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'....
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.