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Re: [fearnwhiskey] Re: Soft Boys

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  • Carl Zimring
    --On Tuesday, October 1, 2002 1:06 PM +0000 samchecker ... The writing is *very* similar to Hitchcock s recent output (a good thing, to my ears), but the
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 1, 2002
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      --On Tuesday, October 1, 2002 1:06 PM +0000 samchecker
      <oneriot@...> wrote:

      > Carl, if Nextdoorland was *anything* like Respect
      > or Jewels for Sophia (or Moss Elixir for that matter), it'd be a chew
      > toy for my Jack Russell terrier right now. In fact, I was afraid this
      > new SB's disc was going to be exactly that and was mightily relieved
      > that it wasn't. I think the difference is having Rew back in the band
      > trading jangles with Robyn ala A Can of Bees.

      The writing is *very* similar to Hitchcock's recent output (a good thing,
      to my ears), but the arrangements are something different -- it's an
      organic quartet record. And I think a big difference is not Rew (who
      played on _Jewels for Sophia_), but bassist Matthew Seligman, who was the
      bassist on the best Soft Boys material (_Moonlight_ and the better songs on
      _Invisible Hits_) and Hitchcock's first two solo albums. Hitchcock can't
      help but gravitate towards Byrds-style pop when Seligman's in the band.

      I still think _Can of Bees_ is as bad as anything in the Hitchcock catalog,
      save _Globe of Frogs_. Sterile production, overly-fussy arrangements,
      weird-for-its-own-sake writing; I have difficulty listening to it all the
      way through. Containers full of critters bode ill for his music.

      (Lest this be seen as a bash on original Soft Boys bassist Andy Metcalfe,
      he was the bassist on the wonderful _Live at the Portland Arms_, which has
      superior versions of several _Bees_ songs, plus some amazing covers. How
      this has avoided being issued on CD is beyond me.)

      Mark, I'da thought that you'd like some of the heavier material on _Moss
      Elixir_...."I am Not Me" in particular.

      > P.S. I finally chased down that Wire EP, Read and Burn. Damn! "Germ
      > Ship" and "The Agfers of Kodack" just left both my ass cheeks in the
      > dirt. I'm going to be listening to this one a *lot*, and I'm so
      > bummed the mini-tour came nowhere near Cowlumbus

      I'm hard-pressed to find a Wire recording that rocks harder or more
      aggressively. Since they have plans for at least two more EPs (each with a
      supposedly different mood), perhaps there'll be another tour or two in the
      next year.

      Carl Z.
    • Carl Zimring
      I should add that the only reason I haven t commented on either of Rew s recent solo discs is I haven t heard them. I see from the link Jason posted that Dave
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 1, 2002
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        I should add that the only reason I haven't commented on either of Rew's
        recent solo discs is I haven't heard them. I see from the link Jason
        posted that Dave Mattacks drums on the new one. How's Rew as a lead
        vocalist these days?

        Carl Z.
      • samchecker
        ... catalog, ... arrangements, ... all the ... Metcalfe, ... which has ... covers. How ... I m just going to warn the rest of you that the following post
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 1, 2002
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          --- In fearnwhiskey@y..., Carl Zimring <cz28@a...> wrote:

          > I still think _Can of Bees_ is as bad as anything in the Hitchcock
          catalog,
          > save _Globe of Frogs_. Sterile production, overly-fussy
          arrangements,
          > weird-for-its-own-sake writing; I have difficulty listening to it
          all the
          > way through. Containers full of critters bode ill for his music.
          >
          > (Lest this be seen as a bash on original Soft Boys bassist Andy
          Metcalfe,
          > he was the bassist on the wonderful _Live at the Portland Arms_,
          which has
          > superior versions of several _Bees_ songs, plus some amazing
          covers. How
          > this has avoided being issued on CD is beyond me.)
          >

          I'm just going to warn the rest of you that the following post
          descends fully into nerd-dom, so you can stop reading here if you
          want...

          That sound you hear from the west, Carl, is me gnashing my teeth and
          muttering about your comments on A Can of Bees. I suppose I should
          cut you some slack, because you're no doubt under the impression that
          there's one version of that record when in fact there are *three*,
          each with significant substitutions. Saying that the production is
          sterile and the arrangements overly fussy ignores the fact that each
          of these versions includes some kick-ass live cuts, most of which are
          now available on Rout of the Clones, which is the entire Lady Mitchell
          Hall show plus a few other thingies (I got my copy from Miles of
          Music).

          And what can I say about your position on Andy Metcalfe except you're
          as wrong as a wrong guy in a wrong-o-mat. Well, I guess I can't really
          support that, but I sure do disagree with you. Good god, "The
          Pigworker" alone ought to make you hang your head in shame for
          disparaging the guy, and I maintain that the Egyptians would have been
          stillborn were it not for him (I saw a show that he skipped out on in
          NYC, right before Fegmania was released, that bears my position out).

          I'm not going to argue with you about A Globe of Frogs, though. It is
          better than Queen Elvis, at least.

          > Mark, I'da thought that you'd like some of the heavier material on
          _Moss
          > Elixir_...."I am Not Me" in particular.
          >

          Oh cripes, are you going to make me blow the dust off that CD and try
          to listen to it again? Maybe I should also have Storefront Hitchcock
          playing on the TV while I count fibers in the carpet to make time
          really grind to a halt.

          > I'm hard-pressed to find a Wire recording that rocks harder or more
          > aggressively. Since they have plans for at least two more EPs (each
          with a
          > supposedly different mood), perhaps there'll be another tour or two
          in the
          > next year.

          I was thinking that a few Wire-type soundscapes were in order after
          getting my ears bludgeoned for six tunes in a row, so this is good to
          hear.

          Mark
        • samchecker
          ... Rew s ... Jason ... For me, that s the most pleasant surprise from Tunnel Into Summer. He sings pretty much like he always did, which is a Good Thing. Mark
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 1, 2002
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            --- In fearnwhiskey@y..., Carl Zimring <cz28@a...> wrote:
            > I should add that the only reason I haven't commented on either of
            Rew's
            > recent solo discs is I haven't heard them. I see from the link
            Jason
            > posted that Dave Mattacks drums on the new one. How's Rew as a lead
            > vocalist these days?

            For me, that's the most pleasant surprise from Tunnel Into Summer. He
            sings pretty much like he always did, which is a Good Thing.

            Mark
          • Carl Zimring
            --On Tuesday, October 1, 2002 1:59 PM +0000 samchecker ... See, _Rout of the Clones_ rocks, and allows me to to hear the fine live work without dealing with
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 1, 2002
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              --On Tuesday, October 1, 2002 1:59 PM +0000 samchecker
              <oneriot@...> wrote:

              > That sound you hear from the west, Carl, is me gnashing my teeth and
              > muttering about your comments on A Can of Bees. I suppose I should
              > cut you some slack, because you're no doubt under the impression that
              > there's one version of that record when in fact there are *three*,
              > each with significant substitutions. Saying that the production is
              > sterile and the arrangements overly fussy ignores the fact that each
              > of these versions includes some kick-ass live cuts, most of which are
              > now available on Rout of the Clones, which is the entire Lady Mitchell
              > Hall show plus a few other thingies (I got my copy from Miles of
              > Music).

              See, _Rout of the Clones_ rocks, and allows me to to hear the fine live
              work without dealing with the studio tracks. Really, it takes some effort
              to make "Sandra's Having Her Brain Out" sound dull. (I do like the "Cold
              Turkey" cover.) The reason there are three versions of the record out is
              the band spent so much damn time in the studio, though apparently not as
              much as on their aborted Radar record that Hitchcock's barred from release.

              > And what can I say about your position on Andy Metcalfe except you're
              > as wrong as a wrong guy in a wrong-o-mat. Well, I guess I can't really
              > support that, but I sure do disagree with you. Good god, "The
              > Pigworker" alone ought to make you hang your head in shame for
              > disparaging the guy, and I maintain that the Egyptians would have been
              > stillborn were it not for him (I saw a show that he skipped out on in
              > NYC, right before Fegmania was released, that bears my position out).

              He's a masterful bassist, and in the trio format his melodic lines are the
              leads. (You can really hear this on _Respect_ and _Element of Light_.) My
              problem with Metcalfe isn't Metcalfe, but Hitchcock. He starts delving
              into complicated arrangements that don't always suit the songs. Seligman,
              on the other hand, manages to keep Hitchcock on the poppy side. I wish the
              _Underwater Moonlight_ band had stayed together a while longer; they kind
              of did on _Black Snake Diamond Role_.

              > I'm not going to argue with you about A Globe of Frogs, though. It is
              > better than Queen Elvis, at least.

              I can listen to _Queen Elvis_, mostly because of the guitar sound. _Globe
              of Frogs_ sounds like a parody of Hitchcock's "wacky" side.

              >> Mark, I'da thought that you'd like some of the heavier material on
              > _Moss
              >> Elixir_...."I am Not Me" in particular.
              >>
              >
              > Oh cripes, are you going to make me blow the dust off that CD and try
              > to listen to it again? Maybe I should also have Storefront Hitchcock
              > playing on the TV while I count fibers in the carpet to make time
              > really grind to a halt.

              And don't forget _Eye_! What's funny about Hitchcock is his catalog is so
              diverse that Mark & I can both like a lot of it while agreeing on very
              little.

              Carl Z.
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