Friday, June 27, 2008

Another Friday & What I'm Listening To

Welcome to another Friday... Just two more weeks of work before I head out to fabulous Las Vegas, NV meaning just 2 weeks and 4 days before I head back west, penniless, trading unspeakable acts for gas money to get home... In actuality, I consider myself a very 'responsible' gambler, if such an oxymoron can exist. I think it stems from the fact that I'm always positive I'm going to lose, so I never have that 'just one more bet and I'll make my money back' mentality. Instead I approach a Blackjack table thinking 'Can I afford to drop this hundred bucks in the next 20 minutes?' Typically the first day or two, that answer is always a hearty 'YES!' Usually by the 3rd day however, it's more like 'Maybe, but not as easily as I could afford to lose this $5 in a nickel slot...'

I typically return freed from whatever cash I had planned to lose, but no more than that, and once in a rare while, I come back with some cash left over, which usually ends up at the outlet mall at State Line... Regardless, a splendid time is guaranteed for all, and this year, CSD Julie and I will be following the trip with a follow up respite in the beautiful Santa Barbara wine country, because a proper Vegas vacation requires a 2nd vacation to recover...

Alas, more on that in the coming weeks. For the time being, I have here-and-now excitement to discuss. I just downloaded some new tunes for the iPod! Granted, this is far more exciting for me than it is for anyone else, but I'm jazzed, and really that's all that matters... Below is a breakdown of the new editions... Alas, there is no New Edition to be found...

  • The Cure- The 2004 self titled release from Robert Smith and the boys. I have yet to give it much of a listen, but from what I can tell it holds on to some of the darkness of Bloodflowers without being nearly as ethereal and, I hate to say it, boring... I was not a fan of the prior release, and was concerned when they followed it up with a new Greatest Hits, and then B-Sides collection, that we had heard the last new Cure releases, at least for a good long while. That explains why it's taken me almost 4 years to give this one a shot. Ultimately though, I'm optimistic that this will be a return to some of the great dark quiet albums of the past like Disintegration and The Head on the Door.
  • Gyrate- The 1980 release by Athens, GA band Pylon. I did a write up on Athens GA Inside/Out a few days back, and discovered that there were some releases that I was woefully ignorant of. This one coming well before the film was made, is chock full of rocking dance tunes reminiscent of Patti Smith or early Joan Jett... At least, that's what it reminds me of after a cursory listen. Once I've fully digested this one, I'll probably head over the Pylon website and pick up Gyrate Plus! Their 2007 release.
  • Little Creatures- This well known Talking Heads album is not one I just purchased. I've actually had it for the better part of a year, and embarrassingly enough, kind of forgot I bought it... I got it right around the same time I got She's Like The Weather by The Himalayans, Adam Durtiz's pre-Counting Crows band, and I've been wearing that CD out, so impressed that anything else I picked up in the same time frame just kind of faded into the background. Anyhow, I've decided that while I'm not ready to remove The Himalayans from my playlist, I should give the Heads a chance to be heard...
  • Marquee Moon- Another forgotten purchase of the same week as Little Creatures, Television's Marquee Moon is an album I'd been wanting to buy and listen to for a long time, but kept forgetting about... That makes it all the more sad and shameful that once I did finally buy it, I STILL forgot about it, relegating it to my iTunes playlist, but never dropping it on the the Pod... I've listened to the title track a few times, and really dig the way it seems to melt 80's pop rock with 70's epic prog styling.. A song with a catchy chorus that ALSO runs 11 minutes long? Sign me up!! I guess it's about time to give the rest of the album a shot.
  • Runaway Boys: A Retrospective- This 25 track Stray Cats hits collection is the equivalent of a great thriller novel... I know it's not the most 'intellectual' piece out there, but it's enjoyable, it's easy to listen to, and it doesn't require my complete attention. Not to say that Setzer and the boys aren't talented musicians with a story to tell, but the Cats just have a style that works so much better as peppy pop gap fillers than 'sit and listen' music. There's far from anything wrong with that... It's a GOOD thing...
  • Shine On- Yesterday's post in which I discuss my horrible addiction to all things both music, and trivia related touched upon a weak spot in my music library. I have been listening to and enjoying Jet's Get Born for a few years now, but had not delved deeper into their catalog. As I mentioned in my comments section, I would have to rectify this concern by giving Shine On a shot. From what I've heard so far, it's not quite as hard edged as a lot of the stuff on Get Born is, although maybe I just haven't caught those tracks yet, I'm shuffling back and forth between about 20 different albums, but the softer songs that have played have definitely held my attention and still had a 'rock song' feel, even with their less-than-pulse-pounding tempo. At this rate I'm going to have to pick up their Dirty Sweet EP that started their career, and wait patiently for their 3rd long play being released some time between now and mid next year...

I'm also still digesting the new Elvis Costello, Momofuku, The Counting Crows Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings, REM's Accelerate, Josh Ritter's The Historical Conquest of Josh Ritter, and right this second I'm listening to perhaps one of the greatest piece of poetry and music ever committed to tape, William Shatner's take on Pulp's 'Common People'. Not only is 'The Shat' driving home the spoken-word power of a rage-against-the-aristocracy anthem, but it also contains the hard edged return of 80's under-rated Brit singer-songwriter Joe Jackson playing a mean axe and adding some vocal harmony to Shat's harshly real deadpan. I know I sound like I'm mocking, but seriously, this track rules... There's an SNL live performance on YouTube that's well worth a watch...

That does it for me. I'll be back Monday with tales of suspense and intrigue from the weekend...

5 comments:

Michael Doss said...

Are you SURE you want to live like common people?

That version does, indeed, rule. The whole album is better than I thought it'd be. Now, a challenge, listen it to back to back to back with Brent Spiner's "Ol' Yellow Eyes is Back" and Tim Russ' self titled jazz collection.

Oh God, I have all three...

OCKerouac said...

I think I can file that suggestion under 'things I will not be doing this weekend' thanksyouverymuch...

I may however watch a Netflix direct download of Lone Wolf McQuade... Aaauuuuggghhhh YEAH...

Phil O. said...

"Marquee Moon" will grow on you -- probably my favorite album ever. "Little Creatures" has a few bright spots, but the Heads best days were behind them in 1984. Their first four albums -- "77", "More Songs about Buildings and Food", "Fear of Music", and "Remain in Light" are all good to great; both of the expanded live albums are strong, too.

Juliie the CSD said...

I beg to differ on the source of the live Shat performance... It was on Jay Leno, not SNL...Sorry, I get paid to edit.

OCKerouac said...

Phil,
I'm already digging on Marquee Moon after a full listen today. I was actually just listening to it again while writing my latest post. Great points about the Heads. I'll add the older stuff to my list of tracks to buy.

CSD Julie,
You knew I was careless and inacurate when you married me... :) Thanks for the edit...