Tuesday, October 11, 2011

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


The biggest problem with this collection of re-records, other than being a collection of re-records, is that Peter Gabriel's idea of removing guitars and drums from his past work and creating orchestral versions seems a bit needless. So much of the solo work refurbished here was sort of orchestral to begin with, so you see, why bother? The differences between the old blood and new are just not worth the time. People raise kids in the time it takes Gabriel to put out new music. Now, what do we do for the next 8 years? Listen to Kate Bush's "50 Different Words For Snow?" And what the hell is wrong with guitars and drums? And why doesn't anyone rock anymore?



I about gave up on ol' Ry. The poor guy seemed lost. Thankfully, he has found his way back, and "Ashes & Fire" may just be his best record since 2005's "Jacksonville City Nights." The most impressive thing about this record is the quality of his voice. Adams' singing on the opening track and first single "Dirty Rain' is so full of soul, I had to check twice to confirm who I was listening to. There are plenty of winners on this laid-back, somewhat melancholy affair, with "Invisible Riverside" leading the pack as a personal fave. This is Ryan Adams doing what Ryan Adams does best. Dive in.

Get it HERE


I am not drinking the Mayer Hawthorne Kool-Aid. Sorry. No New York Times rave, or friend recommendation will do it. He's ok. That's it. I see what he's trying to do, but he just can't sing. His voice is weak at best, and flat the rest of the time. This new record works better than his indie debut in that it sounds better. But slick, smart production is not enough. You'll hear all your faves---Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Hall & Oates--when the songs start. But, once Mayer kicks in, the novelty wanes. I'm particularly bothered by his Cee-Lo rip, "The Walk." Dude, "Fuck You" is not that old. This isn't tribute. It's theft.

If you must, it's HERE


I've mentioned my love for the Black Crowes on these pages numerous times. What I usually get in return is the internet equivalent of Looney Tunes' crickets. That's alright. I still think they are one of the greatest live bands I have ever seen. Here is brother Rich, with his second solo affair, and it's a knock-out. Chris Robinson was the front man, but Rich's voice can ooze like syrup, and when it leads songs like these, evoking everyone from Otis to Brothers Gregg and Duane, it works in a big way.


More came out today, like something new from Bjork, an artist whose first two CDs delivered something original, accessible (sort of) and groundbreaking. Since then, she's been rowing with one oar, and I've given up. She's just too fucking weird. And speaking of weird, there's also a Radiohead remix thingy that I have no interest in.

Joe Henry has a new CD too!  Haven't heard it yet, but I look forward to it. And there's also a seriously, not bad record from William Shatner.  I mean it. If you didn't appreciate the Ben Folds produced "Has Been" and all its sincerity, then don't pay any mind to "Major Tom," Shatner's new, star-studded release. But if you did, this...well...isn't nearly as good, but still a lot of fun. Guests include Lyle Lovett, Ritchie Blackmore, Brad Paisley, Peter Frampton, John Wetton, Steve Howe, Sandra Dee, Molly Wee and Oscar Homolka.


I wasn't kidding.

Yesterday's post died a quick death. Maybe you were all celebrating Columbus Day, the one day each year Joe Piscopo is asked to be somewhere. Whatever the reason, reaction to what might end up as my fave of the year was weak.  Buy this record. Now.

Samples are below.


Les said...

When I first stumbled upon Mayer Hawthorne, I was hopeful. Thought there was potential. But you're right. I am listening to "Finally Falling" right now, wishing it was Daryl Hall. And the Times article, was it just me or did Mayer admit he couldn't make it as a hip-hop artist so he went the soul route? Perhaps that's his problem, he'd rather be doing something else and it shows.

Ok, I'm off to check out the Rich Robinson now.

Sal Nunziato said...


The NYT article had more than a few annoying things, like when he said Todd Rundgren produced a bunch of records for Hall & Oates. It was one record. He's a DJ with a lot of records. So am I and I ain't making a soul record.

Chris Collins said...

I'm totally with you on the Black Crowes, btw. I absolutely adore that band.

FD13NYC said...

Oscar Homolka, very funny! Remembering him in Mr. Sardonicus with the disfigured eye. And yes, you should make a soul record.


Somedays I try and can't figure out stuff -- I've been listening to Mayer Hawthorne and kept thinking I should get it more than I do. Glad others agree that there there isn't much "there" there.

On the flipside -- an artist it isn't supposed to be cool to like anymore -- I've been digging the Ryan Adams and like this new one as much as anything of his since Whiskeytown.

And Sal, just because people don't comment never believe the posts don't have meaning. I read the Co-operative post, did a bit of internet digging and have made a note for its domestic release. Couldn't justify buying from the UK but am really looking forward to hearing the whole album. when you say "Album of the Year" we pay attention!

Anything Should Happen said...

Where Do I Start?

Peter Gabriel (when he can be bothered) still produces quality after so long, the general trend of re-recording your songs seems a bit pointless to me, but it falls in two camps.

If you've heard the original, these will not please you as it's just worthless.

If you haven't then you may hate the originals if you ever discover them.

Most of us on here have heard the originals, I just think the man should spend his time writing something new.

Ryan Adams - I once watched him stagger about for twenty five minutes falling off his stool before his roadie removed from his stool and saved an injury to himself and the audience's ears.

That was more fun than any of his recent output.

I have no idea who Mayer Hawthorne is but he sounds like a presidential candidate.

I love the Black Crowes as a "listen to while you are doing something else band".

I don't like their solo stuff and I tried listening to this three times in a week and it is like the Allman Brothers, if they were shit.

Spot on Sal! Bjork's first two albums were amazing. Since then she's taken to spending her time seeing how many layers of clothes she can wear and topping them off with a silly hat usually with feathers in.

All this haberdashery and plummage searching has left little time to write or sing anything decent.

Not that I'm on one, but when I saw them often usually in a small club in anytown they were just head down rhythm and blues second division.

The lead singer, Graves is it? was a tosser of the highest order and the set was fine if you'd had eight pints of lager,

The fact that they've joined the wonderful Glenn Tilbrook made me listen again, I don't see it Sal.

Tillers, if you fancy getting a band behind you that meant something, grab The Attractions or The Rumour.

Hope this helps, don't think it will.

Hope This Helps.

Anything Should Happen said...

After all that negativity, I could at least check my missive for repeated words and not mentioning Nine Below Zero.

I'll have to get ASH Industries to employ a proof reader.

Sammy said...

Where's your review of the Nick Swisher album?

Meanstreets said...

The author has overlooked, once again, an important new release............Dale Watson & The Texas Two's " The Sun Sessions "...........original material from Dale celebrating Johnny, Elvis, Carl & Jerry Lee........

Leon said...

I, sheepishly, do like some of Mayer Hawthorne's songs, esp "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out" from his first LP

Sal Nunziato said...


Swisher's record was for the kids. I gave him a pass.


Dale Watson needs better publicity. No idea it came out. But, if you want to write it up, I'd be happy to post it.


Nice work.

cmealha said...

I don't get your linking 'The Walk' to 'Fuck You'. Totally different songs in a similar genre. I agree he's not the strongest singer but he did himself proud on LFDH. In any case, he's helping keep the new R&B/Soul sound alive and it can be enjoyed without getting too serious about it. Why are you so down on him but are accepting of say Fitz and the Tantrums or Eli "Paperboy" Reed?

Sal Nunziato said...


The link between "The Walk" and "Fuck You" is retro-soul+ profanity+fuck you.

Cee-Lo was fresh. We all loved it. Mayer Hawthorne took the same idea. Same song. "Take a walk. You pissed me off. Fuck you." Same upbeat groove. Same not-so-common use of profanity. It's a rip.

Fitz has a voice, and the Tantrums album isn't a straight pastiche. I buy it, whereas Hawthorne seems forced. More like product.

Anonymous said...

Hey, when you're right you're right- even when I don't agree w/ you. But Spotify has the Adams, so I checked out Dirty Rain, and it kicked my ass! The Shat's queued up too. Not the hugest Spotify fan, stuff's digitally mastered for shitty computer speakers I guess- but for stuff I wouldn't necessarily bother searching on Captaincrawl, it's soooo easy. And yeah, maybe Adams is OK by now. But hey, does he still walk out if someone requests Summer of 69? Because I've never seen him, but I'd be so tempted...

cmealha said...

So thematic similarity automatically excludes a song? Do we dismiss "Fuck You' because Nilsson did it decades earlier? Or is it okay because it's in a different genre? I think you're over analyzing.
And Fitz doesn't have that great a voice. It's ok and that's fine. I like him. Same with Mayer.

Sal Nunziato said...


I"m glad you brought up Nilsson. When "You're Breaking My Heart" came out, no one prior had recorded anything remotely like it.

"The Walk" from the Hawthorne record has the same retro-soul vibe in both the groove and the lyrics as Cee Lo's "Fuck You." It's not that an artist is not allowed to record a thematically similar tune. That's ridiculous. 1000s of songs are similar. Listen to The Turtles' "Elenore" and "You Don't Have To Walk in The Rain," or compare Marshall Crenshaw's "Mary Anne" to Nick Lowe's "My Heart Hurts."

What bothers me is that Cee-Lo's track was HUGE! And it's still fresh in everyone's mind. Hawthorne wasn't even a soul singer. He started as a DJ. I can hear that on the whole record, especially "The Walk," which to me sounds like nothing more than someone trying to capitalize on a unique idea already done better by someone else.

Here are some of the lyrics from "The Walk":

From the moment that I met you I thought you were fine, so fine

But your shitty fuckin' attitude has got me changing my mind

Everybody tells me uuh, I need to let go, I know

But your cocoa butter skin now has got me beggin' for more

Well your heels keep on runnin' through my head now

Tryin' to deal but I’m coming to the end now

And you can walk those high heels baby right out of my life

When were lyrics in a soul song as literal and in your face before Cee-Lo's "Fuck You?" Now suddenly, another one?

Sorry. Maybe I'm am overanalyzing, but that's how much I don't like "The Walk."

Shriner said...

So, never having heard "The Walk", I dialed it up on YouTube.

I liked it better when it was called "It's Too Late To Turn Back Now" in the 70s.

cmealha said...

<a href="http://www.clker.com/cliparts/0/2/d/1/12065599341039320543nicubunu_Waving_white_flag.svg.med.png>Click</a>

cmealha said...

How about that new Pugwash album!?

Robin said...

Want to add totally with you on Black Crowes too.

Meanstreets said...

I am not comfortable with the profanity / obscenity present on this blog...and should not be condoned because it may be the name of a " song " or a " lyric "...

I expect better...........

Song of Songs said...

A lot of your comments on Peter Gabriel are right.
He did a couple of songs from the album. 'Salisbury Hill' & 'Red Rain' with full orchestra on 'Later With Joolz' aired on the BBC this week. Both songs were fantastic.
Check the performance out if you didn't see it via BBC iplayer.

Anything Should Happen said...

How Do Meanstreets,

Profanity and obscenity are a way of life, whether we want to change it or not is left to the individual, some will, some won't.

It's a choice and I'd consider a lot of us on here able to make that choice.

For me to defend it is as relevant as you attacking it, it's the freedom we want.

I don't follow any religion, I have utter respect for those that do as long as they are not trying to get me to see the error of my ways.

There's music I like, music I don't, people I like, people I don't.

Profanity is in the eye of the beholder and whilst respecting your view, it's not a view that I want to share.

I didn't see anything in this thread that upset me, I'd consider myself streetwise and I hear this as a part of everyday life.

I'd suggest that if this offends you, most things in life will.

I do personally think that you are being more than a little sensitive.

Meanstreets said...

To : Anything Should Happen,

Please refrain from using the park as a restroom, & discard any refuse when you leave.

Thank you.