Archive for February, 2012

Listen To “Hey Jane” From Spiritualized’s “Sweet Heart Sweet Light” Out April 16th

Posted in Music with tags , , on February 27, 2012 by johnbuckley100

The good folks at Clash have posted the news that Spiritualized’s new album Sweet Heart Sweet Light will be out on April 16th.  But even better, they’ve posted the song “Hey Jane” for your streaming pleasure.  Nearly nine minutes long, it is a return to Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space form.  A cross between “Sweet Jane” and “Hey Jude?”  That’s up to you to decide.

Can’t wait for the album, and the U.S. Tour.

Waiting For Black Mountain’s “Year Zero”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 18, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Leica M9, Noctilux 0.95.  Note the purple fringing to right…

“Mary Lou” By Black Mountain Is A Free Slab O’ Greasy Boogie

Posted in Music with tags , , on February 18, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Thanks to the band and the good folks at Stereogum, everyone who’s been waitin’ fer Stephen McBean and Co. to return from the wilderness and deliver their next batch of forest-brewed riff rock need not delay a moment more before downloading “Mary Lou”.  Moreover, like The Clash in ’80, Black Mountain know you’re broke, so they are offering up “Mary Lou” for your pleasure for free.  And how is it? It is as gloriously ’70s retro as “Old Fang,” has harmonies that remind us of “Voices,” and takes its own sweet time just the way “Druganaut” did before Black Mountain, trying to help out their neighbors to the south, let that ‘un be used to sell Buicks, which really got that whole GM recovery thing started, leading to the economic recovery, the Obama reelection, and world peace and harmony. Picture us now, poised before our computer, waiting for the checkered flag to drop and the album Year Zero go on sale.  When?  Well, judging by how great “Mary Lou” is, it can’t be soon enough.

Chuck Prophet’s “Temple Beautiful” Takes Early Lead In 2012 Best Album Sweeps

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on February 11, 2012 by johnbuckley100

 Okay, it’s way early even to be thinking this way, but you know how sometimes in the downhill, one of the early skiers gets a line that is so fast, they serve notice on everyone up the mountain that they’re going to have to go all out to beat them, or else just vie for second place?  Chuck Prophet’s finest release yet, Temple Beautiful, lays down a gauntlet, and come November, we’ll replay it for the whole gang at Tulip Frenzy World HQ, and remind them how much excitement it created in the winter months.  We doubt too many other artists this year are going to take such risks, and such a clean line, as this ‘un does.

The songwriting bears such a resemblance to what Prophet did with Alejandro Escovedo on Real Animal that whether via Pandora’s algorithms or Songza’s human curation, songs from these two albums are going to be like Noah’s matched pairs.  Temple Beautiful is Prophet’s homage to his adopted San Francisco, while Real Animal was a tour through Al’s rock’n’roll career, both thick with memory and myth without tipping into nostalgia.  Okay, maybe a song about Willie Mays is tipping into nostalgia.  But Prophet’s band is so tight, the guitar work by both Prophet and his ace sidekick James Deprato so razor sharp, and the songs so strong, it’s easy to forgive the occasional self-indulgent dip.

Like Real Animal,  Temple Beautiful is as much an homage to earlier bands and the music Prophet loves — from the same Mott the Hoople antecedents to the Plimsouls, from “Hey Joe” to the Flamin’ Groovies (Roy Loney guests!) — as it is to his city.  Over a long career, whether with Green On Red or on his own, Prophet has always played real rock’n’roll, but his spoken-word singing has never quite grabbed us as it does here. Add taking the bus Prophet’s hired to haul fans around San Francisco on March 30th as just one more reason you’d want to live in the Bay Area.  For us, we’re just glad that Alejandro’s close collaborator of the last few years has released an album that is every bit as good as anything Al’s put out on his remarkable recent run.

On The Return Of Spiritualized

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 11, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Royal Palace, Bangkok, Leica M8, 35mm Summilux

Spritualized Announces American Tour

Posted in Music with tags , on February 11, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Courtesy of Blurt Online, the dates are as follows:

(No, first we have to say, Yippee!  Jason Pierce is bringing the show to DC’s 930 Club in May!)

Now the dates:

05-02 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
05-03 Chicago, IL – Metro
05-04 Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theatre
05-05 Toronto, Ontario – The Phoenix
05-07 New York, NY – Terminal 5
05-09 Boston, MA – Paradise
05-10 Washington, DC – The 9:30 Club
05-11 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
05-12 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
05-13 Atlanta, GA – The Variety Playhouse
05-15 Dallas, TX – The Granada Theatre
05-16 Austin, TX – Emo’s East
05-18 Tucson AZ – The Rialto Theatre
05-19 Phoenix AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
05-20 San Diego CA – Belly Up Tavern
05-22 Los Angeles CA – The Wiltern
05-23 San Francisco CA – The Fillmore
05-25 Portland, OR – The Wonder Ballroom
05-26 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Rickshaw Theatre

On The 35th Anniversary Of Television’s “Marquee Moon”

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by johnbuckley100

I used to think that if I could lug just one album to the proverbial desert island, as the boat was sinking, I’d be in my stateroom weighing The Clash in one hand, Exile On Main Street in the other.  But as we get ready to celebrate tomorrow’s 35th anniversary of the release of  Television’s Marquee Moon — no question the single greatest album by any of the CBGB bands, the ur-document of an innocent age — I’m wavering.

I say no question, but then Jonathan Lethem has just published will imminently publish his addition to the great 33 1/3d series, in which obsessives weigh in, and at book length, on their favorite albums, and his is Fear of Music by the Talking Heads.  A wise choice, that one, but I’m glad I’ve been reading the quite excellent Marquee Moon by Bryan Waterman, which makes the case for Television’ debut as the standout album of that particularly scuzzy late ’70s epoch.

In recent months, in addition to Waterman’s book, we’ve been able to find the remastered versions of Marquee Moon, Adventure, and Live At The Waldorf issued by Elektra as an all-in-one, and the upgrade in the sound has been remarkable.  Those first two Television albums always sounded good — particularly on vinyl — but the remastered versions make you feel you’re witnessing each movement of Verlaine’s long fingers as they sustain every magic note.

Just as good, Television’s authorized bootleg of Live At The Academy NYC 12.4.92, recorded during their first reunion tour, is now available via Amazon.  And just this week, the 35th anniversary of Television’s opus very much in mind, Uncut published a long, snarky, highly readable interview with Richard Lloyd that illuminates a fair bit of history, not just about the making of Marquee Moon, but about his relations with Tom Verlaine, from the start of the band in ’73 to the final denouement in 2007.  (We’re pretty sure that if Television hadn’t played its last show before the interview was published, plans for Reunion #7 are, as of today, canceled.)

From the moment we first saw Television open for Patti Smith (and John Cale) at the Beacon Theater’s Palladium’s 1976 New Year’s Eve show (a few weeks before Marquee Moon came out), we were signed to a lifetime’s fan contract.  Yeah, we’d seen the Ramones the previous summer, and to anyone in New York it was clear that the Next Big Thing was crawling its way, like an albino alligator in the city’s sewers, up from the Bowery toward all those record label offices in Midtown.  The thing about Television, once Fred Smith replaced Richard Hell on bass, was that these guys really could play, I mean like The Rolling Stones could play, but there was something completely new about the way the guitars jangled, and even though Verlaine moved smoothly, the very gawkiness of his giraffe’s frame was exotic.  His Fender looked tiny in his hands.

Later, we saw what we’re pretty sure was their final New York show — Bottom Line, August 1978 — when it was easy to believe that whatever megadose was coursing through Richard Lloyd’s bloodstream as he closed his eyes and played the long ending to “Ain’t That Something,” well, it had to be good for him.  It wasn’t, of course, and the band went out quietly, as it were, giving birth to what was in the early days two remarkable solo careers, Verlaine’s and Lloyd’s.  Still, by then Television had a career that, even though it spanned a mere two albums, gave them a first-floor diorama in the Real Rock’n’Roll Of Fame.  (The one housed in the old TR3, not that temple to bombast in Cleveland.)

And then they came back in ’92 and we saw them, of all places, in the same gothic hall at Georgetown where Lech Walesa had come to get an award for taking down the Soviet Union just a few months earlier.   If CBGB embodies some rock’n’roll ideal, this was its opposite: an ornate room in a Jesuit college.  And of course they blew it up.  We believe, and Lloyd’s interview in Uncut somewhat confirms this, that the single best period for Television as a live band was during that ’92 tour, when they were out backing the solid Television album, with the incredible “In World,” along with some of the best songs from their two ’70s albums —  “See No Evil,” “Friction,” “Prove It,” “Venus,” “Foxhole,” and “Marquee Moon.”  The only thing missing was “Glory,” or “Guiding Light.” Yes, we missed them at CBs (though not by much.)  But the two shows we saw in ’76 and ’78 paled in comparison to how great they were on that ’92 tour, after years of touring by both Verlaine and Lloyd, and with the joy apparent in how well they played together, the greatest double axe tandem since Keith Richards and Mick Taylor broke up, at just about the time Television was forming on the Lower East Side.

Marquee Moon is worthy of taking to a desert island.  And it is worthy of dusting off tomorrow, in celebration of how well it has held up.  Television may have ushered in the punk era, what with their torn tee shirts and their persuading Hilly Kristol to let rock bands play in a venue he’d designated for Country Bluegrass and Blues & Other Music For Upstanding Gourmandizers, but with they were always a serious band, and amazing musicians.  No matter how many others have tried incorporating their sound, they were sui generis, and sadly — if the definitiveness of Lloyd’s rejection of his old pal Verlaine is any indicator — we won’t see their like, or they themselves, again.

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