Music Notes: April 2016

April 30, 2016 at 3:21 pm (Uncategorized)

The end of the cruelest month then.

1 Primal Scream – Chaosmosis

The received wisdom is that Primal Scream follow a great album with a so-so one. That’s not quite true (remember the run of Vanishing Point, EXTRMNTR and Evil Heat?), but after  More Light, Chaosmosis feels like a bit of a step back. Not that the record is terrible, it just feels a little lighter than previous Scream records. The Sky Ferreira guesting on “Where the Light Gets it” was fun and “”Where the Blackout meets the Fallout” is suitably punky, but my guess is this won’t be your favourite Scream record (but since no two sound alike anyway, who knows?)

2 David Bowie – Lazarus

Even though Bowie’s final album was released months ago, I didn’t get a chance to listen to it fully until a few weeks back. It’s a fitting end to an outstanding career, and it’s one that I like a lot more that his previous, which seem to fade in the second half. Lazarus feels like a much more fully realized final vision of a man who never stopped moving, and even when he was not at the top of his game, was always worth listening to.

3 Gwenno – Y Dydd Olaf

No, I don’t know how to pronounce it either, but this electro-beat Welsh language album by former Pipettes member is really quite stunning. Seek it out.

4 Portishead – “SOS”

Huh. I read about this ABBA cover for the new Tom Hiddleston movie Hi-Rise a few days back, but I was already too slow. It was up on the web and very quickly removed. Apparently it will be in the movie, but not on the soundtrack and will not have an actual release. Well well. The reviews were good.

5 PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project

And then there’s Polly Jean Harvey who never seems to have a problem knocking the ball out of the park every time. A brilliant album surveying the horrors of capitalism in places as diverse as Washington DC (from which the album takes its title), Kosovo and Afghanistan. But at the same time, like Harvey’s other work, it is an intensely personal album. Amazing. Here’s a review by the World Socialist Web Site

6 The Kills – “Heart of a Dog”

The new Kills album Ash and Ice isn’t out until June, but the band has released a couple of tracks. I wasn’t thrilled by  “Doing it to Death” although I did like the video. “Heart of a Dog” is stronger, and both can be seen on the Kills’ site. The Kills play the Danforth Music Hall on May 21, 2016.

7  Le Tigre – “Deceptacon”

OK, so it’s now being used in a commercial for lipstick of something, it’s still a great song. The video not so much. 🙂


8 The Geraldine Fibbers – Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home

The Geraldine Fibbers were an alt-country punk band from the 1990’s, and this one, their major label debut is well worth a listen for its ability to mine the past and create something fresh. Also check out the demos and rarities record What Part of Get Thee Gone Don’t you Understand?

9 The Waco Brothers – Going Down in History

The first new Waco Brothers record in a decade (excluding collaborations, live sets and comps) is certainly cause for celebration. My two favourite Waco lines voiced by fans: “The best country record the Clash never made”and “If the Rolling Stones still made good records, they would sound like these.” Nuff said?

10 Prince

I remember working at CFMU-FM, McMaster’s student radio station, and a friend arguing about how great Prince was. I wasn’t impressed. I was still into post-punk noise and getting into the burgeoning Paisley underground sound. Flash forward a few years and I’m in the car trying to find something on the radio. Hmm. Good song. Good beat. “That was ‘Housequake’ by Prince” says the announcer. OK. I can admit when I’m wrong. Later, the Prince concert movie Sign o’ the Times was the first movie I went to with my wife (by the end of the show, we were the only ones in the theatre). I won’t say I was a huge Prince fan, but his influence and ability make him a towering figure who leaves a significant presence.


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