quarta-feira, janeiro 24, 2007

594. Pixies - amherst, ma 11.30.04

Well the unimaginable happened - the Pixies reunited. Not for one benefit show but for many paying shows, often playing big festivals and small clubs. I flew down to Florida to see them with Chad and Natalie and it was worth every peenny of the cheap $37.50 (thanks Meadows for getting the tickets). The band played loud, effortlessly, for a long time and perfectly. I found this soundboard recording in the used bin of a cd store here in the city - DiscLive was selling instant recordings of the show for the low price of $25 or $20... of course that service wasn't available at the show I went to, but this was a decent show too. Please disregard the location on the above cover, it was the only jpeg I could find, which by the way was designed by my friend Heather when she was at DiscLive.

8.8 out of 10

domingo, janeiro 21, 2007

593. Pixies - complete 'b' sides

Obviously this disc was a must for me and any other Pixies fan. I had some of the older cd singles, but now they've been compiled into one nifty little set. 19 tracks of unreleased tracks, live version, different cuts and instrumentals make this a great disc. Check out the alternate version of "River Euphrates" - it has so much bigger balls than the original. Here's what Frank Black said about the song in the liner notes:
"This was a re-recording of a song from Surfer Rosa which was going to be a B-Side for Gigantic, another re-recording from Surfer Rosa. I think we in the band weren't quite sure why 4AD wanted us to re-cut tracks for a one-off single, but we didn't care: we were gigging in Europe, recording in London, feeling glad to be rock musicians."

7.9 out of 10

River Euphrates

terça-feira, janeiro 16, 2007

592. Pixies - at the bbc

This too is a great little collection, released by 4AD in another attempt to make more money off their best band. Released in 1998, this cd collects songs from various BBC sessions between 1988 and 1991. As usual the songs are played perfectly, with Kim's crystal clear vocal and bass lines to Frank Black's screeches coming in perfectly clear.

8.6 out of 10

591. Pixies - death to the pixies

So if I had all of the Pixies albums then why did I need this greatest hits disc? For the bonus live album. Back in the day Chad, Doug and I used to sit around, drink and talk about which bands we'd each like to see that we could no longer see. Pixies was often mentioned (though Nirvana usually always topped the list) - none of us had been able to ever see them (nor did we ever think we'd get a chance to again). So, when any sort of live cd/rarity came out, you got it. This live cd is pretty standard live Pixies - 21 tracks, which seem to be culled from the same show, though I have no idea from where or when. Sure I have a couple of other live Pixies discs, but can one have too many? Nope. The rating below is for the live disc only.

7.9 out of 10

segunda-feira, janeiro 15, 2007

590. Pixies - trompe le monde

Pixies final album was louder and faster than their previous records and I think that may have turned off some listeners - gone were Kim Deal's clear vocals, leaf like layerings, and clear beats - in favor of a fuller mix, a denser volume of sound, yet still produced by Gil Norton. I'm sitting here listening to it pretty loudly and it can become overwhelming, often without a second to catch your breath... includes the great "U-Mass", "Subbacultcha" and "Alec Eiffel". Not the best Pixies record but still a good one.

8.7 out of 10


589. Pixies - bossanova

As you may have predicted I also love Bossanova... it has a special place in my heart because I didn't pick it up until relatively late in the game - I got it at Soundsplash, probably around when Pearl Jam's Vitalogy came out... the reason why I mention it is because it felt as if I had unearthed some lost treasure from a band that would never release another record again. So it was great to sit down, listen to a full album and fall in love with it... nowadays singles tend to be the norm and nobody hears an entire album. In short it's also brilliant. Heavier, louder and fucking great. Hear the track below that I've been talking so much about.

9.8 out of 10

Rock Music

domingo, janeiro 14, 2007

588. Pixies - doolittle

This was my first proper Pixies album - I had a copy on tape. I must admit, given that I was deeply immersed in grunge, I naturally gravitated to "Gouge Away". But as time went by the genius behind this album became obvious. It's again, sheer brilliance from beginning to end. Perfect.

10 out of 10

587. Pixies - surfer rosa

Surfer Rosa is as perfect as the pair of breasts you see on this album's cover. It's a masterpiece, from beginning to end. Not a bad track or weak moment - it should be a staple in everyone's musical library. In college I had a poster of this record over my bed - I was in love with everything on this disc: the music, the type, the layout, photography - even the mysterious billing of Deal as "Mrs. John Murphy". If you don't have it by now buy it - also check out the work of Vaughn Oliver, who along with the Pixies (and Cocteau Twins) became synonymous with the label 4AD.

10 out of 10

586. Pixies - come on pilgrim

I'm 32 and didn't get turned on to the Pixies until "Trompe le Monde" came out - I remember buying that for my then girlfriend Sarah - she had "surfer rosa" and "doolittle". I had heard those two thanks to her (she had great taste in music and I owe a lot of what I listen to to her) but for some reason skipped over this e.p. I ended up getting this at a mall in Florida, Meadows was probably present, and it must have been 1994. Anyway, this disc is also pretty great - Black Francis sang a few tracks in spanish because he liked the way it sounded, and the band were just getting started... contains the great "Caribou", "Vamos", "Ed is dead" and "Levitate me".

8.1 out of 10

585. Pixies - pixies

This e.p. actually came out not too long ago. We all know that "Come on Pilgrim", also an e.p., was and is the first offical Pixies release. Turns out that those eight tracks were part of a larger seventeen track demo. That demo tape, which contained a cover photo of a streaker set in a purple duotone, was circulated to labels, and became known as the 'purple tape'. I have no idea why certain tracks were omitted for "Come on Pilgrim" but here are the balance. Given that I am such a big fan this was an easy purchase for me and I must admit, though not brilliant, it's pretty great. Hearing early versions of "Broken Face", "Break my Body" among others was like hearing them again for the first time... also included is the unreleased "Rock a my Soul".

7.9 out of 10

Now serving: rock music

I know, it's all rock music, but my original title for this category was 'power pop' and I don't know, it just sounded sort of gay so instead I've named it after one of my favorite Pixies track's, "Rock Music". The bands in here rock brilliant pop songs, it's that simple.

584. Pinback - summer in abaddon

Pinback's latest creeps and drips with pop perfection. This album is a near classic, it builds, soothes and tears down always at the right moments. so why isn't it a 10? Well it lacks that extra touch or element that makes a disc grand, unarguable and timeless. Still these guys got pretty close. Pick it up, you'll love it.

8.6 out of 10

You can go here to hear a track.

583. Soul Coughing - el oso

SC take a noble step forward with this album even if the results can be slightly off... the album starts off the excellent "Rolling", meanders to the radio friendly "Circles", the darker "St. Louise is Listening", the hypnotic "$300", and aimless "I miss the girl". What makes "El Oso" different isn't only the fact that it's darker in tone, but that all the jazz, free lightness and unexpected samples are gone in favor of more strident beats and loops... a fitting last album by a band trying to move their sound forward.

7.3 out of 10

582. Soul Coughing - irresistible bliss

After their debut the band 'hit it big' with this release - airplay, soundtracks (I think), indie kids and regular folk were all indulging in the band's solid groove and cheeky lyrics... and rightly so. The album isn't necessarily better than 'Ruby Vroom' but really just an older sibling - meaning it's all coming from the same place, just a little bit different... anyway, the album is solid and holds up very well given that it's already 10 years old (a time I sort of miss but wouldn't want to go back to at all)...

"Everything is going up.
Everything is going as planned, yeah.
Everything moves along.
Everything is fine, fine, fine"

8.1 out of 10

The Idiot Kings

quarta-feira, janeiro 10, 2007

581. Soul Coughing - ruby vroom

This 1994 release sounds like, at times, a soundtrack to a late night cartoon... This debut is incredibly eclectic, pulling from so many influences and making it their own. Back when this was released nothing else came close in terms of originality and scope (okay maybe there was, like the Beasties Boys, Beck, et al.) - still it was a novel release during a somewhat stale period.

7.9 out of 10

domingo, janeiro 07, 2007

580. Super Furry Animals - rings around the world

I tried to like these guys so much, but I can't. For some reason I can't get into old beatles, who or beach boys and these guys sound like a modern/digital take on them... sure there are a couple of tracks that are good and I might even miss - but two out of a whole disc isn't enough.

4.8 out of 10

quinta-feira, janeiro 04, 2007

579. Grandaddy - concrete dunes

This disc gathers rarities, imports, previously unreleased, and out of print tracks... and apparently the band hasn't endorsed this release because they aren't getting paid by the label, "Lakeshore Records". These early tracks are refreshing and reveal the band still trying to discover a sound and that discovery process is what makes the disc worth keeping - the songs are varied and rarely boring.

6.9 out of 10

578. Grandaddy - through a frosty plate glass e.p.

This six track EP came with certain copies of the "Sophtware Slump" and I just realized has three tracks from some of the cd singles I just reviewed, so I'm just going to focus on the three unique tracks... the first, "First Movement/Message Fade" is classic Grandaddy - eerie, digital and personal. "Our Dying Brains" is a solid tech pop ditty, not breaking any new ground but not a waste of time either and lastly there's "Wives of Farmers" which sounds like a slow tempo Flaming Lips b-side... all in all a decent ep.

6.7 out of 10

First Movement Message Fade

terça-feira, janeiro 02, 2007

577. Grandaddy - the crystal lake

Finally something worth listening to and keeping... this german version collects all 4 tracks off of both cd singles... of the lot "She-Deleter" is a solid song worthy of being on one of their full lengths, "What can't be erased" and "I don't want to record anymore" are noble, yet failed attempts.

5 out of 10

576. Grandaddy - hewlett's daughter pt.2

Part two is less worse, "Wonder Why in L.A." and "Chartsengrafs (demo)" remind why these tracks are b-sides... there's no need to wonder or need for charts and grafts... seriously guys.

3.2 out of 10

575. Grandaddy - hewlett's daughter pt.1

Another relic from HMV's bargain bin - turns out it wasn't quite the bargain but did belong in the bin. The single track is backed by "XD-Data-2", which can be described as slow and painful much like a homosexual kiss (if you're not gay)... followed by "Street Bunny", faster but equally as painful much like... you know what I mean.

3.1 out of 10