Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If It's Tuesday, It Must Not Be Monday- New Releases, 10/7/08

I've been clamoring about Paul Weller a lot lately. His "22 Dreams" CD is still in the running for best new music of the year and his performance last month at Nokia kicked my butt. But, with Christmas just an ulcer away, I feel safe in proclaiming the next three releases as the "best of the year."


I'm sure many of you were there, as I was, witnessing what could have been one of the greatest live performances ever. (Headliners, The Who, were ok too.) But if you're like me, the memory of The Clash at Shea has been romanticized by the passage of time and other random activities of the past 25 years and specifics have become a little blurry. I'd like to thank all involved with this release, especially Kosmo Vinyl, who was a great supporter and friend of NYCD, (see HERE for more...or the same... about NYCD) for releasing this souvenir from what I can now confirm as being one the greatest rock and roll shows of all time!

Here is the complete performance by a band who had no business playing a baseball stadium in 1982, yet after 50 minutes, might as well have been given a monument next to Gil Hodges and Ron Swoboda., This is a MUST!!


In the current issue of UNCUT magazine, senior vice president of A&R at Sony, Steve Berkowitz, says this about "Tell Tale Signs:"

"If Tell Tale Signs was the complete body of work of an artist named Bob Dylan, it'd be in the legendary category all by itself, just for the songs, the diversity, and the richness."

I expect this from the head of a label. But I know Steve. And Steve knows his shit. So, it's not as if I went into this with the trepidation I would have reserved for a Redbone anthology. I mean, wouldn't that get the same sort of positive plug from those involved? "Tell Tale Signs" is everything Berkowitz says and more. It's 2 plus hours of material that could comfortably sidle up to the holy trinity of 'Highway 61 Revisited," "Blonde On Blonde," and "Blood On The Tracks." This release isn't just a series of hastily put together outtakes and olio. This is a peek into the closet of the greatest songwriter of all time. This is a glimpse of a man, so inspired, that some of his most emotionally charged work, was left on the cutting room floor. Until now.

As Larry "Ratso" Sloman puts it when describing a third version of "Mississippi," originally released on "Time Out Of Mind" and included on this masterfully compiled set :

"The song is so great, I could listen to a whole album of various takes of it."

You will find yourself in that same position as you lose yourself in this dazzling and completely satisfying collection of work.


I failed to mention this gorgeous work of art last week. Simply put, it's everything you need. 2 CDs, 1 DVD, 180 gram, blue (of course) vinyl, a hardcover book, a certificate, some paper clips, mittens. a juice box, pretzels, chap stick, some gum, and a pen, not to mention some fabulous music, some released for the first time officially. It is arguably the greatest jazz record ever recorded, and this package, although priced NOT to move in these trying times, is definitely something that should be on every music lovers wish list. The vinyl alone, with it's breathtaking sound quality, should have you at "Hello."

Now for a quick round-up of the rest of the week's releases.


This week's hot shit band. I read a review that said Catfish Haven was a bit like My Morning Jacket, The Hold Steady, Eli Reed & The True Loves "Destroyer-era" Kiss (?), ZZ Top's ''Eliminator'', and Lou Reed's Transformer. Who wrote that review, Linda Goodman? Well, I listened and...it's true. Honest.


The New York Times suggested that this new record would be best enjoyed if "heard in a really good stereo showroom: an extraordinary one with high-end stuff, and where the salesmen might let you have beer and chips while you listen." Ok great. Thanks for that. How about the old-fashioned way like an iPod or through your phone? What-EVER! The bloom has long been gone from the Gallaghers' rose and this new record does nothing to bring it back. Dig out your Beatles records.


Chrissie is back and that's always a good thing, even if this short and sweet record could benefit from a bit more life. Before you can decide if you like what you're hearing, it's over. I'm hoping that the songs come alive...live, because the simple arrangements of this "1-2-3 Go" recording should sound less like Chrissie had something better to do. I admit. it's gotten better with repeated listens, but there is definitely something missing.


I am sure there is someone else besides me who loves "Glass Of Champagne." This 70s Dutch band had two albums on Columbia and both get reissued now. Just in time. Think Roxy Music meets Abba. (Or maybe..don't.) Listen to "Glass Of Champagne"HERE.

Finally, new Huffington Post piece HERE.

And that's what happening, Today In New York.


Holly Cara Price said...

ah yes.... i went to that Clash/Who Show at Shea Stadium. All I remember is someone wearing a loud checked jacket, the kind of thing people wore in stadiums so everyone could see. And the people I was with wanted to leave early to beat the traffic.

thanks btw for the tip on the Amanda Palmer record, i have been meaning to check that out.

Michael in New York said...

Sailor -- just the sort of obscurity I expect from you. The single was fun. Do I really need the CD?

Pretenders -- she was on Letterman and bashed out a song with enough verve that I thought, gee, maybe this album is actually good. But your review takes me off the hook. I know the boxed set has some goodies. But aren't they really known for just those first two full-lngth albums? Never heard anything since that held my attention. Which makes me wonder how the Pretenders could be your favorite live act currently.

Sal Nunziato said...

Did I say they were my "fave live act currently?" I don't think I did. I think Chrissie deserves a bit more credit than her first two CDs. I don't even think Pretenders II comes close to the debut, but later records like Viva El Amor and Loose Screw were both solid.

NO, you don't need the Sailor CDs.

Michael in New York said...

I don't count Pretenders II (isn't that more an ep?) I meant Pretenders and Learning to Crawl.

Michael in New York said...

Where did I get it in my head that you had said the Pretenders were one of your favorite bands? Did you say something like that? Write it? Or am I hallucinating?

Sal Nunziato said...

I believe the E.P. was called "Extended Play," had 4 tracks. "Pretenders II" was the very disappointing full length follow up to the brilliant debut.

As for why you had it in your head that the Pretenders were a fave live act, I'm going to take "Hallucinating for $50, Alex."

cmealha said...

Thanks for the heads up on Weller. Took a quick sample of it on iTunes and sounds great. Can't wait to pick it up.