Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 8/3/10


I saw the article in yesterday's NYT. I understand this band is more popular than (insert something really popular here.) But, no matter how hard I try, all I hear are pretentious meanderings, that yes, occasionally sound musical, but mostly don't.

In "Rococo," track four on "The Suburbs," singer Win Butler sings, "Let's go downtown and talk to the modern kids/they will eat right out of your hands, using big words that they don't understand/they sing, rococo-coco-co-co-co." WOW! It's not just the modern kids that don't understand, pally. I'd like to know what I'm missing while this in-joke is being stroked by fans and critics from Sheboygan to Shickshinny.

This ensemble strums and moans, acts really important, and basically creates sounds for some 60 minutes that make my skin crawl. This music actually makes me nervous. Maybe there are songs better than "Rococo," like "City With No Children," where Butler tries to get his Tim Finn on, and "Wasted Hours" which works better because the band isn't plucking frantically or overdoing the bowing and rubbing of their instruments. But what I hear in Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" is what I heard in their first two records, a band short on substance, and long on gimmicks that try to desperately hide that major flaw.

AMAZON DOWNLOAD--$3.99 (Actually, CD is only $7.99)

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/Suburbs-Arcade-Fire/dp/B003O85W3A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1280834505&sr=8-1


The difference between "Crowesology," a 2 CD set of newly recorded, stripped down versions of Black Crowes favorites, and "Spot the Difference," Squeeze's new similar release (see below) is that all of these Crowes re-records are full of life, with the band pulling out all the stops to insure the fans, as well as those new to the Crowes music, that they get something special and not just a rehash of old material.

As a huge fan of both bands, the Black Crowes have at least offered something other than a traditional anthology. The arrangements, the vocals, the extended jamming (on a few tunes...relax), all make "Crowesology" more than just a label obligation or a rest stop between releases, which is what the Squeeze record seems to be. Yes, the songs may have been recorded before, but this is definitely a new Black Crowes album.

2 CD ON AMAZON--$7.99

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/Croweology-Black-Crowes/dp/B003S897U0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1280834650&sr=1-1


Ain't nothing ailing you that the good Doctor can't fix. "Tribal" is Dr. John's 4,000th record and it's a good one! His records over the last 20 years have covered a lot of ground, including two uneven tributes, "Duke Elegant" and "Mercernary," that featured the music of legendary composers Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer, respectively, as well as the Tommy Lipuma-tainted foray into smooth jazz, "In A Sentimental Mood."

But when Dr. John sticks with the voodoo and the city of his birth, New Orleans, he shines. "Tribal" is hot, and it touches nicely upon all that you loved about the classic Dr. John records like "Gris-Gris," "Remedies," "Gumbo," and even more recent winners like "Creole Moon" and "N'awlinz: Dis, Dat or d'Udda." Could be my fave Dr. John album since "Desitively Bonnaroo."

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/Tribal-Dr-John/dp/B003K2SD36/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1280834694&sr=1-1


Warren Haynes has got to be the hardest working man in show business. This guy is everywhere--the Allmans, the Dead, Crossroads, charity shows in Asheville, guests spots with everyone--- and yet he still manages what seems like 300 Gov't Mule shows a year.

This document, recorded on 12/31/99 in Atlanta, is one of Mule's finest moments. An epic set filled with the usual mix of originals, covers (including King Crimson, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Humble Pie and more,) and special guests, including Little Milton who joins the band for 6 songs.

I went through a Mule phase, multiple shows, countless bootlegs, all because of shows like this one.

Track List: Disc #1/3
01. Bad Little Doggie 4:47
02. Lay Your Burden Down 5:08
03. Blind Man In The Dark 7:36
04. Life Before Insanity 7:17
05. Larger Than Life 6:09
06. Towering Fool 8:22
07. Countdown Jam 1:35
08. 21 Century Schizoid Man 6:15
09. We're Not Gonna Take It 3:52
10. Dazed And Confused 11:48

Track List: Disc #2/3
01. When The Blues Comes Knockin' 5:55
02. My Dog And Me 10:18
03. Lump On Your Stump 7:57
04. I Can't Quit You Baby 11:39
05. It Hurts Me Too 10:11
06. Blues Is Alright 8:17
07. Is It My Body? 5:31
08. Power Of Soul 13:28

Track List: Disc #3/3
01. Helter Skelter 3:45
02. Sometimes Salvation 4:09
03. 30 Days In The Hole 6:27
04. End Of The Line 9:01
05. Out Of The Rain 11:14
06. I Shall Be Released 11:07
07. Simple Man 15:45
08. Crowd 1:47

3 CDS ON AMAZON, $11.99

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/Mulennium-Govt-Mule/dp/B003S897UK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1280834721&sr=1-1


I can't think of a band as consistent as Los Lobos. "Tin Can Trust" is another entry in the soulful catalogue of David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Louie Perez, Steve Berlin and Conrad Lozano. It isn't groundbreaking. There are no curve balls here. For that, I am thankful. Los Lobos have a unique formula that never fails to comfort me.

You get your handful of Rosas' cumbias while Hidalgo serves up his usual mix of roots rock, latin rhythms, and rhythm and blues. The band also delivers another killer Dead cover in "West L.A. Fadeaway." As a whole, "Tin Can Trust" is a slow burn, with few songs hitting the manic stride of Lobos' rockers like "Mas y Mas" or "Viking." But, it's a record to savor. Great stuff, as usual.

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/Tin-Can-Trust-Los-Lobos/dp/B003KWT85I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1280834800&sr=1-1


The difference isn't that difficult to spot. Every original recording is better than the pointless, note for note re-records on this truly disappointing and lifeless release from one of my favorite bands. Writer's block? Publishing issues? Whatever the problem, this doesn't even work for a diehard like me.

BUY IT--->http://www.amazon.com/Spot-Difference-Squeeze/dp/B003O63T28/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1280834835&sr=1-1


Noam Sane said...

With you on Arcade Fire and the Lobos, but not the Crowes. They come across as trying a bit too hard. Plus - haven't we heard it all before? I guess what I'm saying is, they strike me as being the American Oasis.

What's that "angel" song they do? Gawd, I hate angel songs. "She must be a, A-HEEEEEEEEEEEEN-JAIL."

Why is only pronounced that way in rock songs? Does anybody in LA say, "I'm gonna go to the A-HEEEEEEEN-JAILS game tonight, Jered Weaver's pitching..."

Sal Nunziato said...

Actually Noam, the Crowes say, "Ain-JEHH-HELLLS!" (Hilarious--Jered Weaver)

You know, I think the Crowes may be my favorite live band. Seen them so many times. Seeing them twice in November. I love their records and I love this new one. But, I can't really disagree with anything you said.

Funny, they toured with Oasis on the "Brothers" tour.

anythingshouldhappen said...

I thought you all talked like that over there.

Isn't boy pronounced baw?

With you all the way on everything Sal.

Arcade Fire remind me of a band trying to make music on children's plastic instruments.

All the AF following behave like proud parents whilst the neighbours haven't the heart to tell them it's tuneless and that they are having to turn the tv up because they can't hear what Simon Cowell is saying.

Black Crowes are a band I've always dipped in and out of. I like them but I don't love them.

Having said that, the Unplugged MTV??? thing they did younks ago was wonderful and showed a completely different side to them.

Like you, I'm a Squeeze fan and have to say that I've never heard such a pile of pointlessness.

It's just a major disappointment. Why Oh Why.

Never been mad on Los Lobos, I understand why people like them, just like I understand why people like Root Beer (see how States savvy I am).

Both are not just for me.

Then again, I've become completely hooked on the Foxy Shazam album, so I'm not sure how I can criticise anything.

Christine said...

Great post Sal. Scared me a little bit with the "extended jamming." Glad you cleared that up!

jc said...

That's a weird Squeeze album -- did they get Elvis C. to re-record his backing vocals on Coffee?

I wonder if it's one of those John Fogerty or Prince things, where they are trying to regain rights to their recordings.

Aaron said...

The birth of my appreciation for LL was born at the same time as my understanding of the profound effects that live vs. record can have. My brother had 1st, 2nd, 3rd albums. I always thought they were ok, but never got excited about them until I saw them at the Ritz with my brother in '87. I think we were the only people there who were dancing. Strange. I had a tape of a Scott Muni interview with them dispersed between live recordings of that show. Where was she goin' is a particularly blistering stand out - album does nothing for me. Live was amazing. I reckon I'd pay good money for that recording - preferably without Muni.

Eric said...

re: arcade fire--free you ube show on 8/5:


los lobos: Louie is such an underrated guitarist.