Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Queen B*tch

So, I finally rented The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the latest Wes Anderson movie. It's enjoyable, although it doesn't stack up to Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums. Nevertheless, it's got some notable musical highlights. First, one of Steve Zissou's crew members is played by a Brazilian guitarist named Seu Jorge, who plays various David Bowie songs on the acoustic guitar on-screen in the background throughout the movie. The catch is that he sings them all in Portuguese! In addition, the closing credits are set to an early Bowie song that I wasn't familiar with -- Queen Bitch, originally on Hunky Dory. It's up-tempo with an incredibly catchy guitar riff that sent me scrambing to AllMusic.com the minute the credits were over. You may already know it but, to be honest, my knowledge of Bowie doesn't stray too far from Changesbowie and Let's Dance.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Ponys

The Ponys, my current favorite Chicago band, have a new album out produced by Steve Albini called Celebration Castle continuing their Richard Hell, Velvet Underground revival style. Strong reviews and many stand out cuts including Glass-Conversation. Also here is a track from the previous album Little-Friends.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The National

Read the review of a concert with The National and then listened to the new album Alligator, which is solid outting. Reminds me of Lloyd Cole. Also sounds a bit like the Tindersticks, both the singing and in places the violin like the track Val Jester, but The National are more uptempo on many songs than Tindersticks. The drumming on the album is great. You can stream the entire album or can download songs from their previous albums - Wasp Nest, Slipping_husband, Murder_me_rachael, Cold_girl_fever.

Live Bob Dylan

Saw him on 60 minutes last weekend and began listening to Blonde on Blonde again and then read that on his website, you can stream old and recent concerts.

Will write more after listening to this...

New Albums from Old Standbys

So there has been a flurry of new music released...some quick thoughts...

Coldplay - Nothing new covered in this album. If you like the old stuff, you'll like the new. I used to hate Radiohead for ever leaving The Bends era but now after listening to X&Y, I completely understand why they did...that said White Shadows and Low are both solid tunes. Also recently listened to the Live album from a couple of years ago, the songs Moses and One I Love are both very solid and should be added to the collection if you like Coldplay. I do have the Joshua Tree feeling with this band, which is, I like the album but cannot stand the band for now. Way, way overblown. Perhaps they will recover and turn out their Achtung Baby and make me think they are the coolest band on the planet, but throughout the album I kept having the same tough time as when I heard "I Still Haven't Found What I Am Looking For" and thought, if you haven't found what you are looking for when you appear on the cover of Time, Newsweek and every other magazine on the face of the earth, while pocketing millions and getting to tour to any city on earth you have ever wanted to see, well you are never going to find it.

Oasis - see above...though this new album Don't Believe the Truth is a quantum leap better than recent albums. It appears that they are actually trying to make good music again instead of snorting and injecting away their talent. I like The Meaning of Soul and Turn Up the Sun quite a bit.

New Order - Like this the most of the three. I agree with Drew that the early days are long gone but Waiting for the Sirens Call and Hey Now What You Doing both made me smile...

Just downloaded Ryan Adams, White Strips, and Gorillaz so more about them soon.

Astral

A recommendation from Lee...the band Astral and the album Orchids out of my own San Francisco...owing a huge debt to Joy Division and the early days of The Cure. Their album is called Orchids and the first two songs on the album are unbelievable - Barreling and Blinding. If that does not whet your appetite than stop there...the album is available on Rhapsody and iTunes.

They have a couple of songs available for down load at IUMA...

The Go-Betweens

I went and saw the Go-Betweens at Slim's on Friday night. For those who remember, the Go-Betweens were an 80s band from Australia, who had mild success stateside. They resurfaced a couple of years ago and just put on the new album Oceans Apart, which I highly recommend, (as others have...

The concert was very, very entertaining. My favorite part was near the end where four or five 40 something year old guys, all bald and overweight, got in a huge scuffle at the front of the show, stopping the music temporarily until order was restored. What causes such unrest?

Here are two live cuts from their website - Right Here and He Lives My Life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Teenage Fanclub

The great Scottish power pop band Teenage Fanclub has come out with a new album called Man-Made. The first single, It's All In My Mind can be downloaded from Insound.com. The new album, which I've downloaded from eMusic.com, is getting good reviews. It's definitely more on the "pop" end of power pop, but I like it. Time Stops, Slow Fade, and Cells are some other good songs to check out, especially if you are nostalgic for Teenage Fanclub's older, harder-rocking, more overtly-influenced by Big Star stuff. You can read more about Teenage Fanclub on AllMusic.com.

Friday, June 10, 2005

10 worst album covers of all time

This is pretty funny stuff, if you haven't already seen it. Be sure to check out the 2nd 10 albums on the next page (follow the Next Entry link at the bottom). Do you own any of these?