Tuesday, March 3, 2009

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


Hot on the heels of lead New Pornographer A.C. Newman's somewhat disappointing release "Get Guilty," comes "Middle Cyclone," the new solo record from Miss Neko Case.

A lot less moody and atmospheric than her last release "Fox Possessor Clutches Her Mason Jar," or whatever that record was called, "Middle Cyclone" is an eclectic collection of songs showcasing everything Neko does best, including some cool covers by Harry Nilsson and Sparks. This is a much stronger and more accessible record than her last. Neko Case seems to have located the melody that she lost on the last release.


First record of original material in 7 years from the former Maverick and one of the most powerful voices in the biz. Have not heard it, but I like him...just not as much as the ladies, and not when he turns on the schmaltz, which is too often lately.


Only available on McLagan's website at first, 'NEVER SAY NEVER," is the ex-Faces most recent record, a record that was written as a way to cope with the recent death of his wife. Now available comercially, "Never Say Never" features special guest Patty Griffin and Mac's killer Bump Band. This is what Ian had to say, "The songs are about loss and obsession. I record in my home studio in Texas. I wrote the title track on Balmoral Beach in Sydney, Australia, staring out at the ocean. Where Angels Hide, which is just me at the piano, was captured in a chapel in central Texas. Patty Griffin guests, Glyn Johns is involved too. Musically it's whatever comes out: rhythm & blues, rock n' roll with a whole lot of soul."


Here's most of what I wrote for The Huffington Post about this amazing release:

Buddy & Julie Miller have been singing, recording, and producing music together, for each other and for others for over 20 years. On this new collaboration, they have some help from good friends Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant, and Patty Griffin, and what they give us could be the best moments of their illustrious careers.

It took me a few days to get through the whole record because I couldn't get beyond the opening track, Mr. Miller's autobiographical "Ellis County," a big, moving story with a killer melody and even "killerer" harmonies. (mid-February 2009, and "Ellis County" is my favorite song of the year.) When I finally moved on, I found a few more gems, like the Buddy & Robert Plant duet on the Mel Tillis penned "What You Gonna Do Leroy." Plant sounds quite at home doing the Nashville shimmy with Buddy Miller. Then there is "Don't Say Goodbye," Julie Miller's heartbreaker featuring Patty Griffin's harmonies.

Buddy Miller is in Nashville recovering from triple bypass surgery. Get well soon, Buddy.


New collection of Strauss waltzes given that extra kick by "The Pussy." (I know, that sounds like I'm mocking this band. They do kick ass!)



Rolling Stone gives out 5-star reviews faster than Rush Limbaugh can down a box of Yodels, but that doesn't mean this new U2 record doesn't deserve the praise. I've fought to the death, (or at least the cramp) over "Achtung Baby" and it's placement on the all time list of great records, and as much as I loved the last two releases ("How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" & that other one) from Bono, The Edge, and Aaron and Lanny, "No Line On The Horizon" takes the best of those two releases and adds elements of the early days when the band's sound was driven by the unmistakable tone of The Edge's guitar and the frenetic yet solid thumps of Leonard's drums. This one gets better and better with each listen.

Fave moments:

"I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy," "Moment Of Surrender," and the killer first single "Get On Your Boots."

Don't hate them because they are popular.


steve simels said...

I have never owned a U2 album, and enjoyed only a handful of their songs over the thousands of years since "Boy," but this new album I get.

I have no idea whether that says something about them or me, but there you are.

Michael in New York said...

I never thought of Raul Malo as a ladies man, though I'm sure he has his groupies. But a tremendous voice best served by the mavericks.

As for Achtung Baby, are you saying you fought FOR its inclusion or AGAINST its inclusion on the master list of great albums? It always left me a bit cold and led to such misery that I've never been overly fond of it, while I'm ready to argue for Rattle and Hum as their least appreciated. Great driving album.

Sal Nunziato said...

FOR its inclusion. I think it's their masterpiece.

Ken D said...

Listening to a stream of the Neko Case album...
as you said, a great return to form:


(this might not be up much longer)

Ken D said...

Re the Neko case stream I mentioned above:
the stream is an hour and 13 minutes long; 43 minutes of superior music followed by a half hour of, I don't know, chirping crickets? Is this on the CD too?

Extremely annoying. Can anyone tell me why artists do this type of nonsense? I include the 10-minutes-of-silence followed by the "bonus" track thing. For us old timers who load up the CD player and walk away, its just irritating.

Sal Nunziato said...

It is on the CD. It is called "Marais La Nuit." (The Marsh At Night?) 31:39. At least it's at the end.

ShortyT said...

The title track "No Line...." is either an homage to or total ripoff of The Kings of Leon, who toured with U2 the last go round. I know that even great artists steal from others so I'm giving the Irishmen the benefit of the doubt, but then I hear track 11 and can't get most non-radio cuts from Lou Reed out of my head. Short version: nothing new here, and they don't even do the "U2 style" songs very well.