Recent CD Purchases

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Poor Deportee
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Poor Deportee » Fri May 31, 2013 10:08 am

Jack of All Parades wrote:
Poor Deportee wrote:Have not stopped listening to this excellent record- though I will admit to being diverted by the new National album. The Vampire boys make a convincing argument for equal time and you strongly help their case. You have hit upon a fair number of the points that make this record memorable. They are Columbia alums and I am reasonably certain they have absorbed key lessons from the Core Curriculum. It shows in the motifs utilized within the record. I do like the religious themes you point out, in particular the play on 'the Master'. "Steps" at this stage in the year is arguably one of the best songs put out to this point. As an ensemble they have matured nicely and the songs on this record strike me as less gimmicky when compared to their earlier records.

They are also a tight playing machine now with a drum/bass section that throbs and drives the songs forward. And Ezra Konig can flat out sing. This album moves along, it is a jittery urban celebration. As I have been playing it over the past weeks I find myself often jolted back to my own halcyon days in NYC in the mid to late 70's and the feelings and thoughts that enveloped me as I came of age in that same urban Mecca. Konig and his band mates have tapped into a vein of urban angst that comes with living in a world capital with one's adult life spilling out in front of one's self. It is a scary/exhilerating feeling and one that often leaves one asking for a little of that 'warmth' that Konig seeks in "Unbelievers". Can you tell I value this record? As I said elsewhere- this band and The National are currently making vital music. Different sounds but equally honest attempts to come to grips with adulthood.


You hit the nail on the head with the boldfaced bit, Chris. I just wonder whether the twentysomethings grooving to this record have the faintest clue about the religious/spiritual underpinnings of so much of this material. A quick glance at the 'reviews' on Amazon reveal a fanbase that seems to think of this as fun, groovy pop music, full stop. (Not that there's anything wrong with managing the trick of being simultaneously light entertainment for the callow and 'deeper' entertainment for the more thoughtful; my point is just that they are probably flying way over the heads of a good chunk of their audience). This question puts me in mind of the universal embrace of Cohen's 'Hallelujah' by a mass audience that appears to be utterly oblivious to its fusion of deeply religious intent with S & M eroticism.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Who Shot Sam? » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:01 pm

Picked up the new Camera Obscura - "Desire Lines." Very very good so far.
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Jack of All Parades
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:53 am

Southeastern by Jason Isbell. This performer is new to me. Now I cannot understand how I have missed out on his unique vision until now. He is easily the strongest songwriter I have heard in many years. His new record will probably be the best record I listen to this year; it is that good. The thirteen songs on this record are a master class in the art of storytelling and song craft. They are not overtly autobiographical but instead skirt the border between the personal and the universal where all good art works its magic.

Isbell's personal story is common- talent,success, drugs and alcohol, and tentative recovery from excess. Were this record just that it would be just another paean to recovery and self reinvention. There are dozens of them on the NY Times best seller list. Thankfully, Southeastern, is not that. It is an unsparing look into the void of the very angry, broken and drifting lives of the characters Isbell sings about. People are hurting in these songs and they suffer from just being human, from being fallible.

What keeps these songs constantly in my mind is Isbell's way of writing within a character. He deftly uses a specific image or incident to accentuate, to move a story forward. And they are not gratuitous or puerile images, overused by so many writers. He has that Southern gift of story telling and the verbal gifts to elevate those stories into art. His lyrics are not facile rhyming efforts. The stanzas move with a fluidity and internal development that I have rarely encountered in other songwriters. His is a narrative skill that I see developing in another writer, Elvis Costello, as evidenced by his songs, Jimmie Standing in the Rain or You Hung the Moon, on his National Ransom album. Isbell's characters struggle with their demons and it is that struggle which makes their lives noteworthy. There is an element of the movie, Tender Mercies, that is mirrored in this record.

There are too many examples to quote to demonstrate his lyric ability. I love this whole record. I also love the simple melodies and acoustic accompaniment to them only punctuated by an occasional steel guitar or a harmony singer. Isbell is also gifted with a pure, tenor voice that is so sweet. I say buy this record and treasure it. I am looking forward to seeing Isbell perform this August at Lincoln Center in the Plaza along with Nick Lowe in a free concert. Here are two of the many stand outs on this record- the ballad "Live Oak" and the perhaps autobiographical "Relatively Easy" that closes out the record. As I said earlier-songs this good are rare- to have an album that is filled with songs of this quality is an album to be treasured. The cover of the record is a visual cue as to its poignancy- Mr. Isbell looking frankly and directly at you, the same way the songs are presented:

http://youtu.be/DvZoQhHi65Q

http://youtu.be/NIQ1NHa0g6A

I want to add one more- "Elephant" as I want to just shout this album's praises!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://youtu.be/fS8ohtu_LBA

This is a very readable profile piece on Mr. Isbell by Dwight Garner, the book reviewer in the NY Times from a few weeks back:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 3060,d.dmQ

Here Jason assists his friend Justin Townes Earle on some old time NYC gospel music:

http://youtu.be/5LLqFF89UtU
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:55 pm

Lloyd Cole's new Standards. Ah, another 11 songs from the mighty songwriter to fall in love with. Been getting a fair amount of praise. Back with stalwarts Fred Maher and Matthew Sweet on drums and bass. Sounds great so far. Roll on seeing him again in October. I love the man. He's made the world a better place.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:49 am

Otis- if this song-"Period Piece" is indicative of the quality of the album , then count me in.

http://youtu.be/YCBJ8BVy49w

Have to love that opening drum/bass kick off and I feel certain there will be a certain amount of nostalgia for you in the video given those shots of NYC streetscapes. I do love that voice and he does sound charged- "Mama, I think I 've met my match" indeed.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:16 pm

Only just broaching it all. Three songs on the hifi and half the rest falling asleep at night or trying to get back to sleep at 6am. My usual listening pattern, in other words, though for some reason today Artificial Tears was in my head big time, so I had to go back to that and some of the other songs of the very special Negatives album (Vin Ordinaire, That Boy, I'm Gone - all very evocative, and it's a must-buy if you don't have it).

Love the sound of this new album, and the songs mostly seem really good, and the lyrics, and the singing. What one expects from Lloyd, in other words. There's this sense of 'if this one doesn't sell, I'm giving up', which I can kind of understand as the being able to afford to record with his old stalwarts in a decent LA studio only by virtue of pre-selling 600 premium editions must have an element of humiliation about it, but really I think he should continue to record and release as long as the muse is with him. I really think he should tour with a band, but like Tracey Thorn he seems to hate the loudness of drummers (I can fully sympathise, I have to use serious protection when I drum!). If he toured with a full band and did a load of Commotions numbers and plugged it a bit, e.g. as a 'Best Of' tour, he'd shift more of the newie and the backlist and get some cash in the bank towards the next one.

Anyway, please if you've ever had a liking for Lloyd buy this CD and help an underrated genius along.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Who Shot Sam? » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:43 am

Laura Marling's "Once I Was an Eagle" - absolutely superb. Best thing I've heard in a long long time.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:20 pm

Agree it's very good and accomplished. Going to see her in September.

The above-mentioned Lloyd Cole Standards is seriously good. Brilliant songwriting perfectly executed.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Who Shot Sam? » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:14 pm

Otis Westinghouse wrote:Agree it's very good and accomplished. Going to see her in September.

The above-mentioned Lloyd Cole Standards is seriously good. Brilliant songwriting perfectly executed.


Will have to check that out.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:17 pm

Hope you did. Myrtle and Rose is a classic, but there are some great others on there too.

Bought the deluxe New Order Power, Corruption and Lies today for all of £6.50 or so on Amazon. First time I've experienced the Auto Rip function whereby it's downloaded an MP3 version for you the moment you purchase. Rather good if you're desperate to get it on the iPod asap. This lead to my exploring and found a somewhat random 1,000 song listing on the Cloud Player of songs from CDs I'd bought there, or downloaded as MP3s. Funny thing is that sometimes they get it wrong, e.g. listing a Deluxe edition for Grace when I got the standard - yay, more songs! Best of all was in lieu of the 5 CD gorgeous Velvets Peel Slowly and See they listed the Deluxe Velvet Underground and Nico, which features tons of additional versions, outtakes, songs, live stuff (rough), and best of all Nico's Chelsea Girls. I know have Velvets rarities coming out of my ears.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:46 am

"Matador" and "Inta Somethin'" the Kenny Dorham Quintet featuring Jackie McLean. Two cds on one reissue from sessions back in 1961 and 1962. Two exceptional recording dates that I am willing to bet few can say they have heard in the past as they seem to have been lost in the general fade out for Mr. Dorham. That is disheartening because these two records are to my ears perhaps of a quality to equal any of the recordings of the first and second great quintets attributed to Miles Davis. The musicanship is stellar, the playing confident and assured, the sense of composition at the highest of ability. Pehaps a better rendering of McLean's own "Melanie" and Dorham's own title tune, "Matador", a sound that takes my breath away as each musician goes through his paces in 5/4 time. The song just fades out into the ether. Give a listen:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 1utuKczr1A
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby ice nine » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:43 pm

Recently purchasd the Fiery Furnaces, Blueberry Boat. I've listened to it only once and I think the artist is an acquired taste that I just don't have yet. I can hear some brilliance in there so I'm sure with each listen I will like it more and more.

I'm reading reviews of this album on Amazon and they all say it takes a few listens to get into. A few reviewers compare this band to an artist named John Zorn. I will have to check him out.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:27 pm

The postman brought to my doorstep this morning Another Self Portrait The Bootleg Series Vol10. What a joyous surprise- stripped away and augmented with just his voice and some choice instrumentation -the previously released songs from that time and the ones that previously stayed in the vault. Too many standouts to go into great detail- "Pretty Saro, "Only a Hobo", "This Evening So Soon", and a different version of "If You Threw It All Away" with a world weary organ sound are revelations. I now get the 'wood-shedding' and just playing around in the studio with friends. I think I now understand what this 'shit' is about. It is loaded on the ipod and should provide some pleasant listening this fall and in the years to come. The accompanying photos in the booklet are gorgeous, too. :D
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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:13 pm

Sounds great, must get it and the original.

Curious retitling of I Threw It All Away there! Worth getting it just for that, I suspect, one of my favourite Dylan songs.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:24 pm

Otis, my aberrant typing skills betrayed me yet again, It still is "I Threw It All Away"- but the arrangement for this great song on this record is worth hearing. :wink: I also would mention that this record has made me quite eager to won the revised and complete Isle of Wight concert appearance. The two songs that are on the new record meld the voice of Self-Portrait with the powerhouse that was the Band. He reworks old tunes and gives first live readings of the John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline material.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:44 am

Otis- I do not put much stock in most RS reviewers from the last decade or more but David Fricke often gets it right and I think he clearly does, having listened to the record, on this one:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/album ... 0-20130814
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Poor Deportee » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:17 am

Thatnks for the review, Jack! I can't wait for this one myself. I absolutely love his voice in that period and always sort of "got" Self-Portrait as a harmless, minor excursion into eccentricity, so I'm surely primed for this release.
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:44 am

PD and Otis- some further reading, perhaps?:

http://rol.st/16OQ3sh
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:20 pm

PD- just give these snippets from the Isle of Wright bonus disc a listen and then tell me that would not be worth having someday. For one that fervent 'justification' by Levon on "Highway 61" is reason enough let alone Bob's take on "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine":

http://www.bobdylan.com/us/music/bootle ... f-portrait
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby BlueChair » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:38 am

Hard to justify spending $100 on the 4 disc version, but the completest in me really wants the whole shebang. iTunes has a 'deluxe' edition for $30 but it doesn't include the remastered Self Portrait, only the 2CD Another Self Portrait and Isle Of Wight sets. Wonder if they'll eventually reissue Self Portrait on its own... probably?
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:44 am

The completest within me struggles with this one, too. There are more important things to put $100 towards like a trip to New Orleans in the Spring to see my daughter. I, unlike you, BC, have not embraced purchases off of Itunes- still purchase the physical product, such as it is. I offer this as a possible solution- within the new Bootleg Volume was inserted a postcard which promotes the release later this fall of his entire recorded catalog and all are to be remastered. Have to think at some point that the individual previously unreleased remasters will at some point resurface for sale. I am also confident that the individual disc of the Isle of Wight show will surface in a used store in my area one day. Too frequently, I find little treasures like that on my regular visits to Rhino Records. I have to think a large metropolitan area like Toronto would offer ever better hunting grounds. :)
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Poor Deportee » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:10 am

Jack of All Parades wrote:PD- just give these snippets from the Isle of Wright bonus disc a listen and then tell me that would not be worth having someday. For one that fervent 'justification' by Levon on "Highway 61" is reason enough let alone Bob's take on "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine":

http://www.bobdylan.com/us/music/bootle ... f-portrait


Having finally acquired the 2-Cd version, I can say that the teasers on there - especially that spectacular re-rendering of "Highway 61" - definitely justify a rethink on my part. It's phenomenal stuff. A shame that I'll probably never be able to get my hands on it due to Columbia's unconscionably exploitative pricing policy. Heck, to this day I've never heard the third CD of "Tell Tale Signs" for this reason. :x
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:31 am

PD- this piece makes a strong case for owning the Isle of Wight set. I like the contrasts between the old, bootleg versions and the the newly remastered offerings of the complete concert:

http://johannasvisions.com/the-best-of- ... t-concert/
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:16 am

This is a find for me- a decent quality audio and video from the Isle of Wight performance with the band and an achingly presented version of "I Threw It All Away";

http://johannasvisions.com/bob-dylan-th ... eat-sound/
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Re: Recent CD Purchases

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:58 pm

Quality Street by Nick Lowe. My annual Christmas album purchase and this one is an unqualified winner. Funny, never winsome or mawkish, this album puts an understated swing and sweetness into the holiday album format. Sticking to the 'mature' bent of his recordings over the last decade Nick gives listeners telling takes on old traditional songs like "Silent Night" and his own new holiday songs like the subversive "Christmas at the Airport" with a line that just makes me laugh about a burger found in the bin as a substitute for the family holiday turkey. Another effective song is "A Dollar Short of Happy" co-written with Ry Cooder and seeped with a sadness that truly touches me. The real winner may be his take on Roy Wood's chestnut "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" with its winsome farfisa organ beat. Just a cool and joyous winner for the season. I am breaking out the eggnog tonight and a nutmeg stick. I also only now caught the significance of the title- apparantly Quality Street chocolates are a holiday staple in England.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/ni ... as-airport
Last edited by Jack of All Parades on Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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