Music Notes: August 2016

August 31, 2016 at 9:03 pm (Uncategorized)

And here we go for the end of summer

1 Various artists – Sherwood at the Controls volume 2

Argh, you need to hear this. Volume 1 was dub and post-punk, and volume 2 is industrial dance music. Beatnigs, Mark Stewart, and a simply amazing track by The Unknown Cases called “Masimbable.” Own it.

2 The Jam – Setting Sons

Conventional wisdom is even numbered Jam albums are weaker than the odd numbered ones. Setting Sons is number 4, and while it has some very strong tracks (“Thick as Thieves,” “Saturday’s Kids,””Burning Sky”) it doesn’t quite hold together Like All Mod Cons or Sound Affects . Interestingly, if you can find  the compilation Extras, you’ll find demos from many of tracks from this album, which I think are actually stronger.

3 Husker Du – Zen Arcade

So after listening to Warehouse, I sought this one out The Beatles of hardcore? Nah, judge it on its own merit; Husker Du remain one of those bands who got stronger with every record.

4 Various artists – Jamaican Explosion

In celebration of its reggae/Marley cover, Mojo put together a comp of ska, backbeat and reggae stuff including Prince Buster and Jimmy Cliff and others, and it’s quite lovely. Mojo comps are pretty hit and miss; this is all hits.

5 The Ramones – Hey Ho Let’s Go

No, no, no. The Ramones were a great live band, but steer away from this thin-sounding neo-bootleg apparently from a radio broadcast. The splices between the songs are sloppy, there are frequent interruptions from a Spanish announcer, and the cover has Dee Dee Ramone playing bass even though he left the band a decade before this recording was made. Not even for collectors.

6 Neko Case, k. d. Lang, Laura Veirs –  Case/Lang/Veirs

Collaborations are a tricky thing, especially when one collaborator, Lang, is a much bigger star than the others. Still, this works well. Great country-pop with amazing harmonies.

7 Townes Van Zandt – Sunshine Boy: Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos

Two CD set of outtakes, alternative versions, covers and odds and ends. Poignant, funny, brilliant.

8 The Jayhawks – Paging Mr. Proust

There’s a five year gap between this record and the previous one Mockingbird Time, but the album flows so effortlessly it’s hard to believe the five decade break. You pretty much know what you’ll get: Alt-country pop. Worth waiting for.

9 Nine Inch Nails – Head like a Hole

Ten tracks, four songs , lots of remixes. I’m not a huge NIN fan, not much of a fan at all really, but this is worth a listen. Driving industrial highlights from the Pretty Hate Machine album.

10 Scottie Moore

Shame on me. Scotty Moore, Elvis’ guitar player, died June 28. Go, listen to the guitar on “Trying to Get to You,” and see what an amazing player he was. (Then check out the rest of the Sun Sessions, if you’ve forgotten how brilliant Elvis was too)

Back to school then.

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