Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 11/02/10


Dead drummer extraordinot Bill Kreutzmann, legendary Meters bassist George Porter Jr., Austin voodoo man Papi Mali, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard have put together a collection of New Orleans-centric tunes around Robert Hunter lyrics for a laid back and groovy record that, at its heart, really just sounds like a Papa Mali record. But that's good! There's nothing earth-shattering here, but it's got some soul and all the right clanks, honks, and twangs to appeal to fans of all involved.

BUY IT HERE--->http://www.amazon.com/7-Walkers/dp/B0043A0Q4I/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1288635400&sr=1-1


"In 1996, a group of Mali's finest musicians were due to fly into Havana for a speculative collaboration with some of Cuba's most brilliant singers and instrumentalists. For reasons that have never been made clear, the Malians never arrived. A very different album was recorded: 'The Buena Vista Social Club'. The rest, as they say, is multi-million selling history."

This is a beautiful record, sharing the same vibe as the Buena Vista Social Club, but with a Malian slant. Unique and joyous, I say! (And I mean it!)

BUY IT HERE--->http://www.amazon.com/AfroCubism/dp/B0041ON2ZG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288635446&sr=1-1


I've been listening to this record and reading the raves for weeks now. My initial thoughts on both the record and the overzealous reviewers were unkind. I've mellowed.

The comparisons to "King Of America" are not completely unfounded. "National Ransom" has plenty of the acoustic roots music found on KOA, but KOA is in my Elvis top 3, and nothing here comes close to the brilliance of the songs on that record.

But it is EC, so I don't give up easily and "Ransom" has grown on me, but just a bit. One problem is the muddy production. The whole time you're feeling like you wanna blow dust off the needle, or tell your oblivious friend to stop standing in front of your speakers.

The other problem, sadly, is the songs. Nothing here sticks to your ribs the way an Elvis Costello song should. He's older and his writing has changed. But even his last two, unfairly dismissed releases, "Momofuku" and "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane" had songs I remembered and wanted to hear again. So far, with "National Ransom," that's not the case.

The ballads are lugubrious. Vaudeville pieces like "Jimmie Standing In The Rain" and "A Slow Drag With Josephine" are just plain annoying. And the supposed rockers like "The Spell That You Cast," "Five Small Words" and the title track are tuneless, and they just don't rock.

It's not all bad. Costello still knows how to tell a story and grab hold of your soul. "Stations Of The Cross," and "Church Underground," both sounding like something from the "Spike" sessions, as well as "Dr. Watson, I Presume," and "All These Strangers" all possess the qualities every EC fan waits for, album after album.

My feeling is that "National Ransom" will get even better. But right now it feels like a homework assignment, where you'd rather be doing something else, though you know if you stick with it, you'll feel gratified.

BUY IT HERE--->http://www.amazon.com/National-Ransom-Elvis-Costello/dp/B003ZDZ1XK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288635479&sr=1-1


I'm a fan. I like the cool early stuff on Bang. I like the big, sing-a-long hits of the 70s. I don't mind the post "Jazz Singer" stuff. (It served a purpose.) And the recent Rick Rubin records were solid, though admittedly, rarely played in my household after the initial listen. But this type of record makes me wanna yack.

Neil takes a dozen classics from 60s and 70s, and lathers them up with his special brand of melodrama. The unnecessary over-singing serves no purpose other than to make the already camp "Alone Again (Naturally)" even more hilarious. And speaking of hilarious, try listening to his take on The Eagles' "Desperado" without thinking of Walter Brennan. I dare you.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE--->http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Neil-Diamond/dp/B0041U7RE2/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1288635503&sr=1-1


''The work in this collection is a result of an occasional collaboration between myself, Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins. The two of them are gifted young player/composers whose work, like mine, is intimately connected to the possibilities and freedoms of electronic music. Over the last few years we've worked together several times, enjoying exploring the huge new sonic territories now available to musicians. Mostly the pieces on this album resulted not from 'composition' in the classical sense, but from improvisation. The improvisations are not attempts to end up with a song, but rather with a landscape, a feeling of a place and perhaps the suggestion of an event. In a sense they deliberately lack 'personality': there is no singer, no narrator, no guide as to what you ought to be feeling. If these pieces had been used in films, the film would complete the picture. As they stand, they are the mirror-image of silent movies - sound-only movies.'' --Brian Eno

There's more than enough on this release that reminds me of Eno's masterpiece "Another Green World," though, as Eno himself said, there are no vocal tracks. I can't say this record is for everyone, but if you're a fan, this is quite good.

BUY IT HERE--->http://www.amazon.com/Small-Craft-Milk-Sea-Brian/dp/B0040V7J36/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288635582&sr=1-1


The usual bells and whistles have been applied to this new deluxe edition of Paul's classic. Unfortunately, these particular bells and whistles are not that appealing. At least, not to me, as it seems it's not that much different than what's been out before. The addition of the first time officially released "One Hand Clapping" stuff is ho-hum.

Band on the Run will be available in a variety of formats originating with the single disc digitally remastered, essential 9-track STANDARD EDITION. The 3 disc (2CD, 1 DVD) SPECIAL EDITION features nine bonus audio tracks (including the top 10 smash "Helen Wheels"), rare footage of the McCartneys in Lagos and behind-the-scenes at the famous album cover shoot, original Band on the Run promotional video clips, the One Hand Clapping television special (highlighted by studio performances filmed at Abbey Road in 1974) all with beautifully enhanced packaging. Collectors will be especially thrilled by the 4 disc (3CD, 1 DVD) DELUXE EDITION which adds an extraordinary 120-page hard bound book containing many unseen and unpublished photos by Linda McCartney and Clive Arrowsmith, album and single artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album and bonus audio tracks, a full history of the album complete with a new interview with Paul and expanded track by track information for all four discs. The deluxe edition also includes a special Band on the Run audio documentary (originally produced for the 25th Anniversary edition.) The original remastered album and bonus audio content will also be issued in a 2 disc 180gm audiophile VINYL EDITION that comes with an MP3 download of all 18 tracks

BUY IT HERE--->http://www.amazon.com/Band-Run-Deluxe-1DVD-Combo/dp/B003XX2O8W/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1288635624&sr=1-2

CHEAP VERSION HERE--->http://www.amazon.com/Band-Run-Special-1DVD-Combo/dp/B003W2HKSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1288635624&sr=1-1









Top three Elvis Costello records?

How about:

My Aim Is True
Imperial Bedroom
Almost Blue

Sal Nunziato said...

1. Blood & Chocolate
2. King Of America
3. Imperial Bedroom
4. This Year's Model
5. Get Happy

cmealha said...

The trouble with Elvis:
On his show he was talking about how he would try emulating other people and he would get it all wrong but it would come out through this filter in a unique way that became his style. The specific example he spoke wbout was how we was trying to do Bacharach when he wrote Accidents Will Happen.
Well, he's gotten older and smarter and now he can write in any style ably but he's not getting it wrong and coming up with brillian mistakes like he used to. He can write blue grass, country, whatever and do it well but it's no longer special just very well done. He's gotten too good at his craft and it's no longer special.

cmealha said...

Get Happy
Imperial Bedroom
Brutal Youth

Sal Nunziato said...

Nicely done, cmealha!

allen vella said...

Nice top 5 Elvii Sal...Though, Armed Forces holds a special place in my heart...
Can't stop laughing at Walter Brennan singing Despaerado via Niel!!

Anonymous said...

Imperial Bedroom
Get Happy
Armed Forces

Favorite post-80s Elvis albums:
Brutal Youth
Painted from Memory

More listenable than their awful reps Elvis albums:
Goodbye Cruel World

Here's another question: Anyone know why "Helen Wheels" isn't on the main Band on the Run disc? Was that only on the American version of the original album or something? Or a screw-you to get fans to be the deluxe version? Or both. I guess it would be too much to ask to have a few bonus tracks on the single disc.

Sal Nunziato said...

Re: Helen Wheels.
Yes, I believe it was a UK single and not on the original UK album.

Noam Sane said...

1. This Year's Model
2. Get Happy
3. My Aim is True
4. Armed Forces
5. Taking Liberties

...I was one of the guy's biggest boosters early on, but the later stuff is just overcooked and torturous to listen to.


Noam Sane said...

The fab Glen Kenny interviews EC here about the new ceedee, by the way.

steve simels said...

The new Huey Lewis album is here! The new Huey Lewis album is here!!!

elizabethm said...

I first heard Elvis on a radio broadcast of a live concert back in, maybe, 1975. It was like a musical salvation, cutting through the disco and country-rock that predominated the airwaves. A fan ever since, I felt disloyal when listening to him play the title track (I think that what it was) on Letterman last night - I just plain didn't like it. I feel vindicated by your review, Sal. I wonder if the production's muddiness you mentioned is deliberate since that's how the song last night sounded.
And if I were picking the albums I'd play most often, it would be (in no order)
My Aim Is True
Armed Forces
This Year's Model
When I Was Cruel

Painted From Memory
Kojak Variety
The River In Reverse

Meanstreets said...


Sounds like your health has recovered & you are back covering your musical likes & dislikes, as misguided as they are sometimes...

Thus, I will not have to alter my travel plans to Austin, TX.... this Friday....
You have things under control...

Sal Nunziato said...

Glad to see Momofuku on your list. Such a fantastic record that, it seems, no one has heard.