Tuesday, January 31, 2012

#523: Laundry-doin' music!

So, what music do YOU use as a soundtrack when you're doing chores around the house? I usually use Fleetwood Mac's TUSK, but on this particular Tuesday it was....

Can -- Father Cannot Yell, Soup.
Pogues -- Sunny Side of the Street, If I Should Fall From Grace With God, Lorelei, Thousands are Sailing, White City, Fairytale of New York, Fiesta.
Kinks -- VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY: Village Green Preservation Society, Do You Remember Walter?, Picture Book, Johnny Thunder, Last of the Steam-Powered Trains, Big Sky, Sitting by the Riverside, Animal Farm, Village Green, Starstruck, Phenomenal Cat, All of My Friends Were There, Wicked Annabella, Monica, People Take Pictures of Each Other, Mr. Songbird, Days, Do You Remember Walter? (alternate mix), People Take Pictures of Each Other (alternate mix).
King Crimson (live) -- Get Thy Bearings, Travel Weary Capricorn, Mars, The Talking Drum, 21st Century Schizoid Man.

"Father Cannot Yell" features Jaki Leibezeit's great propulsive drumming, Malcolm Mooney's hypnotic chanting vocals & Michael Karoli's screeching guitar. Pretty riveting, especially 1st thing in the morning. But it was WAY 2 early 4 the just-plain-noise of "Soup"! Both from ANTHOLOGY.
Ah, the Pogues. I've loved them from a distance ever since buying their IF I SHOULD FALL FROM GRACE WITH GOD album back in '88. The title song from that album has now bn immortalized in a Subaru commercial. "Sunny Side of the Street" is nice & bright & bouncy, but not essential.
The folky siren-call of "Lorelei," however, is gorgeous -- 4 me it's the best thing they ever did. "Thousands are Sailing" is also pretty good, a story-song about the Irish immigration 2 the US. & of course "Fairytale of New York" is freaking great, & on its way 2 Bcoming a Christmas comedy classic, hopefully -- along with the fact that it's also a really sweet lovesong. "Fiesta" adds sax & sets a FRANTIC pace. All from ESSENTIAL POGUES.
The Kinks' VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY is a cult classic, released a year 2 late at the end of 1968 -- it probly coulda bn a big hit if it'd bn released at the end of '67 in the afterglow of SGT. PEPPER. Its lite, bubbly, mildly psychedelic childhood-in-England approach woulda fit right in. By the end of '68 the mood had changed & the Kinks hadta compete against the WHITE ALBUM and BEGGARS' BANQUET. As a result, VILLAGE GREEN failed 2 make any known chart.
Which is 2 bad, cos it's really charming -- short songs with lotsa acoustic guitars & lite keyboards & very subtle strings. Xcellent waking-up music from the opening sing-along title track thru the hilarious "Do You Remember Walter?," about how people change but your memories of them don't. "Picture Book" continues this theme, as does "People Take Pictures of Each Other."
There R a coupla weak spots -- "Johnny Thunder" & "Last of the Steam-Powered Trains" especially R ... kinda dull.
But then there's the great "Big Sky," which I think is about God -- & "Animal Farm" is perfect from the opening line: "The world is big and wide and half insane...." There's King Kink Ray Davies' world-view in a nutshell.
There's lotsa room 4 fantasy in these small-town songs: "Phenomenal Cat" opens with a chorus of flutes & follows-up with some silly vocals, & the lite & playful lyrics Rn't far away from the Incredible String Band. Any1 who's ever bn embarrassed in public will B able 2 relate-2 "All My Friends Were There." "Wicked Annabella," about a witch, opens with a spooky gtr riff. I wish it was just a little more playful, cos then it would fit right in with the liteness of the rest of the album. "Monica" adds a little Spanish flavor.
Then there's "People Take Pictures of Each Other," which gets a lotta complex mileage outta the photo-album theme & features Ray's almost Dylan-ish lead vocal. "Mr. Songbird" is pretty great despite its kinda silly title -- the lyrics & choruses about the meaning of music R pretty ace.
The bittersweet "Days" was a hit in England & is possibly the showpiece here -- the heartfelt choruses R especially good. Modestly-gorgeous & nostalgic, I'm sure I'll B returning 2 it.
Overall, pretty Xcellent, with a lite old-world pastoral British-fantasyland feel that I didn't Xpect Dspite the reviews I'd read about it. Maybe not old-style Kinks rock&roll, but really nice & very diffrent. I'm sure I'll B playing it again.
Crimson's "live" trax from the FRAME BY FRAME best-of R a mixed bag. "Get Thy Bearings" is a very 1969 inducement 2 get high & make love, & the sound is dodgy, but there's some nice sax from Ian McDonald & atonal screaming gtr from Bob Fripp. "Travel Weary Capricorn" sounds tired. "Mars" is a long funeral march that slowly builds in intensity & loudness until an Xplosion at the end.
This version of the always-Xcellent "Talking Drum" features LOTS of screechy mellotron & violin. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is the usual screaming trauma, with some intresting bluesy(!) soloing from Fripp & John Wetton's overpowering bass.
Time 4 lunch!

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