Music Notes – February 2016

January 30, 2016 at 4:37 pm (Uncategorized)

Nothing new this month. Old things, that have been sitting around for a while, but sadly were never mentioned…unytil now.

1 Keith Richards – Cross-eyed Heart

An album that grew on me quite a bit. It’s not an exceptional set, but a solid collection of “classic” rock tune without a lot of the excess. A record by someone who clearly just likes making music.


Like Killing Joke’s first two albums. No, like Big Black. No Jesus Lizard. It’s a shade under thirty minutes (like their first) of punishing guitar noise. Song titles? Who knows, who cares? Play it first thing in the morning and screw up your entire day.

3. Julia Kent – Asperities

Kent also writes music for films, and there’s a lot of that here. As you listen you can imagine hearing this or that part as soundtrack. Cello-driven (if that’s a thing), eerie and beautiful although a couple of tracks do ramp up the volume and the intensity.Well worth investigating.

4. Julia Holter –Loud City Song

Holter is one of those artists who has been in my peripheral vision, but until this album someone I’d never heard. This album, not her most recent, is a collection of different styles. The first couple  of songs, which seems to be introduced by noise, I hated the first time, but repeated plays made me understand the context. Not an easy record, but patience is rewarding.

5. Lianne La Havas – Blood

Funky stuff. For the car, for a party. Get everyone dancing (try that with the latter, not the former)

6. Bob Dylan – Another Self Portrait

Self-Portrait is the first Dylan album I didn’t buy. When I got into Dylan, I devoured his work, but when a friend played me this, it felt he’d lost his way.  This addition to Dylan’s Bootleg series, makes me think I should dig out the old album. The first disc is outtakes and alternative versions of low-key country folk. And it’s compelling. The second CD I like less as it relies on live versions which always smell like filler to me.  Still, it shows another layer to the mystery that is Dylan.

7. Die Antwoord – Donker Mag

OK, I admit it. I watched Chappie, which featured Ninja and Yolandi Visser, and thought “OK, I’ll give it a listen.” Yeah. Some thrilling beats admittedly, but overall, no, not for me. A lot of swearing (sorry, but if you use “fuck” in every rhyme, it lessens the effect) and endless boasting. Reminds me of that Atilla the Stockbroker line : “You rap about your chains and you rap about your car/ you rap about what good rappers you are.”Uh huh.

8. Grimes – Visions

Again, not the most recent record, but a great disc of SF pop. worth a listen.

9. V/A – The Rough Guide to Desert Blues

Mmm. Desert blues. I don’t know what they’re singing about, but it sounds great. Found this sampler a little while back, and it’s a constant favourite in the car. Amazing.

10. Cowboy Junkies – Studio

Favourite memory of the Cowboy Junkies is sitting near the front at Clinton’s sometime in the early 90s watching the band, and the couple I was with were talking louder than the band. OK, the distraction was not the best part, but the music just cast a spell. This is a nice comp featuring a lot of the “hits.” Best to dig out the full albums though.

Till next time.



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