Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
LABEL: Corwood Industries
TRACK LISTING: Down in a Mirror, European Jewel, Unconditional Authority, Poor Boy, You Think You Know How To Score, Nancy Sings, No Break, Mostly All From You, Blue Blister, The Times, Love Love, The First End
IMPRESSIONS: I don't know if it's possible to choose a "favourite Jandek album" and, if it is, I don't think this would be mine. However, it's presence here is of course due almost entirely to the earth-shaking appearance of "Nancy Sings" which, for Jandek fans (and there actually was such a thing even back in 1982) it was the first nuclear explosion in the Jandek catalogue. Up until now, listeners had gotten pretty much nothing but single guitar strumming with Jandek's droning vocal underneath. Therefore it was a huge impact when the last song on side one suddenly and without warning featured a female voice! Wow! Jandek actually knows another human being and is not barricaded in some cabin in the woods alone and spooky. It was the first inkling that the performer was a social animal . . . at least to some small extent. The placing of "Nancy Sings" at the end of side one was perfect sequencing in the days of vinyl. The stunned listener could have time to recover from the shock before flipping the record over and listening to side two. The album opener "Down in a Mirror" is also a favourite Jandek track but how can one focus on anything besides "Nancy Sings"; everyone's favourite Jandek song!
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Down in a Mirror, You Think You Know How To Score, Nancy Sings
GUEST ARTISTS: Nancy, of course. . . whomever she may be.
FACT SHEET: Corwood Industries release No. 0742 CHAIR BESIDE A WINDOW is Jandek's 4th album. The mysterious and reclusive performer (whose name is NOT Jandek) was just embarking on an incredibly prolific career releasing sometimes multiple albums a year; he is, in fact, one of the most prolific recording artists in history and is still going strong. Since 1981, he's released at least one album per year and usually there have been several. The enigmatic album covers which feature oddly artistic "non-photos" of a person we presume is the artist himself or else seemingly random objects or locations are bona fide pieces of artwork in themselves. For the full skinny on Jandek's work and career, see the acclaimed documentary JANDEK ON CORWOOD as well as the link to the Jandek website in the righthand column of links on our sister blog "The Land of Cerpts and Honey".
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
TRACK LISTING: Where Do the Children Play?, Hard Headed Woman, Wild World, Sad Lisa, Miles From Nowhere, But I Might Die Tonight, Longer Boats, Into White, On the Road To Find Out, Father and Son, Tea For the Tillerman
IMPRESSIONS: Another of my favourite all-time albums which I've been listening to since I was knee high to a zygote. Truthfully every single song is my favourite. Strangely enough, despite the fact it's one of my favourite albums of all time I don't have anything to say about it other than it's a superb listen and shouldn't be missed.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Hard Headed Woman, Sad List, Miles From Nowhere, Longer Boats, Into White, Tea For the Tillerman
FACT SHEET: TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN is Cat Stevens' fourth album and his second album in the year 1970. It was the LP which blew him up in the US where he previously got very little play. As usual, Cat Stevens did the cover painting. "But I Might Die Tonight" was featured in the 1970 Jerzy Skolimowsky film "DEEP END" and four songs ("Where Do the Children Play?", "On the Road to Find Out", "Miles From Nowhere" and "Tea For the Tillerman") were featured in Hal Ashby's 1971 film "HAROLD AND MAUDE" along with many other songs from Steven's then catalogue.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Moonlight Serenade, Sunrise Serenade, Stairway To the Stars, In the Mood, Indian Summer, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Anvil Chorus, Song of the Volga Boatmen, Perfidia, A String of Pearls, At Last, (I've Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo, Serenade In Blue, Juke Box Saturday Night
FACT SHEET: Pearl Jam was formed from the remnants of the group Mother Love Bone. Ten is Pearl Jam's first album. In 2009, a "deluxe" edition was released containing two cds and 1 dvd: cd 1 contains the original remastered album, cd 2 contains a new remixed version and the dvd features the legendary MTV Unplugged performance.
Friday, July 22, 2011
TRACK LISTING: Ommadawn (Part One), Ommadawn (Part Two)
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
TRACK LISTING: Our Lips Are Sealed, The Tunnel of Love, The Pressure of Life (Takes the Weight Off the Body), Things We Do, The Farmyard Connection, Murder She Said, The More I See (The Less I Believe), Going Home, We're Having All the Fun, Well Fancy That!
IMPRESSIONS: I was always a fan of The Specials and the late 70's ska craze so I loved Fun Boy Three. The music on WAITING still has that moody atmospheric sound from The Specials but is also quite danceable. On top of that, they hide biting lyrics which comment on the social foibles of the day. Back in the day, my mother and I played this album often. The moaning, groaning sound of their cover of the Go-Go's hit "Our Lips Are Sealed" was a revelation (co-written by secret lovers Jane Wiedlin and Terry Hall) while "The Farmyard Connection" was hilarious fun. Tracks like "Things We Do" and "The Tunnel of Love" were little snapshots of sometimes bleak early-80's England which somehow managed to have a sense of bemusement; things never got too depressing. Terry Hall's impassive and immobile face probably had something to do with eliminating any sense of "woe is me" wallowing. Whenever I hear this album I am immediately rocketed back to the early 80's and high school. WAITING was awarded the retroactive honourary Penguin Award for Album of the Year.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Our Lips Are Sealed, The Tunnel of Love, Things We Do, The Farmyard Connection, Murder She Said, The More I See (The Less I Believe), We're Having All the Fun
GUEST ARTISTS: David Byrne plays guitar as well as producing and mixing
FACT SHEET: Fun Boy Three emerged from the wreckage of The Specials. Formed by Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding, the band still only lasted a mere two albums (sadly); WAITING was their second and final album. The songwriting and production is less "doom and gloom" and more light and poppy without losing any of the lyrical sharpness. "Our Lips Are Sealed" and "Tunnel of Love" were both Top 20 UK hits while only "Our Lips Are Sealed" became a single in America with heavy rotation on MTV. The instrumental "Murder She Said" is a cover of the theme music for the Agatha Christie/Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford. After the release of WAITING, the group toured the US and promptly disbanded afterwards. The album is produced and mixed by the Talking Heads' David Byrne with arrangements that feature interesting rhythms and instruments such as the cello and trombone (brought over from the ska days). Fun Boy Three were also instrumental in jumpstarting the career of Bananarama by dueting with them on "T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)" on their first album and then dueting with Bananarama on their own album with their Motown cover "Really Saying Something"; both in 1982.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Monster Mash, Hurry Bury Baby, Let's Twist Again (Mummy Time Is Here), Gravy (With Cyanide), Popeye (The Gravedigger), Weird Watusi