April 10 Music Diary

The big finish is more of a whimper. Day was filled with phone calls, motor racing and footie; I only got to hear one album while I was doing some chores.

Hawkwind – On Sundown bootleg

I love me some vintage space rock. Many days, I think Hawkwind from 70-74 is the greatest band to ever walk the Earth, or at least hover a few inches above the surface. This recording is from December 30, 1972 at Brixton Sundown; arguably, the peak of their not inconsiderate power (some of these performances were cleaned up and used on Space Ritual). Check out this intersteller setlist: “Electronic #1”, “Orgone Accumulator”, “Upside Down”, “Sonic Attack”, “Time We Left This World Today”, “10 Seconds Of Forever”, “Brainstorm”, “Seven By Seven”, “Master Of The Universe”, and “Welcome To The Universe”.

I just did some research on the web and it appears this is a boot of an actual release – Space Ritual Sundown, Vol. 2. With such a mess of discography I’m not surprised I missed this in the clutter, detritus, flotsam & jetsam of Hawklore. I know what I’ll be ordering from my local shop tomorrow. This show is awesome.


April 9 Music Diary

This morning, I listened to an artist my friend Todd pipped me to – Doctor P. I don’t know anything else but the name and song titles, and that it is commonly referred to as dubstep. I think all the tracks are from the last few years:

Doctor P – Assorted Songs

Doctor P – “Sweet Shop” *I didn’t like this and was worried about the others. It was a false alarm.*

Doctor P & Flux Pavillion – “Stinkfinger”

Doctor P – “Neon”

Doctor P – Rasputin’s Gold”

Doctor P – “Gargoyle”

Doctor P – “Black Books”

I wasn’t feeling great, so after doing the bare modicum of chores I settled in with a book and something a little less beat driven.

Popul Vuh – Aguirre soundtrack

Popol Vuh – “Aguirre I”

Popol Vuh – “Morgengruss II”

Popol Vuh – “Aguirre II”

Popol Vuh – “Agnus Dei”

Popol Vuh – “Vergegenwärtigung”

Popol Vuh – “Aguirre III”

It’s Popol Vuh, it’s a soundtrack to the Herzog film, and it’s tasteful moog and mellotron madness. Sums it up quite nicely.

April 8 Music Diary

Lots of stuff today! Was out and about running errands, so it was time for the ipod and the dreaded shuffle. I needed a slow, comfy wakeup this morning, so I chose my playlist of the Simon and Garfunkel catalog with the first three Simon solo records. Here’s how it went, with a few quick comments.

Simon, Simon and Garfunkel: An Itunes Playlist

Paul Simon – “Silent Eyes”

Paul Simon – “Duncan” *one of my favorite songs of all time*

Simon and Garfunkel – “Punky’s Dilemma”

Simon and Garfunkel – “The Sound Of Silence”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Fakin’ It”

Simon and Garfunkel – “The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Keep The Customer Satisfied”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Cecelia”

Simon and Garfunkel – “A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission)”

Paul Simon – “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” *all about Steve Gadd’s drums. amazing*

Paul Simon – “You’re Kind”

Paul Simon – “Have A Good Time”

Simon and Garfunkel – “The 50th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”

Paul Simon – “Me And Julio Down By The School Yard [Demo]”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Bookends Theme”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Cloudy” *the Association’s “Windy” blows the clouds away*

Simon and Garfunkel – “Mrs. Robinson”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Scarborough Fair/Canticle”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream”

Paul Simon – “St. Judy’s Comet”

Paul Simon – “Everything Put Together Falls Apart”

Simon and Garfunkel – “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Sparrow” *kinda loathe this*

Simon and Garfunkel – “Overs”

Simon and Garfunkel – “At The Zoo”

Paul Simon – “Something So Right”

Paul Simon – “Paranoia Blues [Unreleased Version]” *man, the solo records are sooo good*

Simon and Garfunkel – “You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lies”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Richard Cory”

Paul Simon – “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard”

Paul Simon – “Learn How To Fail”

Paul Simon – “Slip Slidin’ Away [Demo]” *he’s a dick for not attaching the hit version to an album after all these years. I don’t own it as I refuse to buy a greatest hits for one track*

Simon and Garfunkel – “Song For The Asking”

After lunch I decided I’d had enough folky goodness; with the sun beating down and spring nigh sprung, I  went for the sunny summer majesty of Diamond Dave era Van Halen. Another playlist, another shuffle.

Van Halen (No Hagar The Horrible): An Itunes Playlist

Van Halen – “Could This Be Magic?”

Van Halen – “In A Simple Rhyme”

Van Halen – “Girl Gone Bad”*I can’t decide if they’re aiming for In Through The Out Door Zep or contemporary Rush with this cut. A real outlier in their sound*

Van Halen – “I’ll Wait”

Van Halen – “I’m The One”

Van Halen – “The Full Bug” *Diver Dud‘s highpoints are lower than any other Van Halen record*

Van Halen – “Take Your Whiskey Home” *Women And Children First, on the other hand, is all killer and no filler*

Picked up my wife mid-afternoon and we chatted all the way home. Good day all around.

April 7 Music Diary

I wasn’t fooling anyone with the hopeful Daytime in the title so out it goes.

Various Artists – Sky Sports Premier League Season in Review 1992-93

This morning I decided to start the day with Sky Sports recap of the 1992-93 Premier League season. I’ve become a big footie fan over the past several years but my history of the game is rather pitiful. Sky began broadcasting with this particular season and produced a nice summary with highlights and such. It’s a time capsule of much more than soccer, as big news events are mentioned (Di left Charles, Tyson goes to prison) and there is a music bed of prime cuts from that year and the several that proceeded it. This is some of what I noted:

Simple Minds – “Alive And Kicking” (the theme for the season, repeated a lot)

U2 – “Even Better Than The Real Thing”

Stereo MC’s – “Connected”

Kriss Kross – “Jump”

Blur – “Boys & Girls”

Primal Scream – “Movin’ On Up”

Snap! – “Rhythm Is A Dancer”

The Spin Doctors – “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”

R.E.M. – “Everybody Hurts (played behind Brian Clough’s retirement and Forest’s relegation)

Monty Python – “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” (behind a blooper reel)

Beck – “Loser”

This last was a real surprise. Though released on a small label in March of ’93, it didn’t break until re-released by Geffen the following spring. Maybe it hit in the UK on initial release, I don’t know.

Blood Ceremony – Living With Ancients

Had to clear the 90s fug by playing a new album that sounds like it came out in 1972. This just gets better with each spin; the delicious blend of clean heavy riffs, cheesy keyboards, and a female singer who breaks out a flute. Yeah, a flute. They’ve hit on a nice blend of Sabbath and Tull without going fully heavy or fully prog, something they didn’t quite reach on the debut. Check out “Coven Tree”.

Brocas Helm – Defender Of The Crown

More classic sounding modern metal. This is more late 70s/early 80s than Blood Ceremony, and rocks a bit harder. The influence is more Conan and D&D than Hammer horror films. Not the most prolific band, they’ve managed three studio records and a live album in over 25 years of existence. This, their latest, came out in 2004.

Cauldron – Burning Fortune

Today ended up a retro metal extravaganza. I fired this up after lunch, and bathed in the lycra and studded belts of 1983. These Canadiens use the technology of today to sound like music from before they were born (I’m guessing at that; I know they’re young, and barely two albums into a promising career). Once I found out they covered Black ‘N Blue’s “Chains Around Heaven” on their debut I was smitten. Only thing I feel obligated to knock them for is their enunciation on “Tears Have Come”. The singer slurs the words a bit and the chorus really, really sounds like “Tears of cum”.

April 6 Music Diary: Daytime

Still not listening at night; social time with my wife hasn’t included tunes.

Neither did today.

Vendela – “Punk Rock Song”

Started the morning on youtube watching the video for this track. Two people I highly respect pimped this in the overnight hours so I was looking forward to it.

I have no idea what they’re hearing that I’m not; this struck me as weak fake nostalgia lyrics in generic Europop clothes. I hope to never hear this again.

That’s it. A day of minimal music.


April 5 Music Diary: The Daytime

I ended up listening to no music last night, but I figure it’s best to leave open the possibility.

Sound Opinions Podcast – Early Dylan and Lykke Li

Threw this on to background breakfast and my first cups of coffee. Almost always worth a listen, if only for the usual head shaking at Dero’s point of view, but this week was a dud. Nothing more needs be said about Dylan’s pre-electric years yet that doesn’t keep these two from following the well-paved roads of others. They both liked the new Lykke Li quite a bit, as do I.

The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck

My first listen – I picked it up last week but didn’t find myself the right time and mindset to give it a spin. I liked it, and think there are enough high points that I might grow to love it. I’m not sure about the running order; felt it didn’t flow particularly well, and the second track, “Birth Of Serpents”, was the one song that I didn’t care for much at all. High points: the run from “Age of Kings” to “High Hawk Season”, and from “For Charles Bronson” till the end. It ends with an instant classic; “Liza Forever Minnelli”, with Darnielle’s jazzy vocal phrasing, got an immediate replay. I look forward to living with this for a while, but my first impression isn’t as favorable as it was for their last album, The Life Of The World To Come.

Britney Spears – “I Wanna Go”

After I finished with The Mountain Goats around 9:30am, I was reading a thread on ILX that is all about Metal Mike Saunder’s thoughts on the new Britney album. This was embeded in it, so gave it a go. It’s a good song. She makes good pop, for the most part, so I wasn’t exactly surprised.

Lea Anna – “Kisses”

Another youtube from some thread on ILX. Nice pop dancehall, wish it wasn’t autotuned for no good reason.

Twisted Sister – “Under The Blade”

Back to iTunes. I needed a palate cleanser and to get in the mood for another first listen in a more hard rocking vein. I enjoy the first tow Twisted Sister albums a good deal, and “Under The Blade” is one of the great lost early 80s metal songs. Shoulda been huge, but the world wasn’t ready.

Wight – Wight Weedy Wight

Another German stoner metal band. Correction: another great German stoner metal band. Not sure what’s in the beer over there, but it seems year after year another band pops up from the soil of the Rhineland to swirl, bludgeon and groove into my ears. Six songs in 45 minutes of Sabbath-loving heavy metal. I just wish they had a North American distribution deal, but self-released records rarely do. Maybe All That Is Heavy will pick it up down the road.

Peter Wolf – Sleepless

A change of pace and sound after that glorious murk. I somehow slept on Peter Wolf’s move into laid-back country blues rocker (I’m not sure how to peg it; gracefully aging rock?), and this album is all killer and no filler. In the short time I’ve had it I’ve listened to it over and over, in many settings and following some rather diverse artists, and it never disappoints. I always knew he had impecable and eclectic taste but didn’t expect this from him after all this time. Apparently the followup to this 2002 album, last year’s Midnight Souvenirs, is nearly it’s equal. Guess I got to hear that one, too.

April 4 Music Diary: The Daytime

Sons And Daughters – “Silver Spell”

By 5:30am I’ve been up for hours. I saw late last night on ILX that there was new music from Sons And Daughters streaming on Soundcloud. Sat down to listen to “Silver Spell”, which turned out to be a minimalist sub-Low thing. I have some medium-high hopes for the upcoming Mirror, Mirror; this is not what I expected.

Judas Priest – Gods Of The East bootleg concert

I haven’t slept much, and at 5:45am I need to give my brain a kick. The other day I downloaded what was supposedly a cleaned-up version of the FM broadcast of a Judas Priest show from the Palladium in NYC back in ’79; since I already have a crappy, muddy version called The Ripper I figured I’d give Gods Of The East a go and judge for myself. Opens with “Hellbent For Leather” and I immediately notice that the pitch is off. It’s below where it should be withRob Halford coming across a bit huskier than is right, and the riffs seem flat and a touch slow. I can’t tell you how off it is (a semi-tone? Half an octave? Some other, more appropriate measure of “offness”?) but it’s noticeable.

I figure it could be that the tape it was recorded on is running slow so I soldier on. “Delivering The Goods” is next and it’s still and issue. By the fourth track, “The Ripper”, it’s getting annoying. I could just listen to Unleashed In The East, which may not be quite live but does come across at the right speed. Instead, I leave it on but go ahead and catch up on the news, pushing it to the background.

I’m bummed that I’m not going to keep this boot. Rob’s in a good mood, ass-kissing the crowd with lots off cheap local pops – “Where else are we going to end our American tour but New. York. City?” The quality of the recording is better than The Ripper but I don’t want to spend the time fiddling around with changing pitch and speed to make it worthwhile. The recording wraps up a little after 7:00am.

Guns ‘N’ Roses – “November Rain”

After lunch I spent some time watching youtube clips of Arvydas Sabonis, announced today as part of the class of 2011 at the basketball hall of fame. Loved his game. However, I have no idea why someone would use Guns ‘N’ Roses “November Rain” as the backing track for a series of highlights. Hard to believe this is nearly 20 years old. Damn. I’m going to bed.