Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 7/20/10

Slow summer Tuesday, so this is all I have for you.


Well respected, singer-songwriter Marc Cohn takes some of our favorite songs and makes them slow, smokey and lifeless. Every arrangement feels like some casual walk in the park. "Maybe I'm Amazed," "The Letter," "Tears Of A Clown," and "The Only Living Boy In New York" are just some of tunes that don't work. I went in hopeful. I came out miserable.

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/Listening-Booth-1970-Marc-Cohn/dp/B003IFMXAE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1279623420&sr=1-1


Bob Boilen of NPR's "All Things Considered" once said, "If the first song doesn't do it for me, I take it off." If I played by those rules, I would have missed out on Sheryl Crow's fine new record. Yes, she is everywhere, sometimes when you don't want her to be, but she can sing, she's written some great songs and she can play bass guitar without looking at her left hand.

She attempts an authentic R&B record with the help of producer Doyle Bramhall II and some special guests, including Keith Richards and, of course, Justin Timberlake. And it works. You just have to ignore the opening track, which sounds like a forced pastiche of every sixties 45 she's ever listened to, while the rest of the album feels real. "100 Miles From Memphis" is a great listen with nice production. It's a blast and a solid showcase for Sheryl Crow.

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/100-Miles-Memphis-Sheryl-Crow/dp/B003NWS5FO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1279623455&sr=1-1


My count is 11. The ELP catalogue has been reissued 11 times since 1990. Big versions, small versions, deluxe versions, gold plated versions, surround sound versions, versions on different labels, I've looked hard and no matter how you slice it, all of these versions contain Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Oh well. This box from the stellar Shout Factory label has the following:

"4 CDs of prime unreleased material from 1970 to 1998. These fully authorized, remastered live performances were taken from the best-possible soundboard recordings (discs 1 through 3) and audience tapes (disc 4). The set also includes a collectible poster and liner notes by Jim Allen. A Time And A Place brings together a select body of performances captured before worldwide audiences during the band's career. From the group's raw and unrestrained sound of the early 70s, their rearrangements of compositions by internationally renowned composers, to their timeless conceptual pieces such as Tarkus, Karn Evil 9 and Pirates, ELP have always been a band to push hard against musical boundaries. With Keith Emerson on keyboards, Greg Lake on bass and vocals and Carl Palmer on drums, ELP broadened the audience for progressive rock. The band released a series of landmark albums in the 1970s, and several more in the 90s after a 14-year hiatus."

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/Time-Place-Emerson-Lake-Palmer/dp/B003O5MNB2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1279623478&sr=1-1


Johnny Rotten's short-lived talk show on VH-1, "Rotten Television" should go down in history for this exchange alone. Setzer is the guest and Johnny gives him a calendar to remind him what year it was. He says, and I'm paraphrasing, "You're bringing back big band music? What are you bringing back next, World War II?" Anyway, here is a 2 CD document of Brian's 2009 tour.

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Mess-Big-Band-Live/dp/B003K7B6VC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1279623519&sr=1-1


Troy said...

I listened to the Marc Cohn song clips on Amazon, and they sounded absolutely dreadful. I actually like his debut CD and his most recent 'Join the Parade', but this seems like a terrible idea that was poorly executed. What a shame.

Eric said...

why cohn doesn't write original material is a career at the wrong fork...

elp---blotter on paper@nassauc coliseum in a blizzard...Palmer's drum kit doing aerial 360's....great first three albums....but stuff i'd never listen to again...never...

Noam Sane said...

I always found "Walking in Memphis" more than a little twee, sort of Dan Hill takes a vacation. Based on that song, that dude's been a must-to-avoid for me.
In addition, oh gawd not Cheryl Crow again. Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.

Isn't there a new Ray LaMontagne out? I heard a song from it on the way to work yesterday morning, on our piped-in Granola Rock station (WXPN), and it really pricked up my ears...it sounded just like Joni Mitchell. Hell, it was Joni Mitchell, back when she was writing great songs, only she'd apparently grown a penis. And that's alright with me, I liked it. So - next week?

Sal Nunziato said...

The Montagne is 8/17, Noam.

As for Walking In Memphis, never got that either. I am not of fan of songs that list "faves" or mention other songs and artists. Cohn's last single was "Listening To Levon." Jeez. Now this? "Listening Booth: 1970."

Next up, "Washing To Windy?" "Painting To Pump It Up?"

Anonymous said...

Re: Sheryl. That's an interesting subcategory of music appreciation: otherwise good or great albums with crummy opening cuts. I've recently been listening to Sinatra's "She Shot Me Down," new to me, which is an amazing album (should have been his sign off) but is marred by the opening track, a schlocky arrangement of a Sondheim song.

Other examples? I seem to remember some of the more recent Stones albums starting with labored attempts at singles before settling into something less painful.

Bruce Handy

cmealha said...

How cheesy is that ELP cover? I still like them but is there really a market for these re-issues? Already have everything I want by them. Anything remotely new and interesting here?

Sal Nunziato said...

Hey Bruce,

How amazing is "Long Night?"

Good idea, BTW.

JB said...

I concur on "Memphis."

But it didn't take me long to think of some name-dropping songs I like:

"...Dinosaur Victrola... listenin' to Buck Owens..."

"... drink a little red wine. Dance to the music of Clifton Chenier, the king of the bayou..."

and all of Lucinda Williams' many name drops (Coltrane, Neil, Loretta, ZZ Top, etc)

Sal Nunziato said...

I love Lu! Really really do. But she's the biggest offender...to me.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, but after a couple of tracks Sheryl Crow's voice starts to become annoying regardless of the song.

But that album cover photo has a serious Carly Simon sexiness thing going on.


Anonymous said...

I love "Long Night." Also the Nelson Riddle medley at the end where he finishes by just humming. Should have been the last thing he ever recorded.

Will Friedwald dumps on "Strangers in the Night" the song as the opener to the otherwise great "Strangers in the Night" the album, but I've always loved "Strangers in the Night" the song too.

More great name-checking:

I was thinkin' 'bout Alicia Keys, couldn't keep from crying/
When she was born in Hell's Kitchen, I was living down the line/
I'm wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be/
I been looking for her even clear through Tennessee

Bruce Handy

Sal Nunziato said...

I wonder if Will Friedwald is just riffing on the fact that Frank himself hated "Strangers In The Night," the song. I like it, and it's certainly better than "Downtown."

cmealha said...

The thing with Sheryl Crow is that she's not necessarily a great singer or performer but she writes decent to really good material on such a consistent basis that it just comes down to I enjoy listening to her music. I'd never put her at the top of any lists but she keeps pluggin away and doin a, as Letterman says, "good job"

cmealha said...

Just to follow up on Sheryl Crow...Saw her appearance on Letterman. I guess I can sum up her appeal with 2 words. "Great gams!"

anythingshouldhappen said...

Found myself nod nodding to all this Sal.

First track and off - what rubbish. Buy a single or listen to the whole album.
If I applied that rule I'd have never have got into at least a dozen of my favourite bands.

Sheryl Crow - always pleasant and inoffensive, largely music for background when you are pre occupied with something else.

Still love her First Cut Is The Deepest cover.

Whichever way you look at the latest version of ELP's aural version of War And Peace, it's still got them on it, it's still a complete waste of hard drive space / plastic.

Time would be better spent staring at the wall for four hours.

I'll dig out my note book of Lydon quotes, but my favourite Pistol story is Sid Vicious to Freddie Mercury.

SV - I see you are bringing ballet to the masses Fred.

FM - Well we're doing our best darling.

Sal Nunziato said...

That Sid/Freddie moment is priceless. So is this:
"Time would be better spent staring at the wall for four hours."