THANK YOU AXL.
20 November 2008
One sentence-or-so/grade each:
Fennesz - Black Sea (Touch; 2008): Sound of God speaking through a vocoder. A+
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles (Warp; 2008): Sound of God rapping through a vocoder. A-
Lil Wayne - Dedication 3 (internet mixtape; 2008): Sound of Lil Wayne rapping through a vocoder, badly. Sound of Lil Wayne's friends rapping without vocoder, badly. D
Belle and Sebastian - BBC Sessions (Matador; 2008): Early B&S, which is like the part of the biopic where Buddy Holly's got the band in the garage back in Lubbock, looking for that damn cricket. Before dying in a plane crash with the Big Bopper and Richie Valens. B
Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil (Vice; 2007): Good things happen when you put down the sugar packets, write songs. B+
Squarepusher - Music Is Rotted One Note (Warp; 1998): The album Miles Davis never made because he's dead and not into techno. A
Wire - Document and Eyewitness (Mute; 1981): Band slags fans live with bizarre unrecorded material; worth it all for the "12XU" bait-and-switch. B-
John Martyn - Solid Air (Island; 1973): GF: "Is this guy black?" B
Lou Reed - Street Hassle (RCA; 1978): LR: "I wanna be black." BS: "Tramps like us, baby we were born to pay." B+
The Beatles - The Beatles ("The White Album") (Capitol; 1968): Credit where credit's due: there is no 40th anniversary edition of this record, so you're already caught up on the plot. A+
10 November 2008
Black Flag - Live '84 (SST): Found this in the used bin at Other Music where some asshole traded it in for cash....SUCKA. I now own two Flag albums, the other being 1981's Damaged. The reason for this shortage on my part is that for some reason, no matter where ya go, Black Flag records list for $15.99 or better (except for on iTunes and Amazon mp3, but subcultures thrive on tangible objects as a neat visual shorthand for transgression, so fuck it). Live '84 is a mammoth 70-minute document of a show in San Francisco featuring the Ginn-Rollins-Kira-Stevenson line-up, and hostility is in the air. First up is "The Process of Weeding Out", a clangorous eight-and-a-half minute instrumental that reads as the virtual antithesis of hardcore-the-music, but might evince hardcore-the-attitude more than any other track on here. "Weeding Out", from an instrumental EP of the same name, was intended to do just that: cull the ranks of Black Flag fans of unworthies I suppose. The rest of the record is more traditionally straight-ahead, but traditionally straight-ahead for Black Flag was to wrap a length of razor wire around the audiences neck and tighten it. A good night for a punch up.
Crystal Stilts - Alight of Night (Slumberland): The record label should have tipped me off. If the Raveonettes are the Jesus and Mary Chain taken one step closer to Spector-esque girl-pop glory, Crystal Stilts are JAMC with both feet in the
Lou Reed - Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse (Matador): The soundtrack to Julian Schnabel's rock doc about Reed's 2006 restaging of his failed 1973 glam-popera follow up to Transformer. The original Berlin was decadent, attempting to spin Reed's junkie chic into, I don't know, Tommy or something. The result, though studded with gems like "Lady Day", "Men of Good Fortune", and "Caroline Says II" was, for the most part, lugubriousness incarnate, a tour de force of depression and misanthropy. Needless to say, it tanked back then. Here, however, Berlin comes off as a minor work of genius. The difference is in Lou Reed's voice, which has been ruined by years of neglect, misuse, and abuse (it even seems to have developed a little bit of a...twang?). Rather than the jaded omnipresence of his younger years, Reed now evinces regretful hindsight, investing his story-songs with a previously-lacking emotional resonance. Old wine in new bottles.