Music Notes March 2023

March 31, 2023 at 12:08 am (Uncategorized)

1 Van Morrison – Moving on Skiffle
It was easy for me to dismiss Eric Clapton. Never been a fan, so when he went back on the loopy bandwagon, it wasn’t a loss. Van Morrison was harder. Love his early work, and it was disappointing he had seemingly succumbed to a conspiracy bent. I had high hopes for this one. Memories of the terrific album he recorded with Lonnie Donegan, the Skiffle Sessions, lingered, but while the record is fun, it ain’t great. Especially as on “Moma Don’t Allow” retitled “Gov don’t allow” Morrison sings about how a man with a huge megaphone to broadcast his views is being censored.

2 Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane over the Sea
OK, I’ve generally avoided albums from the Uncut 300 list, but this is such an amazing record, I couldn’t resist. It’s hard to characterize, so the best thing I can do is to recommend you listen to the clever songwriting and catchy tunes.

3 The Cult- Electric / Peace
It was the glorious summer of 1986, and you couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing “She Sells Sanctuary.” Still, it through everyone for a left turn when the band released the Rick Rubin produced monster the following year. Massive heavy rock guitar seemingly channelling Zeppelin, AC/DC and more. Three decades later the album still sounds great (apart from that ill-advised cover of Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild”) The interesting thing is that this release contains the original version. It’s very much the successor to Love. Worth hearing to see which you prefer.

4 Sleaford Mods – UK Grim
New Sleaford Mods. Nuff said?

5 The Interrupters – In the Wild
When I first heard “In th MIrror,” I sniffed, “Huh, new No Doubt record.” Didn’t care for it at all. But radio kept playing it, and damn it, the thing grew on me. So I listened to the whole album. Yeah, if Rancid had a female singer and recorded a ska album, it might sound like this. I’m not the biggest fan of the genre, but it’s a good way to spend your time.

6 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Dazzle Ships
OK, I liked “Electricity” and “Red Frame / White Light” quite a lot, but I wasn’t exactly a fan of the band. Still, after reading a recent interview in Mojo with the band about how 1983’s Dazzle Ships had essentially derailed their career, I had to give it a listen. It’s pretty good. Can’t see why it destroyed their career though.

7 T-Rex – Electric Warrior
Sure, everyone has this . This edition contains eight rehearsal tracks. Very interesting to hear how these songs began. and of course, it’s classic T-Rex.

8 The Damned – “Mr. Invisible”
New single from the Damned. Forty-five years on and they’re still making fine albums.

9 Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Another one from the Uncut 300 list, but such a terrific record. Perhaps in my all-time top ten. Maybe. Top twenty certainly. I joked with a friend once I would be afraid to date someone as talented as Williams because if we broke up, she’d write a song about me, and everyone would hate me. Poignant, aching, beautiful. Fun fact. I saw Williams on the tour for this album at Convocation Hall in Toronto. My wife was pregnant with our first child, so I like to think this was our daughter’s first concert.

10. Depeche Mode – Memento Mori
I think I might be a Depeche Mode Fan. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to this and a Mojo DM sampler over the last month. I do like electronica, but DM always seems a bit too poppy for me – still, they wrote good pop songs. New album, the first since Andy Fletcher’s death, is dark, but uplifting. Great tunes as always. Worth it.

Till next time.


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