Music Notes: May 2017

May 31, 2017 at 10:30 pm (Uncategorized)

 OK, here we go. 

1. The Damned: Don’t You Wish that We Were Dead

Despite near misses with fame, the Damned never really got the popular recognition they were due as one of the great original punk bands, and the creators of two absolutely excellent records, Damned, Damned, Damned and Machine Gun Etiquette. If you weren’t a fan of the band, you might wonder what all the fuss was about, but if you are a fan, this documentary is what you’ve waited for. Some really nice footage behind what is a rather sad story. Quick anecdote then. After the schism between Rat Scabies and Captain Sensible, Rat teamed up with Brian James to tour periodically and play the old songs. One time they were scheduled to play Lee’s Palace, and I bought a ticket. When the show was cancelled, I went down to Soundscapes to get a refund. Turns out Soundscapes had only sold one ticket, mine. Ah well. great film though.

2. Wire – Behind the Curtain 

And speaking of old punks who continue, Wire. unlike the Damned who haven’t released new material in over a decade, Wire continue to record and tour. Listening to this collection of early Wire versions, I’m reminded of my favourite one liner about the band: Imagine the Ramones if they had been raised on Cahier du Cinema instead of Mad Magazine. In the punk explosion, Wire were moving so fast it was hard to pin them down, but this 31 track recording does a good job of charting their progress from minimalist punks to something quite lush and beautiful. Try to snag a ticket for their upcoming Lee’s show if you can.

3. Resistance Radio – Soundtrack

The soundtrack to the Amazon TV show The Man in the High Castle. Loved the Philip K Dick novel, but haven’t seen the show. The album is a collection of 50’s and 60’s covers featuring the likes of Beck, Karen O, Norah Jones, Angel Olsen, Benjamin Booker and more. Terrific.

4. Rolling Blackouts C.F. – The French Press

Six song EP from Australia’s Rolling Blackouts. Jangle-pop.  It’s almost summer, and it sounds great in the car.

5. Mitski – Puberty 

I saw Mitski last year at the Mod Club. Pretty much what you’d expect after listening to this powerful, guitar driven, extremely personal record.

6. The Stooges – Fun House (Deluxe edition)

I understand the need to release albums with bonus tracks including different takes, and the Stooges are as good candidates as anyone, but with three versions of “Loose”, two versions of “Fun House” and three versions of “Down on the Street,” it can dull the brutal efficiency of the original album. Not to say you shouldn’t listen to these versions (You absolutely should), but you’ll likely spend more time with the classic original album versions.

7. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Damage and Joy

Something old, something new; something borrowed and something blue. A new album from your old favourite band. Now, admit it. You were nervous about the prospect of a reunion dulling the legacy. Never fear, this new record will never replace Psychocandy or Darklands, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed by. Worth more than a listen.

8. The Bangles – Ladies and Gentlemen…

Nice little collection of early material (some from when they were the Bangs) and demos. Probably won’t appeal to those who want the hits, but it’s impressive enough to snag more than the devoted fan

9.  Mercury Rev – Yerself is Steam 

Here’s something I haven’t listened to in a while. Swirling psychedelic Butthole Surfers noise-pop. Very trippy. My copy has a bonus six song EP with a Peel session on it.

10. Gimme Danger

Jim Jarmusch’s loving tribute to a band that most people hated when they were around, but claim to love later (add that to the list). Amazing archival footage. If you like music, see this film.

Till next time.

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