Music Notes – May 2020

May 29, 2020 at 1:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I assume you’re not going out, but never fear, there are good things to listen to at home.


1 Dean and Britta – “The Carnival is Over”

The new single. “The Carnival is Over” is one of those great songs than no matter who covers it, it sounds good. (the Bony M version isn’t terrible!) The Seekers’ original is based on a Russian folk tune, but with English lyrics written by Tom Springfield of the Springfields (and Dusty’s brother). Nick Cave does a great version too.


2. The Seekers – “I’ll Never Find Another You”

Since I’ve already referenced the Seekers, how about what might be a perfect pop song? (Also written by Tom Springfield)

3. Joey Ramone – Don’t Worry Bout Me

I saw a clip of Trump being interviewed by Maria Bartiromo, and remembered the song Joey wrote about her when she was working for CNBC. The song has aged well, but Bartiromo has become a Trump bootlicking Fox anchor.The rest of the album is a sweet reminder of what a talent we lost.

4. Altered Images – “Dead Pop Stars”

Do you remembered when this came out? Scottish Post-punk generating a buzz that positioned them as Banshees-lite. Very quickly, they transitioned into a not-unpleasant new wave pop band with Clare Grogan as a pop queen.  While they produced some good stuff, I wonder what would have happened if they had gone in the direction hinted at by this song. (Did you know that Spandau Ballet’s “True” is about Grogan?)


5. UB40 – Signing Off 

When I was a lad, I was a little too young for punk. The first wave had already reached land before I was really aware of it.  But I was there for  New Wave, the Mod Revival and Two-Tone. UB40 were a bi-racial British reggae band, not a ska band, and as much as I loved Two-Tone, this first album really took root with me. To this day “Tyler” and “Burden of Shame”  are standouts. Can you believe it fours decades old?

6. X – Alphabetland

My long held belief is when a band reforms, in most cases, the best you can hope for is it doesn’t suck. (Usually it’s an inferior version or a horrible new direction). The new album from X, the first in 35 years, is neither. It sounds like classic X, but not a a retreed of old material. Thomas Wolfe was wrong: Sometimes you can go home.

7. They Might be Giants – ” The Communists Have the Music”

I can’t recall how I came across this one on YouTube. but if you’ve ever dug TMBG or communism (in whatever form), check this out.


8. Coriky – Coriky

Ian MacKaye’s new band’s debut album is finally coming out. Delayed due to the Covid-19 virus, I’m assured it will arrive in my inbox (I bought it through Bandcamp) on June 12. This week another track from the album “Too Many Husbands” showed up. Great.

9. Rolling Stone: The 100 Best Debut Singles 

I love lists: Someone sits down and compiles of a list of their choices and throws it to the world, so we can disagree. This is a fantastically fun list, and there’s lots to disagree with – especially, their number one. Now make your own.

10.  Live music

Big Thief cancelled their North American tour. To be honest, much as I wanted to see them, I was afraid to cram into the Danforth Music Hall with 1,000 other patrons in late July. Sleaford Mods are playing the same venue (as of today) in September. I haven’t bought tickets yet, and as much as I love the band, I’m wondering even if it isn’t cancelled, would I want to go? Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of those from home concerts, but it’s not the same. Sadly in this age of “Free” music and downloads, many bands survived not on record sales but by touring and merch. As a reslut, the pendulum is swinging back, and bands are earning through music sales. Support the bands you like : And don’t forget Bandcamp suspends its cut on the first Friday of the month. Save your pennies for next Friday, June 5.


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