manic pop thrills (was Re: 2003 favorites)
- --On Tuesday, December 2, 2003 4:08 PM +0000 samchecker
> I don't do lists, but 2003 was one heck of a year for fun pop records.I'd add the Long Winters and Lookyloos discs to the list of fun pop records
> The New Pornographers' Electric Version, Electric Six's Fire,
> Fountains of Wayne's Welcome Interstate Managers, and one I'm
> particularly digging now, Junior Senior's D-D-Don't Stop the Beat.
> Damn, that last one is a candy-coated blast...
-- Lookyloos are especially good if you like Chills-style Kiwi-pop (as I
- --On Tuesday, December 2, 2003 4:53 PM +0000 Lisa <lmerlin01@...>
> The new Dwight Yoakum sounds pretty good too but I'm far from anI've only heard a couple of songs on the digital Americana station, but it
> expert on him.
sounds like he's still putting out first-rate heartbreak music.
- --- In email@example.com, Carl Zimring
>station, but it
> I've only heard a couple of songs on the digital Americana
> sounds like he's still putting out first-rate heartbreak music.The other Dwight fan in my house and I disagree on this, but I
think "Population Me" is a very fine album, and one of Dwight's
more consistent efforts in a while. My only complaint about
it--and this is a complaint that I rarely make about any record
these days--is that it's a little on the short side, with just 10
songs (all of 'em fairly short and snappy, too). But it still
manages to range from ballads to Buck-influenced twang to
honky tonk; the usual spectrum of Dwightness, in short. It'll be in
my top 10 for sure.
- I've listen to the Wrens a few times now and it's really doing nothing for
me. I'm trying hard to hear something especially as a number of people
whose opinion I respect like 'em a lot but it ain't happened yet. Same
with Shins though less so. For the life of me, I can't figure out what
either of them do that say, Pernice Brothers and the New Pornographers
don't do much better.
Off the top of my head, some of the best 2003 stuff I've heard is Bettie
Serveert, Crooked Fingers, Busdriver, Gina Villalobos, Outkast, Todd
Snider, Snow Patrol, Sole, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Swaggerts, Basement Jaxx,
Jon Langford, Pink, Ruby on the Vine, Warren Zevon, Daughter, Rufus
Wainwright, 'Johnny's Blues- A Tribute to Johnny Cash' and Lucinda
Williams. Oh and the Pernice Bros and the New Pornographers... Loved
White Stripes and Radiohead at first but I'm not so sure now.
Any thoughts on the Johnny Cash box set?
- On Tue, 2 Dec 2003, Perfect Sound Forever wrote:
> I've listen to the Wrens a few times now and it's really doing nothing forI saw them a few weeks ago and felt the same way. I thought the record was OK -- although I haven't listened to it recently, so maybe that says something -- and the show was good for their ridiculous amount of energy, but after a while, the songs all started sounding exactly the same and I gave up and left. Maybe if I was more familiar with their work, it would've meant more to me, but I guess that's like saying I would've enjoyed "Russian Ark" if I knew more about Russian history -- the statement may be true, but I am not at all motivated to go seek out the required information.
> me. I'm trying hard to hear something especially as a number of people
> whose opinion I respect like 'em a lot but it ain't happened yet.
However (warning: shameless self-promotion ahead) they did photograph pretty well, despite the wretched lighting situation and my hatred for color film:
- --On Tuesday, December 2, 2003 2:40 PM -0500 Perfect Sound Forever
> Any thoughts on the Johnny Cash box set?My thought is that it would be an excellent gift for someone to give me.
On paper, it sounds wonderful.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Catherine Lewis <cplewis@i...>
> On Tue, 2 Dec 2003, Perfect Sound Forever wrote:nothing for
> > I've listen to the Wrens a few times now and it's really doing
> > me. I'm trying hard to hear something especially as a number ofpeople
> > whose opinion I respect like 'em a lot but it ain't happened yet.That's cool. It's hard to describe why music affects you, positively
or negatively. I guess with the Wrens, for me personally, the record
makes me really sad(and in a good way if that makes any sense). The
whole record from start to finish is about a breakup that the lead
singer did not want to happen. I like his voice although I really
had to listen to it on head phones a few times before I fell in love
with it. He writes some damn good lyrics and the fact that they are
all in my age bracket, 35-40, is cool.
"..I can't type, I can't temp, and I'm way past college"
- Here's a review of the box, from this week's Onion.
Cash Unearthed (Buy It!)
Cash Unearthed Johnny Cash's massively important and prolific career had
its fertile and fallow periods, but few expected a major peak in 1994,
after years of forgettable albums, cultural invisibility, and poor sales.
Fewer still expected a resurgence under the guidance of Rick Rubin, the
producer best known for his legendary work in rap and heavy metal. But
Rubin's initial vision for Cash?sitting him down with an esoteric
assortment of source material and recording the singer's bare-bones
interpretations?helped spark a career renewal that continued through Cash's
death in September. American Recordings, the first fruit of their
collaborations, ranks among Cash's best work, as well as the greatest
albums of the '90s. And while the singer's subsequent three records for the
American label produced slowly diminishing returns as his voice
deteriorated and the song selection grew more iffy, Cash and Rubin's many
sessions produced an abundance of enduring classics. Amazingly, Cash
recorded dozens of songs between May (after the death of his wife, the
incomparable June Carter Cash) and his death on Sept. 12, and he had just
finished contributing liner notes for an exhaustive and lavishly packaged
treasure chest of outtakes from the American era. Not counting a pointless
greatest-hits disc spanning his last four albums, Cash Unearthed compiles
64 unreleased tracks on four individually titled discs: Who's Gonna Cry
(some of which has been heard on the indispensable American Outtakes
bootleg), Trouble In Mind (like 1996's Unchained, recorded with Tom Petty &
The Heartbreakers, among others), Redemption Songs (a set of covers
featuring guests such as Fiona Apple, Nick Cave, and the late Joe
Strummer), and My Mother's Hymn Book (an assortment of stripped-down
religious songs Cash hailed as his own best work). Though it represented
the culmination of a lifelong dream for Cash, My Mother's Hymn Book is the
least compelling of the four new albums, largely because its
warm-but-straightforward spirituals are accompanied by little of the
conflict or contemplation inherent in his best religious material. But the
other three, while marred by the occasional misstep, run in varying shades
of incredible. Who's Gonna Cry serves as a natural companion piece to
1994's American Recordings, presenting a riveting, near-perfect collection
of acoustic meditations on life, death, love, and murder. (The set draws
its title from the chilling "The Caretaker," a hair-raising ballad which
poses the question, "Who's gonna cry when old John dies?") Trouble In Mind
similarly reflects its counterpart: Though it brings to mind Unchained's
spirited performances and outstanding peaks, it also has the misfortune of
following a disc with more intensity and heft. It does, however, feature
the most moving moment on Cash Unearthed. "As Long As The Grass Shall
Grow," performed with June Carter Cash, encapsulates both singers'
brilliance and love for each other in an appropriately timeless tearjerker.
Redemption Songs doles out some classics of its own, with its most notable
track pairing Cash with The Clash, as Joe Strummer joins in on a moving
cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." Not content to merely fill some
gaps in Cash's recent catalog, Cash Unearthed provides an essential tour
through the final years of a towering career. Fittingly, that life's work
closes on an extended highpoint worthy of the brilliant work that made Cash
an eternal icon. ?Stephen Thompson
- Someone wrote:
> > > I've listen to the Wrens a few times now and it's really doingLisa replied:
> > > me. I'm trying hard to hear something especially as a number of
> > > whose opinion I respect like 'em a lot but it ain't happened yet.
>That's cool. It's hard to describe why music affects you, positivelyThe Wrens have always fallen in that "Archers of Loaf" slanted indie-rock
>or negatively. I guess with the Wrens, for me personally, the record
>makes me really sad(and in a good way if that makes any sense). The
>whole record from start to finish is about a breakup that the lead
>singer did not want to happen. I like his voice although I really
>had to listen to it on head phones a few times before I fell in love
>with it. He writes some damn good lyrics and the fact that they are
>all in my age bracket, 35-40, is cool.
category for me.
The disc of theirs that I would really recommend is their 1996 release,
(Sadly enough) you can usually find it used at a decent price.
np: Smoking Popes - Live
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