Tuesday, August 3, 2010
If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 8/3/10
ARCADE FIRE- THE SUBURBS
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)
THE BLACK CROWES- CROWESOLOGY
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
DR. JOHN & THE LOWER 911- TRIBAL
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."
GOV'T MULE- MULLENIIUM
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
LOS LOBOS- TIN CAN TRUST
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.
SQUEEZE- SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
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.