Fraser and Debolt - s/t - Don't Let Me Down (1971)
A great Beatles cover from a great album that practically nobody has heard of. So I uploaded it to Youtube..
"One of the many sad secrets of the popular music business is the way this little gem languished in obscurity. It should have been heard by millions, but disappeared at the height of psychedelia." -Mark Allan(Allmusic)
also, some weirdo detroit proto-punk band called death, who only ever released one single in 1971 before turning into a gospel group, recently put out an album of their previously unavailable early 70's material on drag city. crazy stuff:
Speaking of the Condo Fucks, their new covers album Fuckbook isn’t that great, but I guess it’s not supposed to be. The trio, who are and are not the same band as Yo La Tengo, blaze through some raucous garage rock versions of lesser-known songs by well-known musicians (Elvis, Richard Hell, The Flamin’ Groovies), seemingly in one long take. It’s everything you’d expect from the title, which is pretty clever (YLT once released a covers album called Fakebook). It is so excessively ramshackle as to be innocuous, but also a nice reminder of Yo La Tengo’s rockin’er ambition(lessnes)s, and of the fact that Ira Kaplan’s praise of the Bad Brains in the liner notes for that band’s 1982 debut was more than academic.
The Isles’ Troika recalls the good old days of Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout, Felt, Orange Juice, and The Smiths, with a small debt to Beat Happening. But while I’m making imperfect comparisons, I’ll mention The Dears, a Canadian band whose music channels a later era of Brit-pop—Suede, Radiohead, Manic Street Preachers. Like The Dears, The Isles aren’t especially derivative, but they give the impression that they’ve had a dream of the ideal pop music, and upon waking can’t get it to sound quite as good. So Troika may only be 75% of the way there, but it’s well worth your while.
Continuing our trajectory toward the very best new music, here’s my album of the moment: Jeremy Jay’s Slow Dance is the one (they come along every year) that has helped make tangible, more than the weather, the impression that spring is here. As with last year’s “Alpharhythm” single, Jeremy Jay still wants nothing other than to dance, but these songs pulse with deeper emotion, as melancholic as the best of Lou Reed’s Transformer or Jonathan Richman’s early somber ballads. Like all the best pop music, the songs could not be simpler; occasional synths keep things interesting, and while Jeremy Jay has as unremarkable a personality as Lou Reed, his voice will make you hang on every word. Calvin Johnson produces, and does percussion on this one:
Neil Halstead played at the Turf Club last night. His music has grown increasingly folkier over the years, since his shoegazing trailblazing days with Slowdive in the early 90s. Judging by the show, his folkward tendencies haven't abated. That's not a bad thing, though, as his voice can be described by any number of adjectives that end in -ous: mellifluous, sonorous... glorious? Yes, that too. The evidence is on last year's quite nice Oh! Mighty Engine, which would be the Pink Moon to Sleeping on Roads's Bryter Layter if Halstead wasn't such an optimist.
I'm all for nostalgia trips by aging musicians, but the Turf show was something different, something better: a man who's moved on to something new, who doesn't play the old songs in the same way anymore. When he brought back--to my surprise--the Slowdive classic "Alison," once the greatest song of all time, to close the set, he didn't haul out the effects pedals, instead just turned it into a country song. It's funny now to look back at 1993...
As for the video, isn't it a bit rote? It's full of all the swirling images you'd expect, but not very creative aside from that, nor able to convey the song's great beauty. And there's something about seeing all those Alison stand-ins that deflates the legend a little bit. I'd prefer for her to remain as enigmatic as possible.
i'm not one of those josh homme fanboys--who if you've ever met one you know sure do love josh homme--but for the past couple days i've been playing "i wanna make it with chu" non-stop. it's a song from his desert sessions project, and one written and performed with the great pj harvey. a languid, sultry blues number, homme liked the track so much he later rerecorded it with queens of the stone age and released it as a single. the desert sessions version is the way to go, however, and this live version is pretty cool:
I think it was around this time last year, when spring was teasing us all, that I was listening to Massive Attack quite a bit. They're ideal for the month of March, when the world is bleak and happier days ahead seem (sometimes) imminent. They made some of the best produced music of the 1990s, and with the possible exception of Radiohead, had some of the most expensive looking videos. Here are the opening tracks from their first three albums, which are oddly all about the same thing, in a way.
"Safe From Harm"
Embedding for "Protection" is disabled, but suffice it to say it's maybe their best song, and I don't begin to understand how the one shot (?) video was pulled off.
a post-founder's day slump was averted this morning when my thermals 7" finally arrived in the mail. the killer first single/title track of the forthcoming and sure to be awesome fourth lp "now we can see" can be found here, so i thought i'd post a cool demo version of the single--which even in demo form sounds super-polished compared to the mind blowingly lo-fi "more parts per million," the band's first disc--and a demo of its b-side, "my world":