Monday, January 6, 2014

Reunions, Records and More For 2014

Kevin M. asks in the chat box, "What are you looking forward to in 2014?"

I'm not sure there's anything I'm "looking forward to." Many of 2014's great possibilities like a Kinks reunion or a David Bowie tour for starters, can just as easily be horror shows with either limited ticket availablity or price gouging. I'd like to begin the new year on a positive note, but since the average ticket price for a legend these days hovers between $150-$300, the very things I wish to come true will most likely be inaccessible.

But Kevin M. also points out that when he asked me last year, I said I was hoping for new David Bowie music and a week later, like magic, there was, so...

1. I'd like to see a proper Todd Rundgren record. One where he acts his age, uses a band instead of a laptop, and embraces his talents as a vocalist and songwriter. That Daryl Hall & Todd Rundgren record will probably never happen, but before it's too late, something/anything from Rundgren to remind me why I love the guy in the first place would be a real treat for 2014.

2. With all the talk about vinyl, its "comeback," the "warm sound," and the seemingly endless appearance of record stores in hipster Brooklyn, I'd like to see new vinyl come down in price and go up in quality. With the exception of a few releases from some majors, newly purchased vinyl is, quite frankly, CRAP! All these labels that boast about their product should really get on top of their quality control.

I have LPs from the 50's through the 70's, that play and sound better with scuffs and needlemarks than most of this 180gram nonsense that is being released.  It cost $28 for a copy of "Elvis & The Roots" LP. The record comes out of a sealed jacket with scuffs and marks. Records right out of the box skip, have skidmarks, jump, have static. Nevermind the packaging.

There are exceptions, like the new Brendan Benson on Readymade. This is a beautiful gatefold with a thick color booklet like the old days and fantastic sound for $19.99. But generally, new vinyl is simply garbage. Don't believe me? Go to "Rough Trade" and buy the new reissue of Nick Lowe's "Labour Of Lust" for $20. Then buy an original, which can be found for as little as $5. Compare. It's night and day, with the cheap original winning by a mile.

3. Still waiting for that new Bill Withers record.

4. The Jimmy Page remasters can be a wonderful thing. It's been a long time since the last Led Zeppelin upgrade, and these new editions will include bonus discs with additional material.

5. I'm looking forward to some anonymous philanthropist sending me a vinyl copy of The Zombies' "Odessey & Oracle" in MONO.

6. Hey, MOTT THE HOOPLE! Bring your reunion to NYC!

If The Kinks do reunite for a tour, I do hope Ray & Dave think about the long-suffering fans and create a setlist that doesn't just pander to an arena crowd. For every 10 minute "AAAAY---YOOOO" there could be three songs from "Face To Face."

How about you? What are you looking forward to, or if you wish, what are you dreading in 2014?


cmealha said...

Like you, I would cherish a return to form by Todd. I rag on him a lot but he has been responsible for so much good music.
Also look forward to some new stuff from Pugwash, my favorite Irish band fronted by a 300+ lb singer with the voice of an angel.

soundsource said...

The Hard Copies tour of the boroughs and their play that tune feature on Burning Wood.
The Rolling Stones hanging it up. And more good music at the Tarrytown Music Hall. Oh and that new Who Greatest Hits with the lost tapes of rehearsals for.....oh whatever.
And that surprise live show or lp from someone I never would have thought had it in em or I had never heard of which always keeps me excited about the possibilities of great music.

William Repsher said...

I would hope the recording industry keeps on as it quietly has been with all the various media options fans now have to listen to music. With dickhead prognosticators like Lefsetz constantly declaring one format or another "dead" (like CDs and MP3s in lieu of streaming), I sincerely hope no one in charge is listening to this tripe and goes on recognizing it's a win-win situation to get music into fans' hands however they choose to listen. Many of us are not sold on streaming as anything other than a means to sample albums or a casual listening experience on home computers ... if they reduce this whole industry to nothing but people renting music for mobile devices, it's all over.

Kinks Reunion? Reading Ray's new autiobio right now ... might be a good idea to leave that one alone! I gather Dave still really dislikes Ray, and Ray sounds like he's perfectly comfortable working on his own. Hate to say it, but Ray seems like one of those recording artists whose image is far more open and likable than the actual person ... but at least he knows this about himself. 100 pages in, and it seems like The Kinks as a band exist only peripherally in his world ... and this is describing his life with them while touring and recording in the 70s!

Dreading anything? Not really. Just anticipating the normal cavalcade of critics and fans with no and/or a purposely ignored sense of musical history carrying on about average music in terms of "greatness" when they really mean a band is a notch above mediocre. I guess this has always gone on, but the internet, with its myriad sub-genres and isolated camps of hipness, only amplifies this.

Sal Nunziato said...

"Just anticipating the normal cavalcade of critics and fans with no and/or a purposely ignored sense of musical history carrying on about average music in terms of "greatness" when they really mean a band is a notch above mediocre. I guess this has always gone on, but the internet, with its myriad sub-genres and isolated camps of hipness, only amplifies this."

Thanks,William. #7 on my list was "Enough with the hype," but got too lazy to elaborate. You nailed it.

I read "Americana" and thought it was one of the best of its kind. I won't elaborate on this either. I'll wait until you finish.

Ken D said...

Don't have to wait long: Rosanne Cash's new album is out next week! She previewed a few songs at the Beacon this past fall and it was wonderful stuff.
And I have tickets for Alejandro Escovedo the week after next. So if the rest of my musical year is even half as good as January, it'll be a good'un.

buzzbabyjesus said...

If the most recent interview I read with Dave is any indication, William already said it best-

"Kinks Reunion?... might be a good idea to leave that one alone!"

Dave said he loves his brother but can't handle more than 30 minutes in his presence.

I imagine he's had enough of Ray telling him what to do.

It never occurred to me to have a wish-list. I'm really day to day and I look forward to all the interesting stuff I'll discover along the way.

Troy said...

In no particular order:

I would like for CBS Radio to sell my favorite Chicago radio station, WXRT, to someone who won't destroy it. I realize it is terrestial radio which probably died a long time ago, but it's my station dammit. Letting Tom Marker go was one step too far.

I would like for Squeeze to release a new album. The 2012 demos were very good, and I'd like to hear a full album.

Del Amitri is doing some shows in the UK, and I'd like them to release a new album and/or tour the US as well.

I wish Buddy & Julie Miller would record a new album together. Such magic when they sing together.

I hope the album from Michael McDermott's new band, The Westies, meets or exceeds my expectations. The couple of songs I've heard so far are a little underwhelming, but I still have hope for the record.

I hope Bruce's 'High Hopes' is as good as Sal says it is.

Chris Collins said...

Rather than the Stones hang it up, I still want to see them sit down and do something acoustic blues deal. That I would love. I think everyone would.

I'm really looking forward to Rosanne Cash's album.

Is it too much to hope for Paul and Tommy to release something great as The Replacements again.

charlie c. said...

I would like to:
- break my habit of purchasing a cd, listening to it once, and then filing it away, both physically and mentally
- i would like my "stuff to listen to pile" to shrink, rather than grow, breed, replicate or whatever it seems to do when left to its own devices
- read Burning Wood every day
- not rush out and purchase someone else's "Top 10 List" to feed that "stuff to listen to pile". I mean, I still have the best of 2009 to get through, so why add to the problem here?!? It is fun though, because I can 'discover' an artist that has long since gone on to other things . . .
- organize my music collection (maybe a monolithic external hard drive, linked to some cloud or the other, which i could easily start to do if i could come to terms with what format i want to use . . .)
- order Sal's 10 best list from Amazon, start a new, distinct "stuff to listen to pile" and . . . .

charlie c. said...

Oh yeah - the Batdorf & Rodney reunion and the 2014 New York Guitar Festival. I am pretty stoked about both of those . . . .

Noam Sane said...

January brings a new Jim Campilongo record. February, new Cibo Matto.
From March on, everything is gonna suck.

Anonymous said...

I have tickets for Cate LeBon this month and Primal Scream at Warsaw in the dreaded North Brooklyn in May, looking forward to those shows. If the KInks were to do some shows, I would do my best to get tickets. Ray did sound kinda kreaky on Jools Holland's show last week. I was lucky enough to see The Kinks on the Sleepwalker tour and I saw Ray with Yo La Tengo in 2000 at the Jane St Theater, so I can't complain. I want to hear the new East India Youth out later this month too.


Anonymous said...

@Noam Things won't suck if you Know Your Chicken!! Lesley

Anonymous said...

now that Ken mentions it, I've never understood why New West/Austin City Limits doesn't release the whole Alejandro Escovedo show from "The Boxing Mirror" period on cd/dvd.

always wonder if Cheri Wright, Girl in a Coma, Trail of Dead, and Dead Confederate (lately produced by David Barbe!) will find their way to releasing another album. John Doe and the Drive By Truckers I can count on.

Dave in SF said...

Happy New Year Burning Wood!
I love visiting your blog and so appreciate the great music that you share. What I am looking forward to 2014 is Dave and Phil Alvin's record, coming out in June, called, "Common Ground: Dave and Phil Alvin sing the songs of Big BIll Bronzy." What will be even more special is the tour that follows. If you love the Blasters, you know why this will be a special recording and tour. Dave in SF