Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lost on the freeway again

Sorry. I've been sick. And just when that "Song of the Day" thing was going so well. Well, I thought so. Mystery virus, unstoppable dry cough combined with fevers and drenching sweats. I save my antibiotic intake for events like this, so had no hesitation when Doctor Steve wrote the prescription. The cough is hanging on, but much less pervasive. Temperature normal, fitness levels critically low. Hanging in there.

Hell, I even had to miss an episode of "Life On Mars".

Normal transmission will resume. Some time.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ridiculous photo caption of the week

From an article on the BBC website about the mayor of an American town banning a certain type of clothing:

"Low-slung trousers are fashionable among some young people"


Whereas, what I really wanted to know was what exactly is going on in the Gaza Strip right about now, and, parenthetically, what it might mean for the fate of the kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Song of the day

"Smoking Her Wings" by The Bats. If "Pink Frost" wasn't so darned perfect in every way, this would be a strong candidate for Greatest Song Of All Time To Have Come Out Of Dunedin. Which, contrary to what you may think, is not an insignificant achievement.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Song of the day

"Rainin Paradize" by Manu Chao. It's hard to believe that it's six years since "Clandestino" knocked me sideways on first listen. It's impossible now to recreate the sheer "what the"-ness of that moment, but now we have a taster for the next album, which Mr Chao is very generously offering as a free download on his website. It's not itself going to set the world on fire but it is nice to have something new to chew over. Thanks go to SFJ for the tip.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Song of the day

"King Street" by John Kennedy, because it's kind of nice to be unexpectedly reduced to tears by a "mere" pop song.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Song of the day

Today's song is "Memories Can't Wait" by Talking Heads, from their 1979 album "Fear of Music". We give thanks to the great god of CD remastering for his tremendous work on the Talking Heads back catalogue. I still maintain that "Remain In Light" is their magnum opus, but the new, clear "Fear of Music" highlights just how innovative they were sound-wise. David Byrne has said that they tried to make each album sound distinctive, which is not always noticeable when listening to it by way of well-worn vinyl.

"Memories Can't Wait" works especially well on the new CD, as I no longer have to cringe at the unintended distortion when the stylus cannot cope with the extended frequencies adopted. The song reappears in its original pristine glory, a testament to the works of the great god of studio jiggery-pokery, Brian Eno. Probably very few Talking Heads fans would have had stereos in 1979 that could do justice to what he created. Now we know.

The only downside of the CD is that it doesn't come with the embossed faux-linoleum of the original record cover. But that's why you should keep your vinyl collection irrespective of how much you replace with digital media.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bob Dylan predicts the future

In "Dylan On Dylan", there is a transcript of the televised 1965 San Francisco press conference, parts of which, if I have my facts straight, were included in Scorsese's "No Direction Home" documentary. Dylan's answers are variously unhelpful, cryptic, scornful, obtuse and contemptuous. In short, reading it is a hoot. One question and answer, however, necessitates a double-take on the part of the 2007 reader:
Question: If you were going to sell out to a commercial interest, which one would you choose?

Dylan: Ladies garments.
And it came to pass that, in 2004, Bob Dylan appeared, for money, presumably, in an advertisement for Victoria's Secret, purveyor of, yes, "ladies' garments".

[It is probably safe to assume that the missing apostrophe in Dylan's answer is not the fault of Dylan himself, although as what we are reading is someone else's transcription of what he said, we will never know. It is hard to recognise a spoken apostrophe.]

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Song of the day

"Impossible Germany" by Wilco. The new Wilco album, "Sky Blue Sky", has generated rather a lot of hate amongst the hipster blogniscenti. Luckily, I was able to decide that I liked it before reading any of that. And I am not about to change my mind. (But then, I am possibly not the person to ask, given that my favourite Jeff Tweedy projects are Wilco's "Summerteeth", the Woody Guthrie project "Mermaid Avenue", and the first Loose Fur record.) What were they expecting? Battles, perhaps? (More about Battles anon.) Anyway, the second half of "Impossible Germany", or maybe the final two-thirds, is the best example of the Television methodology that I have heard since, well, since Television.

You're A Good Man, Jeffrey Brown

In which Jeffrey Brown, "cartoonist", takes a poem, adds images to it, and finished up with something of a depth that mere words, even poetry, cannot convey.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Song of the day

Kathy Diamond, "Between The Lines": it's not exactly disco, but not exactly not disco. It is too dark of hue, too redolent of early-80s post-punk navel-gazing, to inspire many conga lines. Imagine Magazine's take on "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)" but with a (slightly) more cheerful, female singer on board. In fact, if you told me that the bass on this could well pass for Barry Adamson, I wouldn't raise any doubts. (But then, I've always been the gullible kind.)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Song of the day

"New Bully in the Town" by the Laughing Clowns. Four minutes of music so intense, so kinetic, it will leave you needing a cup of tea and a lie down. Did I ever tell you that Jeffrey Wegener is the greatest rock'n'roll drummer in the history of the universe? (Oh, yeah, I think I did.) This song is the proof.

Friday, June 01, 2007