Post by Friendly Destroyer on Sept 4, 2011 11:10:43 GMT -8
TO ADD TO MY WAITS WRITE UP:
I just want to add to the whole Waits/Brennan story that the two of them actually fell in love at "second" sight (apparently they had crossed paths briefly at a New Years party). In 1980 while Waits was writing songs for "One From The Heart" in a studio office, Brennan, who also worked at Copolla's studio, entered into his office on a buisness erand which lead them to talking which then lead then to getting married 30 days later.
Another thing regarding the musicians on Mule Variations: Smokey Hormel was hand picked by Waits as a result of the work Waits heard Smokey doing with Beck.
Post by Horned Gramma on Sept 6, 2011 8:21:57 GMT -8
Joe Jackson -- Look Sharp!
Joe Jackson is better than Elvis Costello. That might just sound like an opinion but really the proof is in the pudding as far back as 1979. Elvis may have arrived on the scene a couple years earlier, releasing My Aim is True in 1977, but both were essentially British distillations of the Talking Heads brand of pop/punk/but-let's-don't-call-it-New-Wave-please. And as a songwriter, as a musician and as a performer, Joe has always had Elvis beat.
Look Sharp! is Joe Jackson's first album, and while many of you will certainly recognize a couple of cuts on this one from their eternal life on your FM dial, Joe just never managed to become a household name like many of his contemporaries. 'Fools in Love' and especially 'Is She Really Going Out With Him?' will probably sound immediately familiar to several of you, but as is so often the case the singles from Look Sharp! don't really highlight the best qualities of the real meat the record has to offer.
From the first beat on the kick drum the proceedings are driven at breakneck speed by the thunderous bass guitar of Mr. Graham Maby, for my money one of the greatest rock bassists of all time. Jackson himself has the soul of a crooner trapped behind the sneer of a punk rock kid, and only he seems capable of producing his trademark wail that sounds like a cat being strangled or swung by its tail.
Joe Jackson recorded three albums with what became known as the Joe Jackson Band -- Maby on bass as well as Gary Sanford on guitar and David Houghton on drums. Those three records -- Look Sharp!, I'm the Man and Beat Crazy are a triple-threat of greatness that not many artists of the time were able to match -- not even Elvis Costello, who was busy releasing Get Happy!! around this same time, which is a record that doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence.
Over the years it has been interesting to see Joe dabble in every style of music from salsa and jazz fusion to straight jazz and classical. He's a renaissance man by determination, and while some of those styles may not have come naturally to him the ability to write a fierce ass-shaker of a rock song seems to be in his bones.
I'm not going to grandstand too much; I'll let the music speak for itself. I will say that I used very different criteria selecting this record than I did when making selections for A Record a Day. The Record a Day selections were often challenging, marginalized pet favorites of mine from the dark corners of my music library. Look Sharp! is shining and golden and sounds as new today as it surely did thirty years ago. I grew up listening to these songs on family car trips or through earlobe-crushing Walkman headphones. The perversity of 'Sunday Papers' has always sounded every bit as snide. Hope you cats enjoy it.
Post by Friendly Destroyer on Sept 6, 2011 8:52:20 GMT -8
Nice pick! I remember we were talking a while back about Joe Jackson and you mentioned Graham Maby later went on to play with They Might Be Giants. It's funny to go back and hear tunes like "Sunday Papers" (and pretty much everything he did with Jackson) and see how he and TMBG are like two peas in a pod.
Post by Horned Gramma on Sept 6, 2011 9:05:14 GMT -8
Totally true. Graham Maby toured with TMBG between 1996 and 1998-1999 or so, and he was in the studio for TMBG's under-appreciated 1996 album Factory Showroom. It's so interesting to me to compare a track like 'Got the Time' from Look Sharp! to the likes of 'Til My Head Falls Off' from Factory Showroom and hear such distinct similarities. It's one of the reasons that I love Maby so much as a bassist -- not many bassists have such a definitive sound, and so easily become the mutant backbone of a song the way he does.
I gritted my teeth and refused to mention the link to TMBG in my remarks regarding Look Sharp! because I went back and read a bunch of my old R.A.D. posts the other day and noticed that I can find a link to TMBG with just about artist I mention. I hate to sound like a broken record.
I gritted my teeth and refused to mention the link to TMBG in my remarks regarding Look Sharp! because I went back and read a bunch of my old R.A.D. posts the other and noticed that I can find a link to TMBG with just about artist I mention. I hate to sound like a broken record.
Ha ha! Hey, it's not your fault all good things in this world can be associated to They Might Be Giants and The Residents. That's just Sciencesesses!
Jesus this album is great. It's an album that I used to listen to monthly, but I ended up giving it a rest for a little while. It was nice to listen to it again.
I listened to it once when it was first recommended and then listened to it again four times this past weekend and it just gets better with each listen. It is just a straight up rock n' fucking roll record with amazing melody, harmony, and stellar musicianship. Everyone that performs on this album holds their own, and as stated before, Joel Plaskett is a damn good guitarist. The lyrics are regional, but not to the point that people won't understand what or where he's referring to. The upbeat tracks are great but for me it was the ballads that really stood out. "Unconditional Love", "Blinding Light" and "Cry Together" all pack a nice punch and pull at the heartstrings. The more rockin' songs really embedded themselves in my brain and I couldn't stop singing "True Patriot Love" and "Maybe We Should Just Go Home" out loud after the album was done.
Joel Plaskett is a true Canadian gem and the rest of his catalogue deserves just as much attention, particularly Truthfully, Truthfully. I personally feel that he would be a welcome addition to the 2012 Sasquatch lineup. GREAT PICK.
Standout tracks: THE WHOLE FREAKING ALBUM
I wouldn't be surprised if you are picturing me peeling a carrot with a staple gun.
Alright, I did a lot of catching up on my road trip this weekend (p.s. driving Vancouver to Calgary in one shot while crazy hungover really freaking sucks).
Self - Breakfast with Girls
Another band I had never heard of before and I really enjoyed the hell out of this album. I thought the first half was really great, and the second half kind of dragged, but a really enjoyable album nonetheless. Just some really awesome pop music, very catchy. I didn't find the vocals annoying at all either.
Standout tracks: Suzie Q Sailaway (definitely have listened to this several times as a stand alone, such a great tune) and What are you Thinking?
Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Yeesh....sorry, but I don't really know what to say about this album. It just did nothing for me. It was really strange, I didn't get it and I didn't enjoy it. It was just really blah and nothing really happened.
Finished giving Destroy all Astromen another listen, and I really enjoyed the album although the songs still all run together for me. I think the only one that really stood out was Joker's Wild, and that's only because of the great sample at the start of the track.
For me this is going to become background music (I don't mean that in a derogatory way or anything) because of its lack of vocal content and general sameness throughout. I can definitely listen to this one at work without it being too distracting.
I find it interesting how polzarizing my choice (My Life in the Bush of Ghosts)was. So far people here either love love love it or completely don't get it at all. There is no lukewarm, which I half suspected would happen. I half suspected that Brian Eno wasn't really on the musical radar for a lot of people here, but I also thought it had a better chance here than if I had posted a classic Jazz or Blues recording.
And now, back to some more catching up. I think I'm still 2 albums behind...
Post by Blacksmile on Sept 12, 2011 10:16:28 GMT -8
Tom Waits - Mule Variations
This was a bit of a strange album for me. Unbelievably, I had not heard it prior to this week and I somewhat enjoyed it. I say somewhat because I found it to be a very strong and intense album, and I enjoyed every song on it, but it was a tough listen.
The problem for me was that I couldn't get through it in one sitting and had to spread it out over a couple of days. This is pretty much the case with the Waits albums that I already own. I have no idea why that is, but that's how it goes.
With this particular album I think that it Waits' voice and the length of the songs. It just seemed like a really long and plodding album. But like I said, I really liked most of the songs, just not the album as a whole.
Does that even make sense?
Standout Tracks: "Big in Japan" (Great Percussion!), "Hold On", "House Where Nobody Lives" and "Cold Water".
I wouldn't be surprised if you are picturing me peeling a carrot with a staple gun.
This was the first album that I owned. I received it for Christmas when I was 8 or 9 years old. At that time I was asking for Ninja Turtles figurines and the like, and when I opened this gift from my slightly estranged(euphemism) Aunt, I was more than a little dumbfounded. I lived very far from any town at that age, so the only music that was available was my parents records, or this album. So over the next few formative years, this was my go to CD, for almost every activity. This carried on for years, until I reached high school. At that time, I decided it was no longer cool, and it has resided in the bottom of a cold dark box ever since....until last year. I was doing some cleaning and came across this CD, gave it a spin, and fell in love with it, all over again.
The history behind this album is actually quite interesting. I'll give you the short version: Sloan signs to DGC records, releases debut Smeared. Begins work on follow up in the height of the grunge-O-mania... Sloan shows David Geffen Twice Removed, he hates it because it's poppy and catchy and not Nirvana. DGC drops Sloan from record label because it doesn't sound grungy enough, despite the fact the record is reaching major sales milestones in Canada...Sloan go it alone, and 20 years later are still fucking rocking...the end.
Aside from my childhood connection to this album, I still feel that it remains totally relevant and listenable today. Enjoy.
EDIT:Hey guys just realized I missed a song on the original Groove Shark link, so if your listening through that, click this new link. It is a pretty important song, it was the first single haha.
Post by Friendly Destroyer on Sept 12, 2011 22:00:59 GMT -8
"The Lines You Amend" and "Everything You've Done Wrong" were huge songs for me when they came out. For some reason I never really heard much of Twice Removed (other than "Coax Me"). Can't wait to give it a listen.
after a slow start, i'm working hard to get caught up on these... here's my thoughts on the first three albums.
N.A.S.A. - The Spirit of Apollo At times I enjoyed it, but for the most part I really couldn't get into the album. I wish I could provide a better answer than 'it's just not my thing' but to be perfectly honest, I just don't get the appeal.
I think it's cool that just about everybody on the fucking planet participated on this album, but for me it was too scattered for me to actually get in and really enjoy it.
personally, i can't fucking stand Kanye, but I still enjoyed that song - mostly because of Lykke Li and Santigold.
Slint - Spiderland I'm really glad I listened to this. it's an interesting album and I can totally see how its helped shape post-rock/math-rock/etc. I have no idea how I missed this album when it first came out... or a couple years after the fact. thanks for bringing it to my attention!! having said that - now that i've listened to the album three times - I'm still not sure i'll ever willingly listen to this album again. i don't mean that negatively, as there's nothing wrong with the album, but it doesn't rank high on a replay scale for me.
Circulatory System - Circulatory System There's not much more I can say about this that hasn't been said. Home Run, Drew! I admit this is the first time I've ever listened to this album. I don't know why- actually, that's a lie, I do know why. I never listened to Circulatory System because often people told me they were like a 'current/more psychedelic/American version of the Beatles-later-years.' which immediately put me off. And while I feel like that comparison to the Beatles is somewhat accurate - i don't find Circulatory System nearly as annoying or contrived as I feared it would be.
Also - that's some awesome cover art.
That's it for now... I'll work on another three albums for next week.