sexta-feira, abril 27, 2007

668. Talking Heads - stop making sense

Yet another live album by a classic band - I swear, when I have an idea I stick to it! I have my boss Brian to thank for having this - he was a huge Heads fan and would play them very often in the office. The band manages to mix funk, pop, rock, blues and surrealism all into near perfect songs. I definitely need to pick up some early remastered albums.

8.7 out of 10

quinta-feira, abril 26, 2007

667. Pretenders - the isle of view

Here I am again, doing my 'live album' thing when I should have just picked up an early studio album... this disc is pretty bad - somehow the Pretenders were 'vh1'd' to death - fast, abrasive, new wavy sounds were traded in for an acoustic guitar and yawns... I'm going to give this to my brother.

4 out of 10

quarta-feira, abril 25, 2007

666. Blondie - picture this

For a while I believed that the perfect introduction to a band was a live one, and when I couldn't see them I'd buy their cd. So instead of buying one of Blondies perfect, glossy, well produced albums, I got this. A mixture of live songs recorded from 1978-80... now, I was impressed with how new wave Blondie were, but ultimately the poor sound quality makes for a luke warm cd.

6.3 out of 10

terça-feira, abril 24, 2007

665. The Clash - london calling

I picked this up last year. Sure I was familiar with The Clash's more popular hits, but I have never heard a full album theirs. What I discovered was how varied these guys were, covering everything from punk, to ska to rockabilly... and that's exactly what bothered me about the record. I'm not a rockabilly fan - sure it's okay, but it does nothing for me. What I did find exciting were the songs that mixed punk and ska together, and were sewn together with protest, matter of fact lyrics. Still it's a classic of course and must have been a real experience to hear when it came out (there's something to be said for hearing albums in real time).

7.9 out of 10

sábado, abril 21, 2007

664. David Bowie - the platinum collection

Okay, now I'm Bowied out... I picked this up used - 57 tracks for $15! These three cds cover Bowie from 1969 to 1987. The collection only further shows how varied his career has been, from straight rock and roll, to Eno produced synth, to glam to... For a novice like myself this three cd set was great way to get the singer's staples, but some of the other tracks just dilute the greatness of the others. Still the guy is an icon not to be argued with, lyrically and musically. I'll be sure to expand my Bowie collection with some of his other albums.

8.1 out of 10

domingo, abril 15, 2007

663. David Bowie - hunky dory

I took a very long time to admire Bowie... up to a year ago actually. I always felt that the little I heard from him was too varied and too theatrical... but that's exactly what I like about this album. The theatricality of it, the varied songwriting and more importantly hearing the songs outside of a commercial setting and instead as an album. Impressive.

9.0 out of 10

662. Gang Of Four - entertainment!

I grew up on metal. I remember my best friend Emil always trying to get me to listen to the Police, and me trying to get him to listen to Kiss... I stuck with metal for a long time, occasionally dabbling in pop or classic rock - but until grunge came, it was metal all the time. So I missed a lot of classic punk/indie albums since I was completely out of the loop. I only heard this album a couple of months ago. I picked it up based on a reworked version of "Damaged Goods" that I heard and loved. The great thing about GOF is that they grab knee jerk riff and make it into a full on song with punk melody and tight rhythm... a great album to have discovered. This remastered version includes various live tracks and "the yellow ep".

9.0 out of 10

sábado, abril 14, 2007

Now serving: The Establishment

I ripped the name for this section off Kim's record store. The idea behind this group of bands is that they, from early on (late 70's and 80's) helped contribute to a crop of indie bands that we enjoy now. Of course bands I've already covered like Sonic Youth and Fugazi could easily be in here (and should), 'the establishment' really is a group of bands I couldn't fit in anywhere else - or better yet was to lazt too. I'm sure down the road I'll define this section better.

661. Rainer Maria - long knives drawn

Another band that no longer exists, Rainer Maria sounds like a cousin to the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. The melody and riffs are simple and the vocals are powerful, yet not so dynamic. This three piece solidly plays through 35 minutes of cathartic wailing - what's great is that all three are playing as if it were the last time they were playing.

7.2 out of 10

quinta-feira, abril 12, 2007

660. Denali - the instinct

My instinct should have been to not get this... but I did because it was $5.99 and the band was on Jade Tree. This was their last record and it's filled with cheese and cream - sounding like a mix of metal, indie and grunge, this female led band manages to craft uninspired songs that border on the annoying.

3.4 out of 10

segunda-feira, abril 09, 2007

659. Cat Power - you are free

Finally a Cat Power record that picks up the pace a bit... with Dave Grohl sitting in on drums for a couple of songs (though it's the Unplugged Grohl and not the Nevermind Grohl playing), Cat Power's songs benefit from the added dimension - through in piano and a plugged in guitar and she sounds perfect. It's a shame though that the entire album isn't as driven as "Speak For Me", but that's me just being selfish - I really want to hear her fuck shit up, as they say in America.

8.1 out of 10

658. Cat Power - the covers record

As a rule, I enjoy covers that are pretty far from the originals - whether is be a completely different arrangement or a simple touch like having a female vocal lead instead of a male... though I only recognize three of the tracks on this cover record I can pretty much assume that all the tracks have been reworked into a hushed, melancholic daze... good stuff.

6.8 out of 10

Colors and the Kids

657. Cat Power - moon pix

Chan Marshall has one of those hypnotic, lullaby, buttery, voluptuous voices you want to hear whispered into your ear forever. I got this because I had heard one of her tracks on a Matador Records compilation (remember when labels used to sell those? Now they give the tracks away...) Anyway, for the most part I like this release as an introduction to her... it sounds as if it's performed completely solo but I suspect she had some sort of band formed. What's missing is a more complete band sound that would bring her voice and lyrics to life (that was later done on You are Free). But as a slow plucking meditation on life the record works pretty well.

7.0 out of 10

sábado, abril 07, 2007

656. Heather Nova - oyster

As Chad would say "Dear Lord". I grabbed this because of the single "Walk this world" and unfortunately that's the only half way decent track on this thing. The rest as they say is cheese, decent quality, but still cheese.

5 out of 10

terça-feira, abril 03, 2007

655. Heather Nova - blow

Okay, so I'm hitting the bottom of the barrel here... I got "Oyster" first and then this and the truth is Heather is a very talented musician. But her songs are overly dramatic and theatrical in a cheesy, less sophisticated way. Her lyrics sound like they were penned by a high schooler who spent a lot of time in her room. As I said earlier though, this live ep does showcase her talent as a performer and songwriter - it's just a shame that her talents aren't used accordingly.

4.0 out of 10

segunda-feira, abril 02, 2007

654. Letters to Cleo - here & now

I was young! Well not that young, but it was a tough time for music, and I was easily swayed... at least I got the CD single only. The two songs aren't that bad actually. One was supposedly on the show Melrose Place (it says so on the back, I honestly never saw the show)... but to the best of my knowledge this was their only moment in the sun.

4.3 out of 10

653. Frente! - marvin the album

I know, I know... I got this for one reason only: the cover of Bizarre Love Triangle, which was and is incredibly sweet... the rest of the album isn't bad, it's just pleasant... too pleasant.

4.3 out of 10

Bizarre Love Triangle

domingo, abril 01, 2007

652. Poe - hello

Ouch. This is bad. I even saw her open for Depeche Mode with Chad and Nat... but still, there's no excuse... this sounds as dated as an album could get, it even made me feel slightly ill.

1.4 out of 10