 1980s and meant to go in later in our trip. We never did. I often fly out of Newark though, but I don’t expect I’ll be eating there.

  1. Squeeze – Singles 45s and Under

You sort of have to admire a band that named themselves after the worst Velvet Underground album. A friend gave me this greatest hits record for Xmas (yes, I did already have it), but excellent taste Paul. A fantastic recrod and maybe one of the greatest comps around. Every song a winner. Even the ones that aren’t really.

  1. Various artists – Live Stiffs

I was weeding some stuff from the collection the other day and came across this live compilation from the Stiff Record train tour. Elvis Costello. Nick Lowe, Larry Wallis, Ian Dury and Wreckless Eric, along with an all-star version of “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll.” Great. Worth having for Costello’s live version of “Miracle Man.”

  1. One Direction – Carpool Karaoke

If you read this column regularly, you’ll have noticed One Direction get mentioned more often than is probably healthy. Having said that, this clip from James Cordon’s Late L:ate Show is hilarious. Merry Christmas Sam.

  1. Timothy White – Music to my ears

Another stocking stuffer from Billboard’s editor in chief. I like essay collections as you can dip into them at your leisure. Published in the late 1990s, it’s a nice snapshot of what was hot and what was not .

  1. Billy Mack – “Christmas is All Around”

The great Bill Nighy like no other.



Till next time.

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