Monday, March 27, 2017

Elastica - Self-titled - 1995

Here's a little rocker from the mid-90s during the peak of Brit-Rock influence across America.  Oasis and Blur were at their prime, becoming legendary before our eyes.  With them, there were a host of bands that were picked up by labels from all over as almost a clarion call to the horror that was American Grunge.  Blech!  Grunge unfortunately shifted to American Alternative, but the Brit Rock scene really put out some awesome stuff, and Elastica was in that mix.

Admittedly, the album sorta wanes toward the end, but for the most part you have some solid numbers with some catchy hooks.  And Car Song, of course, is really sexy, too.  It's unfortunate that their follow-up albums didn't share the same magic as their debut, but it was to be expected.  They had a lifetime to write their first album, and only a year or two to write their second.  That is where the talent and skill really shines through.  I'm satisfied to see them as a one-hit-wonder, not a problem. Just another CD to add to my huge collection of awesome crunchy guitars with that thick Brit accent.

I received my Hall & Oates tracks today from Neil, so we are on pace to get a big H&O deluxe edition that will one up the official deluxe, on April 24th.  I am so stoked!  I'm half-tempted to try and push out the cover some time this week and post early, but we'll see how my week goes, first.


On a side note, my wife still has not found a job, and her unemployment compensation has run out.  So, we've got about a month before things get really scary, and we're out of cash.  We will see what happens, I guess.  For any of you who believe in a higher power, drop a line for our family, and maybe a miracle will occur.  We definitely need it....

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Billy Idol - Whiplash Smile - 1985

So, I'm in a quandary on how to describe this one.  Is this the last of his good albums?  Or is this the first of his bad albums?  I will say this, it was a pivotal album in his career, and once this one was released, it was all downhill.

By the time this came out, the mainstream Pop radio record labels were trying to capture what they considered "New Wave" and putting a more radio friendly twist on it.  All while sacrificing the true intent and meaning behind it.  Imagine, only 6 or 7 years before this album, Billy was a true punk in Generation X, making some great stuff.   Then....

I think we all remember when this one came out, or at least when we started hearing it on the radio.  Regardless of what I said in the above two paragraphs, I was only 14 and it was still Billy Idol to me.  He had the killer attitude with the pretty boy looks.  Being a young shy geek with pimples and a big nose, I was very jealous of him.  The best I could do was emulate the fine lad.  As well, this was the time when my parents took my "secular" music away, so all I had was a dubbed tape from a friend.  I was still always very impressed with him, even through his next release in 1990.  I think the cyberpunk album is where he completely lost it...

But, now, I think the fanbase and respect is still out there.  I mean, it's fucking Billy Idol.  I'd be happy to meet the guy or see a show.  I guess the best I can do now, is wear an Idol t-shirt.  Good enough for me.

As always, I've got it all on this one...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Peter Gabriel - Self-Titled - 1980

So, we still have house guests, and we are making plans for tonight, so I will get today's post out a little early, so I don't miss it.

Still working through PG's awesome self-titled albums, trying to name them so you can differentiate between the three.  I love his covers for his singles, which is why I continue to use them as the actual covers for the albums.  On this one in particular, I tried to leave the wear rings from the vinyl on the sleeves, so it looks more authentic and retro.  I think they are pretty cool this way, they look like records.

I was able to find three more tracks to add to this particular set. But, still no remixes of the singles.  I think a Dreamtime remix or McDoC remix of I Don't Remember or Games Without Frontiers would be spectacular.  But, just wishful thinking.

Tonight we are going to go roller skating with the kids.  I haven't been roller skating in ten years at least, which will be exciting for everyone else but me.  Imagine a middle-aged fat man trying to roll his fat ass around on eight little wheels.  Can anyone say busted hip?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oasis - Be Here Now - the Mustique Demos - 1997

These recordings were released with the 20th Anniversary Edition of Be Here Now.  I thought they deserved their own disc.  Although Noel has a pretty good voice for some of the tracks, I still prefer Liam's vocals over his any day.  Yes, Noel was (is?) a great song writer, Liam had the voice and swagger that made Oasis the monster that it was. 

These tracks are still great.

Mother-In-Law is in town this weekend, so I may or may not be posting.  We will see how much time I get to fuck around.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dali's Car - The Waking Hour - 1984

When it comes to my own discovery of music, I am so glad that I have the internet to help me.  I felt that I had been blind (and deaf) my entire life once I began exploring the diverse and expansive landscape of Rock & Roll from it's inception through today.  EVERY DAY I learn something new about OLD music that I didn't know before, and I feel like an archeologist or pirate or explorer on a quest for the hidden treasure that has yet to be uncovered.

So was the case of Dali's Car

Until I did some in-depth research on Discogs of Peter Murphy and all of his musical dealings, I had never heard of Dali's Car.  Never knew it existed at all.  It took me a while to find the nine songs that they recorded in 1984, barely a whole album.  I listened once or twice, then put it away.  A couple months later, I tried it out again.   This time while I was surfing the net late at night, all alone.  Better.  And better again.  It sounds like Experimental/Synth-pop/New Wave with a touch of late 70s Bowie and some of that late 70s Prog.  I'm not ready to say that I'm in love with it or anything, but it's enjoyable and very interesting.

I'm sure when it was released, people were surprised because it is a far cry from what Murphy had done previously.  As for Karn, it seemed like an extension of his work with Sylvian in Japan.  I can only imagine what the fans of Bauhaus were thinking, though...

The great thing about it, is when I finally discovered it in 2009, a full 25 years after it's release, it didn't really sound that dated.  Partially due to the fact that Murphy has that universal and classical vocal style that never goes out of style.

I never heard their 2012 follow-up, after Karn's death.  It would be interesting to hunt it down and see how it holds up with this set.  I'm sure it's a cherry.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stereolab - Dots & Loops - 1997

Dots & Loops came out when I was working for a restaurant chain as a troubleshooter traveling across the midwest working in various locations.  I think I've already discussed this before, so I won't go over it again.  The albums that came out that I listened to non-stop during that time were Medazzeland, OK Computer, Monaco's Music For Pleasure, Urban Hymns and this one, Dots & Loops by Stereolab. 

This was the second album I ever purchased of theirs.  The first one was Mars Audiac Quintet because of the song Pong (saw the video for Pong on 120 Minutes and had to get the album.) I've never been a huge fan of their music, but I love the covers of their albums.  They are always extremely unique, creative and attractive.  When this one came out, I was driving a lot, and purchased it on cassette as I didn't have a CD player in my car at the time (don't get me started.)  I listened to this puppy A LOT.  As I said, I'm not a huge fan of their music, but this is my favorite album by them.

As you can see, this is just the b-sides, mixes and guest tracks that they either mixed or Lætitia Sadier was guest vocals from the same year as the album.  It makes for not just a complete set of their work from the album sessions, but also their direct influence with other artists and bands.  And, it all sounds good, all together.

I have still purchased every Stereolab release, as they've come out, and I am still not a huge fan.  It's because they are good to listen to for a couple tracks at a time before you get sick of them.  Large doses are impossible for me.  But, I get everything.  I like all the covers, and I've liked everything that they've released.  They are an acquired taste and a respect for their longevity and style.  It's unfortunate that they called it quits in 2009, though.  They claimed to have gone on hiatus, and promised to update their website, but nothing has been done to their site since that date.  People still post in their forum, but the band themselves are kaput.  Lætitia Sadier has released solo material, and the "current" members are either working on other projects or aren't doing anything at all....