Song of the Week, 8/11/2018

Posted in Song of the week on August 11th, 2018 by bill

I’ve been in an apocalyptic mood this week after reading the brilliant, illuminating, and horribly depressing special issue of the New York Times magazine about the brief period in the 70s and 80s when it looked like we were actually going to do something about climate change.

Spoiler alert: We didn’t, and this summer half of California is on fire. Some might say that you can’t draw a direct line between carbon emissions and wildfires. Maybe so. I’d love to think that all the climate change skeptics are right, because if they’re not, we’re fucked.

We’re probably fucked.

Well, at least we can have an entertaining soundtrack for the end times, as long as the electricity holds out. This demented scorcher from Bauhaus’s 2008 reunion album is a good place to start.

Song of the Week, 7/15/2018

Posted in Because he's David Bowie, that's why, Song of the week on July 15th, 2018 by bill

Saw this on the big screen in the chill-out room at the David Bowie Is exhibit on Friday, and Had a Moment:

Song of the Week, 7/1/2018

Posted in Song of the week on July 1st, 2018 by bill

Song of the Week, 6/10/2018

Posted in Song of the week on June 10th, 2018 by bill

Just got back from a week in Kansas City, where we had a good old time hanging out with the Old Man and his lovely wife. As it happened — well, as I planned it — both David Byrne and Ween were in town at the same time as us, and so we had a couple of full-on rock’n’roll experiences with the folks in tow.

Byrne was touring in support of his new album American Utopia, but he was kind enough to favor us with a half-dozen Talking Heads songs, including “Once in a Lifetime,” “I Zimbra,” “Naive Melody,” and “Burning Down the House.” Some of his new material was quite good too, but there is simply no matching the power of those classics. A full-on Heads reunion seems to be out of the question, so I guess that’s as close as we’ll get.

The Ween show was a bit disappointing; both the acoustics and the selection of material left something to be desired. Though we did get great renditions of “Ocean Man,” “Big Jilm,” and “Piss Up the Rope.” Thanks to the latter, I can now say that I’ve heard 2,000 Midwesterners enthusiastically singing “On your knees you big booty bitch, start sucking.” Which is nice.

We ended up leaving during the first encore, and so not until I looked at the set list later did I learn that they had closed with one of my very favorites, “Buenos Tardes Amigo.” So it goes. On the whole, I can’t complain.

Song of the Week, 5/26/2018

Posted in Song of the week on May 26th, 2018 by bill

This week’s song is actually two — the first two songs on Bad Company’s 1979 album Desolation Angels. These are guilty pleasures to be sure, weighted down with a heavy load of the hoariest rock’n’roll cliches. But I feel happy every time I hear them, so fuck that noise. Rock’n’roll!

Song of the Week, 5/13/2018

Posted in Song of the week on May 13th, 2018 by bill

This song by Air wins hands down the prize for best combination of electronics and banjo — not that there’s much competition. Four minutes and forty-two seconds of pure aural pleasure. But be sure to listen to it in stereo, and as loud as possible; on tinny computer speakers the whole point is lost.

Song of the Week, 4/21/2018

Posted in Somebody's birthday, Song of the week on April 21st, 2018 by bill

James Newell Osterberg Jr., a/k/a Iggy Pop, turns 71 today. Who would have guessed that, of these three guys,

BowieIggyLouReed_2_DorchesterHotel_London1972_3040cMickRock036_l

he would be the last man standing? How does he keep on going, when by all rights he should have been dead decades ago? Must be that… lust for life.

Song of the Week, 3/24/2018

Posted in Song of the week on March 24th, 2018 by bill

It’s true, you know. The question is, will we?

Song of the Week, 3/4/2018

Posted in Song of the week on March 4th, 2018 by bill

The producers of the surrealist Dylan quasi-biopic I’m Not There made some inspired pairings of song and artist for the soundtrack album, but none more than this one. Who could be more suited to the sneering hipster takedown “Ballad of a Thin Man” than erstwhile Pavement leader Stephen Malkmus? He’s never sounded better, and neither has it.

Song of the Week, 2/11/2018

Posted in Song of the week on February 11th, 2018 by bill

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Fall since Mark E. Smith shuffled off the coil a couple weeks back. They did a lot of great — if often abrasive and difficult — stuff in their early and later years, but my favorite period is the 80s. For most of that decade Mark E.’s wife, the aptly named Brix, stirred a little sweetness into the pot of warlocks’ brew, creating something that occupied a unique place on the noise/pop spectrum. The 2-CD compilation 458489 B-Sides, which collects just the B-sides of their 45s from 1984 to 1989, is a ludicrously deep well of dark delights. To wit:

McGinty thought he could fool The Fall
With his imitation speeds
But he had not accounted for
The psychic nose
And did not know
There are no big shots on the rock
And even if there were
McGinty
Would not be
Among them