Music Notes: February 2016

February 28, 2016 at 4:04 pm (Uncategorized)

Here’s something now.

1 David Bowie – “The Berlin Trilogy”

OK, unofficially then. The loss of Bowie in January was shocking, but at the same time, it caused many of us to reach back into his collection and re-listen; to appreciate just how influential he was. I recently relisted to the so-called “Berlin Trilogy.” I’m not going to do a track-by-track or even album-by-album analysis, but taken together in a session, these three albums , recorded over a period of three years reflect an amazing mixture of sounds from Krautrock to New Wave to Middle Eastern sounds,; orthodox pop to some very unorthodox experimentation. Upon returning to them, I couldn’t help but be struck by the nuance and subtitles that had escaped me in ealier listening. Do yourself a favour.

2 Savages – Adore Life

Savages still have that post-punk Siouxsie sound down, and as much as I liked their first album, this one is better. The band tighter, the songs more neatly crafted. Absolutely worth hearing.

3 Richard Hell – Massive Pissed Love

Read Hell’s I Dreamed I was a Very Clean Tramp a while back. Very cool. This is a collection of short pieces, reviews and essays. Something to dip into.

4 Lucinda Williams – Ghosts of Highway 20

I haven’t followed the most recent phase of Lucinda Williams career, but the prospect of seeing her at Toronto’s Opera House , a smallish club in the east end, was too much to resist, and I dipped into the new album. A laid-back, almost lazy groove. Slurred vocals throughout. It’s an album, that slowly winds its way into your head. Not immediate, but seductive. I’m more excited than ever about the show.

5 Vulva Culture

OK, you’ve chosen a name that will preclude airplay, but this Halifax band does other things right. Moody stuff. You can find their material at Bandcamp.

6  Zoe Howe- Barbed Wire Kisses

I read in Uncut that Zoe Howe had written a biography of the late Dr. Feelgood front man Lee Brilleaux. I went looking for it at the local library, but found this biography of the Jesus and Mary Chain instead. It’s good. Lots of details about the band, but it’s a little flat too. Lots of research and interviews with the key players, but it’s told in a rather matter-of-fact style that doesn’t seem to delve too deeply into the subject.

7. The Mekons – Heaven and Hell: The Very Best of the Mekons

After watching the Mekons documentary Revenge of the Mekons, you’ll want to have a listen. Heaven and Hell is a good place to start. It’s a 2 disc set from 2004 and contains a lot of the good stuff, though “The Building” may rattle a little.  Go now.

8 Glitterbust – “The Highline”

Kim Gordon’s new project. Listen to it on Soundcloud

9 The I Don’t Cares – Wild Stab

Ooh, ooh, Paul Westerberg and Julianna Hatfield’s new project. Go listen to it on Youtube!

10 Greil Marcus – Real Life Rock

Like Richard Hell’s book I mentioned above, Marcus’ is a book to dip into not sit and work through. Marcus has been publishing his Real Life Top Tens for years now, and while you won’t always agree with his assessments, I’ll bet that more than a few will send you on a hunt to find that song. Annoying, entertaining, maddening, thrilling.


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