Thursday, March 03, 2005

I heard it through the grapevine.

I won't say anything about LCD Soundsystem's debut since my review is forthcoming on other than that I side with those who don't think James Murphy is all that and some . . .

Bonnie Prince Billie and Matt Sweeney, Superwolf (Drag City)

Generally I'm a big fan of Will Oldham's various works as Palace Music, Palace Brothers, himself, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy. But this two person collaboration doesn’t have the alchemical magic of say Robert Pollard and Doug Gillard's Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department, an apt comparison because for me Matt Sweeney is not a member of Chavez or Zwan first but rather the cigarette puffing bassist on Guided By Voices' epochal Live at the Whiskey a Go Go VHS tape. The problem with this CD is too much Oldham and not enough Sweeney, even if he supposedly wrote the music. Also it's far too soft throughout, and there's not nearly enough variation of tempos, styles, or volumes. A couple tracks work O.K.: notably "Bed is for Sleeping" and "My Home is the Sea."

The Wedding Present, Take Fountain (Manifesto)

Cinerama is Dead, long live Cinerama. But for those of us in the know, David Gedge always will be about The Wedding Present ca. 1985-1993. So I can happily report that Take Fountain, while not reaching the heights of 1992's career zenith Seamonsters is a real Wedding Present record like nothing since the Hit Parade year. Gedge does here what he does best write churning, yearning plaintive melodies about unrequited and lost love(s). The fact that he has broken up with long time love and collaborator Sally Murrell and moved to Seattle (a place even rainier than West Yorkshire) only makes the record that much more poignant. For the plaintive melodies start with "Interstate 5" extended into Ennio Morricone territory with bongos and a a loopy spaghetti western guitar sounds to close and "It's For You." While in Cinerama, Gedge worked on his ballads and he deliver s a killer here: "Mars Sparkles Down on Me," a kind of anti-love song. We need to remember that we're talking about Mars (God of War) not Venus (God of Love) here in this song about supposedly being cool with the breakup with Murrell. It's good we both have new lovers he declaims, but then green-eyed jealousy enters the picture. How can he be sleeping in "our" bed? And, of course, what's noticeably missing from this ballad is the harmonizing Miss Murell offered on many a Cinerama disc. Listen closely and it'll bring you to tears. The only thing keeping this record from instant classic status are the penultimate two tracks, "Larry's" and "Queen Anne", which are the kind of bland material that marred the Cinerama era. They'd fit right in on that Superwolf record.

Various Artists, The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 1: 1959-1961 (Hip-O)

The battle for 2005's best reissue CD is over before it even began. A perfect box set with beautiful packaging including a replica version fo Motown's first hit 45 7", Barrett Strong's "Money." These six CDs include A- and B-sides for every single during Motown's formative first three years. Sets for each subsequent year are forthcoming! Hip-o Select Records should also be acknowledged for their scouring of the Motown vault, especially with regard to issuing the heretofore unreleased David Ruffin solo album.

Love, The Great Destroyer (Sub Pop)

I've never really liked anything famed slowcore band Low did, primarily because they were all slow and very little (hard)core. For this Sub Pop debut they turn up the guitars, the reverb, and the feedback. The record is an absolute keeper. Almost everything works here in a way that Sweeney and Oldham should pay attention to, especially given the similarly titled tracks about the Sea. This seventh album from the Duluth, MN-based trio is sped up and rocks out. Key tracks include "Silver Rider" and "Walk into the Sea" both of which reference the titular Great Destroyer as well as the acoustic ditty "Death of A Salesman." But the masterpiece is "Broadway (So Many People)." E.F. Hutton sez: Buy and Buy Again!

Mr. Airplane Man, C'mon DJ (Sympathy for the Record Industry)

Only One CD can be the absolute find of the bunch and this is it! A female two-piece (guitar and drums) from Boston signed by Jeffery Evans to Sympathy 4 the R.I. just like the White Stripes. Think of this as garage blues psychedelia; it's no surprise that they cover Howlin' Wolf, The Wailers, and the Outsiders. This record was made in Memphis at the famous Easley Studios. Margaret Garrett on guitar and vocals and Tara McManus on drums kick ass! If you like Mazzy Star, check out "How Long." Also check out the title track, the Outsider's cover "Sun's Going Down" and "Make You Mine." Buy this CD early and buy it often!

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1 comment:

Roberto Iza Vald├ęs said...
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