Tuesday, February 3, 2009

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date - 2/3/09





Not much today in the way of new releases, but a few things worth mentioning.





HEARTLESS BASTARDS- THE MOUNTAIN

3rd release from Dayton, Ohio's alt-something band. At times sounding like Lucinda Williams fronting the Velvet Underground and at others like Wilco prior to Tweedy's headaches, the Bastards are always interesting. "The Mountain" has a little bit of 60's San Francisco added to the mix. Good record, I think, based on one distracted listen.


BEN KWELLER- CHANGING HORSES

27 year old singer-songwriter goes back to his "country roots" (?) for this new collection. Now this REALLY sounds like a Jeff Tweedy record, and that's not a bad thing. Lots of pedal steel and strong choruses on what is a not bad new record.


GRAHAM NASH- REFLECTIONS

First ever boxed set for the legendary vocalist, REFLECTIONS covers Nash's full career, starting with The Hollies and continuing with CSN&Y and solo work. The track list seems to get a bit sketchy about a third of the way through, and from what I can recall, Nash's later solo work wasn't unlike the schmaltz found on later Kenny Loggins records...or.. er...ahem...so I'm told. Still, there maybe enough unreleased material to make it worth your time. It is Graham Nash, you know.

TED NUGENT REISSUES

His later "classic" Atlantic catalogue gets reissued. Titles include, "IF YOU CAN'T LICK'EM, LICK 'EM" and "FULL BLUNTAL NUGITY." Just sayin'....



YEEEEEE HAAAAW!!



New country releases this week include "FEEL THAT FIRE" from DIERKS BENTLEY, "SING-CHAPTER 1," from the world-class WYNONNA and "WILLIE & THE WHEEL" the long-awaited, Jerry Wexler produced collaboration from WILLIE NELSON & ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL.



(Full Bluntal Nugity)






THE BAD PLUS- FOR ALL I CARE

What started out as a clever and innovative jazz trio, has gotten just a bit out of hand. Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson and Dave King debuted as The Bad Plus with their 2003 Sony release "These Are The Vistas," an acoustic, jazz trio romp through progressive originals and reworked rock and pop tunes by the likes of Blondie and Nirvana. It was a blast of fresh air in the occasionally stale jazz world. 6 years and 6 records later, the trio now sells out both the legendary jazz club The Village Vanguard, as well as standing room only rock clubs. They have also added female vocalist, Wendy Lewis and given up on originals completely for this new, very unpleasant release. I've seen mostly favorable reviews for "For All I Care," but for me personally, the bloom is off the rose. I am just not interested in listening to ironic cover versions by Yes. Pink Floyd, Wilco and Queen. It seemed unique at first. Now, with a below average singer in tow, it's just annoying.


AND ABOUT THE HALFTIME SHOW:


Here is some of what Stephen Metcalf had to say:

"Is there anybody alive out there?" Bruce Springsteen blues-shouted to an audience of tens of millions of presumably catatonic football fans, by way of introducing a 12-minute medley of "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" (fan favorite), "Born to Run" (signature anthem), "Working on a Dream" (Please Proceed to Checkout), and the obligatory and eternally unfun romp known as "Glory Days." Nothing will ever compete for sheer tone-deafness with Paul McCartney playing a zealous Super Bowl rendition of "Live and Let Die" at the height of the Iraq war. But Springsteen would have put America on its ass—its mind shortly to follow—had he strolled out with a Martin and played "The Wrestler." (And how about a nice "This one's for Danny," aka Danny Federici, the recently deceased keyboardist who was with Bruce for more than 40 years?) The national mood is sober bordering on a galloping panic. Lively as he was, I wouldn't say the Boss did much to either banish or capture it.

Full article is HERE


And Joe Caramanica had this to say in the NYT:

And so while shilling does not carry the sting it once did, perhaps Springsteen let the weight of responsibility limit his imagination in his 12-minute set. He rose to the occasion, but never above it. And Springsteen, a reliable left-winger — when he described his band’s sound as “righteous,” it had a splash of double-meaning grit — didn’t use his platform to advocate for anything more pressing than louder volume.

But the final discomforts were all Springsteen’s. At the end of the show, he shouted inexplicably, “I’m going to Disneyland!” A moment earlier, a man dressed as a referee appeared on stage, threw a yellow flag and crossed his arms in front of Springsteen, the signal for delay of game. Springsteen mock fretted about the ticking clock, and Van Zandt protested, screaming, “It’s Boss time!” Except that it wasn’t, and everyone knew it.


Full article is HERE


Here is what my friend Harry G. had to say:


I could fill a page with how much I disagree with that article. IT WAS THE FUCKING SUPERBOWL ! The inauguration was where he could have played The Wrestler, or My Hometown or Nebraska. He would've become synonymous with the words 'bathroom break" if he'd tried to play a ballad. Weren't you there at all the Bruce shows from the last thirty years where, when he pulls out the first quiet song of the night and the beer/bathroom exodus looked more like an emergency evacuation ? The Superbowl isn't supposed to "reflect the somber national mood," it's supposed to be a party. He told everyone before hand that he meant for this to be like you "arrived late and caught the last 12 minutes of a Stadium show, with all the goofy over the top mugging that entails. Also, I've always hated that " other people started to like what I used to be the only person I knew that liked, so it's not okay for me to like it" thing. Music is for whoever likes it. The Beatles popularity doesn't affect my appreciation for their songs, and shouldn't. If that writer only liked Bruce when he was a cult favorite then that's EVEN MORE trendy than only liking what's popular. I'm not a Bruce apologist. I don't like everything he does. The Wrestler is the only song on the new record I'd rush home to hear. I just knew that Bruce's job at the Super Bowl was just to try to be a romp of fist pumping rock and roll with no politics or deep meaning. I didn't expect to be moved, or to hear from the desperate loner who whispered his feelings of social and personal disconnect to us on Nebraska. I just expected to hear Born To Run and two other songs that even grandma knows, with the pedal to the floor, and that's pretty much what we got. I saw fourteen solo acoustic Devils and Dust shows. I bet that writer saw no more than one, and talked on his cell phone through half of it.

MY TWO CENTS:

It was the single greatest 12 minutes of half time entertainment I have ever seen. It was perfectly orchestrated, catering to EVERYONE. Everyone, that is, except for the damned Bruce snobs who think they know about Bruce because they "remember some 3 hour show from 1978," and who think that, for some reason, putting out a record and wanting to promote it makes you a sellout.

17 comments:

NYCD Online said...

What was the second greatest 12 minutes of halftime entertainment you've ever seen? For me, it was teen heart-throb Aaron Carter (younger brother of one of the Backstreet Boys) at a Knicks game, circa 2000. He came out walking with a gangsta limp and baseball cap to the side, and yelled, "Whassup!" And the crowd booed the shit out of him before he'd even sung a note. That, my friend, was entertainment.

geno said...

For the last week, I have been Bruce intensive from the mistaken idea that “Outlaw Pete” was a KISS rip off to total immersion into WOAD, which I have decided is some of his best work. I come from the Jersey Shore, and I have watched these guys for most of my life. When he decided to do the Super Bowl, he decided to DO the Super Bowl. He never half steps, and that over the top performance last night is proof.
OK, it was forced at the beginning and, let’s face it, jumping on pianos at 60 needs about an hour's warm up before it should be attempted. It got better and better as it went on and by the end, it was classic Springsteen schtick. I laughed out loud at the “I’m going to Disneyland” shout at the end. Most players never get to a Super Bowl. Bruce got his tonight. It was, as he promised at the presser a party.
I watched it again last night and it was better then I thought it was. I don’t know about any one else, but I found that part with him, his best friend and the woman he loves, sharing the moment during “Working On A Dream” was particularly poignant. Steve has been with him since they dreamed of, maybe, gee, do ya think, we could get signed someday? Patti has seen the side we never see. Somehow, I think, that moment was something special.
I said to the Viking Princess the other day, the thing I like most about the guy, is with all his fame and money and Obama on the speed dial-he always seems to be having a good time when he plays. In front of Lincoln or playing Mustang Sally with some local bar band, it’s all about the Ministry of Rock and Roll.
So fireworks, referees and gospel choirs, hell, why not? At least he didn’t wear a white Vegas jumpsuit-now THAT would have been something!

itsok2beright said...

Warning right wing comments:

I personally enjoyed the half time show. That is because I changed the channel. All self-respecting republicans should have done the same. If this hack kept his mouth shut, he would have more fans!

All entertainers, be they righty or lefty, should stay out of politics. And, yes, that includes Ted Nugent.

cmealha said...

I don't consider myself a big Springsteen fan. I really like a lot of his music but he's not at the very top of my list. Having said that I have to agree with you that it was one of the best live performances I've seen on TV. He came out with so much energy, enthusiasm and playfulness. It was the perfect Super Bowl halftime show. I can't imagine better.
Stephen Metcalf talked about McCartney being tone deaf. Is he kidding? 'The Wrestler'?! Really!??? This is the Super Bowl! High energy, testosterone-filled, clamorous. 'The Wrestler' would have been exactly the most imperfect song for the situation. Metcalf comes off smug and more importantly an idiot who is so wrapped up in his own importance that he has no common sense.

Sal Nunziato said...

Hey--OK2BRight---a hack? Really? Is that the best you got? And really...he should keep his mouth shut? "Ain't that America"

A hack. Hmmm.

NYCD Online said...

Hey, itsOK, WHY should entertainers refrain from voicing their opinions about anything, including politics? What if The Nuge told you to stop wearing your "Palin In '12" button where you pump gas. Would you?

As for the halftime show, it was fun. A little goofy at times. What did anyone expect? The Gettysburg Address? It was a halftime show at a freakin' football game, for Chrissake!

steve simels said...

I've seen a zillion Bruce shows, going back to the Max's Kansas City night immortalized on the acoustic version of "Wild Billy" that opens the box set. Some great, some not so great, some fricking transcendent.

The Superbowl show?

Anybody who claims not to have enjoyed it is just being fucking difficult. As Sal said, it was pitch perfect for the occasion.

itsok2beright said...

Maybe you should read what I wrote Mr. Nunzi. I never said that he should keep his mouth shut. Only that he would have more fans if he did.

As to entertainers and politics; they only have microphones in their hands because of their artistic ability. That does not make them anymore intelligent about politics than any of the drummers from Spinal Tap. They may be, and if so, switch careers.

There are exceptions. Believe it or not, I actually respect Al Franken. Instead of using one forum to spout his views on another, he stepped up to the plate and became a politician. I wish him well, even though I disagree with him. (Remember, all right wingers are not like Ann Coulter)

Michael in New York said...

I thought Springsteen's performance was hilarious and exactly appropriate for the Super Bowl. I laughed from the spoken intro to his accidental humping of the camera to his goofy schtick with the ref to the hilarious one-liner at the end about going to Disneyland. (Did he intentionally say Disneyland instead of Disney World, which is an hour away from Tampa? Somehow gave it the right spin, too.) It was a lark. Playing "The Wrestler" would not have been bold. It would have been moronic. He was in full-on entertainer mode.

Michael in New York said...

And itsok2beright, Sal hardly "misread" you, you called Springsteen a hack and said he'd have more fans if he shut his dumb liberal mouth. (And Nugent would have more fans if he shut his dumb right-wing mouth.) Regardless of whether you believe he'd have a bigger fan base, you called Sprinsteen a hack and that's what Sal mocked. It's just a dumb shot. In what way is he a hack? And no, he wouldn't have more fans if he shut his mouth. The guy shut his mouth about endorsing any candidates for four decades -- sticking to supporting the Vets and food banks -- but finally made an endorsement in 2004 when he felt the stakes were too high and yet he showed consideration for those like you presumably who liked his music but might disagree. His integrity and willingness to speak out is exactly why he has fans of all stripes. And I like Nugent more for hunting with bow and arrow.

Sal Nunziato said...

Hey Michael IN NY,

Far be it for me to defend ITSOK2BRIGHT, but I think he was addressing NYCDOnline's comments, not my "hack" comments.

Ken D said...

The Super Bowl shows never make sense to me... it's basically playing the encore without the preceding 2 hours.

And now for something completely off topic...
Just want to note the exceptionally good art accompanying this week's new releases (OK, not the Graham Nash). Really love those Kweller and Willie covers.
Discovering great album covers... yet another reason to mourn the demise of used record stores.

Meanstreets said...

Meanstreets know many people, who, at halftime, shut off the TV, & flushed the toilet.....in lieu of watching this traitor & friend of Gitmo mass murderers.....

soundsource said...

wait wasn't "this" supposed to be the post about john mellencamp's song....I'm confused

Sal Nunziato said...

Soundsource, that post was the day before.

Glen Green said...

itsok2beright said... "All entertainers, be they righty or lefty, should stay out of politics."

What a silly thought.

Does the world need to consult you on who can have a political voice?

For my part, I'd like to see MORE people involved in politics.

Veronica said...

It's the Superbowl! The grand finale for us football lovin' fans. End it with a bang and that's what Bruce did!!! He came out fired up to play rock and roll for 12 minutes and fire up the spirit and fire it up he did. Enough of the ballad shit....... Everyone who's Dr. Music Analytico try kickin' back and have a little fun for 12 minutes