Friday, July 22, 2016

More live blogging!

Here's what I played between 1:30 and 4 p.m. Sorry you missed it....
* Roxy Music -- More Than This, Take a Chance With Me. I generally like the later, smoother Roxy better than the sometimes-jarring earlier stuff. While the later stuff doesn't match the thrills of "The Thrill of it All," "More Than This" is SMOOTH, with tasty sax from Andy Mackay and nice Phil Manzanera guitar. "Take a Chance" has a LONG instrumental intro ... but when Bryan Ferry FINALLY gets to the choruses, it's worth it. Very sweet and sentimental. Why wasn't this a hit? But I admit they could be ANYONE....
* Roxy Music -- Do the Strand. Who IS this little Nazi? Some nice atonal sax, and an OK joke near the end, but man, this is REALLY annoying.
* The Jam -- That's Entertainment. I think this coulda been a huge hit in America if someone with less of a British accent than Paul Weller had sang it. Brilliant and bitter. Great stuff!
* The Jam -- Funeral Pyre. Speaking of bitter....
* Mannheim Steamroller -- Toccata. Threw together a quick sandwich while this was playing. I really don't know what to do with these guys. This is smooth and pretty, and beautifully produced, but it's not distinctive. Gryphon (or Camel, Gentle Giant, lots of other English prog bands) were SO much better at this kind of pretty-recorder-or-flute-over-complex-keyboard-backup. And they spoiled me early.
* Mannheim Steamroller -- Small Wooden Bach'ses. OK, that's enough of this stuff right now.
* Van Morrison -- Sweet Thing. About the only song on Van's ASTRAL WEEKS that I can stand. And it's freaking glorious.
* Rickie Lee Jones -- A Lucky Guy. Yeezus, I haven't heard this in YEARS. Nice jazzy swing, and she's so yearning....
* Talking Heads -- Take Me to the River. Not sure if I prefer this version or Al Green's. This hits really hard. And the organ! Maybe if I could mash-up the two....
* XTC -- Grass, Dear God. Always liked XTC's "Senses Working Overtime." "Grass" is pleasant, but not as amazing as I'd expected. "Dear God" is certainly distinctive. Complaint about modern life delivered politely at first, building steadily, excellent production. Powerful finish. Let's play it again. Pretty great.
* XTC -- Earn Enough for Us. Nice ringing guitars, funny lyrics.
* Mannhein Steamroller -- Fantasy, Interlude V, The Third Door. ...And back down again. "Fantasy"'s a fragment. "Interlude V" is light classical mood music. "Third Door" is a little more like it, but not very forceful. And too formal. Gryphon, Rick Wakeman, Strawbs, Camel, Gentle Giant -- your past is calling.
* Mannheim Steamroller -- The Fourth Door. Now this IS pretty....
* Pogues -- If I Should Fall From Grace With God. Loved these guys back in the day. Haven't heard this since 1983. Still sounds great. Plus it's waking my ass back up.
* Pogues -- Turkish Song of the Damned. Uh, well....
* Kinks -- Where Have All the Good Times Gone? Ray Davies was listening to way too much Bob Dylan during this period....
* Kinks -- Sittin' on My Sofa. Ray's version of Brian Wilson's "Busy Doin' Nothin'." But with better guitar.
* Kinks -- A Well Respected Man, Dedicated Follower of Fashion. "Follower" sure had some huge guitars to frame it. Too bad there weren't more. These are both pretty cute. Donald Trump might be able to relate to "Well Respected Man." But probably not.
* Nilsson -- Remember (Christmas). Gorgeous sentimental nostalgia. And it doesn't mention Christmas once.
* Sex Pistols -- Pretty Vacant. OK, WAKE UP! Great guitars, great screeching, great noise. AND WE DON'T CARE!!!
* Sex Pistols -- EMI. My Ghod, Johnny Rotten really WAS the Antichrist! That leering, eerie voice. Urgh. But great guitars.
* 10 cc. -- Silly Love. Silly verses, great choruses, lotsa loud guitar. These guys were really good once.
* Clannad -- Second Nature. I love these guys, but so much of their stuff is All One Somber Mood. This has actual signs of life and excitement. Great vocals, nice sax. Pretty. Roll the credits.

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