Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#511: Caving in

While upbeat rock&roll is keeping me happy & bouncing around & even productive at work, at home I'm fairly bored musically. This + the current string of mostly dark, chilly, rainy weather (& some cheap CD deals at Amazon) has perhaps led me in2 some musical places where I might otherwise not go (it ain't Prog, is it?). These areas range from unbelievably popular current stuff 2 my more usual Olde Stuff 2 some just plain strange stuff. Comments follow....

Florence + the Machine -- Only if for a Night, Shake it Out (x2), What the Water Gave Me.
Adele -- Set Fire to the Rain, Rumour Has It, Someone Like You.
Neil Diamond -- Love to Love.
The Cramps -- Green Fuz, Goo Goo Muck, Rockin' Bones, Voodoo Idol, Can't Find My Mind, Jungle Hop, Green Door, Human Fly, Surfin' Bird.
Butthole Surfers -- Birds, Cough Syrup, Pepper, My Brother's Wife.
Radiohead -- Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box, Pyramid Song, Knives Out, Morning Bell.

Florence was played strictly as a warm-up, & I only played "Shake it Out" 2wice this time. It's still the best thing I've heard in years. From CEREMONIALS, as if I haven't mentioned it.
Now, then: Adele. *AHEM* "Set Fire to the Rain" is as gorgeous & dramatic as her "Rolling in the Deep" is nagging. "Rumor Has It" sounds like a really good '60s R&B number -- it's even FUNNY!
BUT. "Someone Like You" is UNBEARABLE, & radio is playing the shit out of it, naturally. Sounds like a straight version of Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughta Know," with all the rage & screaming left out. Creepy. I've heard this 1/2adozen times & can NOT finish it. Is there some1 out there who LIKES this & can Xplain Why without getting all angry? All these R from Adele's 21, which ... yes ... I caved-in & bought, used, cheap. 4 the 2 good songs on it.
Neil's "Love to Love" is nice, but the last time I heard it (in 1974) I coulda swore it ROCKED a little more. From Neil's early-best-of THE BANG YEARS, which BTW has some Xtensive liner notes from Neil that combine rose-colored memories of the Good Olde Days when he was Just Starting Out pretty equally with cliched descriptions about how he felt back then. Intresting how his lyrics R SO MUCH better, so much more original, than his liner notes....
The Cramps. Hmmm. Well, when you wanna hear something New & Diffrent & you can hear it Cheap, you might journey in2 some odd places. I wish The Cramps' music lived up 2 their reputation as Really Out-There Weirdos, the return of psychobilly or whatever.
"Goo Goo Muck" has some pretty out-there lyrics about running around looking 4 trouble & gettin' laid, & it Almost works; some nice twangy guitar thruout all these trax, cool but just not strange enuf, kinda dull. & the on-purpose thin production don't help.
"Can't Find My Mind" sometimes sounds like Steve Martin's on lead vocals. "Human Fly" is at least funny. "Surfin' Bird" is finally more like it -- after the "verses" it turns in2 a chaotic 5-minute jam ... which my CD player conked-out on & then refused 2 budge. All these R from PSYCHEDELIC JUNGLE/GRAVEST HITS.
Butthole Surfers sound like what The Cramps maybe COULDA been -- "Birds" is WAY 2 fast with LOTSA guitar -- these guys have clearly had WAY 2 much coffee ... But they can't keep it up....
"My Brother's Wife" is swirling psychedelic noise that gets more intense & nightmarish as it goes, the synth starts out sorta nice & swirly, & then there's steadily building churning vocals & noise -- sorta like an exorcism. Not pleasant. All from ELECTRICLARRYLAND.
Radiohead's 4 trax from AMNESIAC were kinda hypnotic, but they didn't move around much & I wasn't Xactly knocked out. I can see where Pink Floyd fans might kinda like this....

COMING SOON: Further investigation of the Incredible String Band, The Headboys, & possibly others.
COMING NEXT: A review of Simon Reynolds' post-punk history RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN.

Any recommendations 4 a listener who's musically bored...?

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