Sunday, February 15, 2009

You Glorify the Past When the Future Dries Up

#38 Rattle and Hum: U2. I know, this is not a very exciting entry, and typically not thought to be be even U2's best work, coming between the uberplatinum Joshua Tree and the more experimental and self-indulgent Achtung Baby. And I could do without the tour film. But it is the one that hit me hardest - I really liked their attempt to connect to vintage blues, I liked the live versions of older songs, and All I Want Is You is a haunting classic. This was one of the first CDs I bought (forsaking years of collecting vinyl) after buying my first CD player in 1988.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Humiliating Kick In the Crotch

#37 Synchronicity: The Police. The Police are a great band, although I find their albums to be inconsistent, filled with brilliant songs side by side with pointless throwaway tunes. This one I think is their best, although it is debatable. The tunes Synchronicity I and II are both classics as are the Side 2 countdown-slaying troika of Every Breath You Take/King Of Pain/Wrapped Around Your Finger.
Once, I was talking to someone about the Police, and he said, next time you listen, just focus on the drums, because Stuart Copeland is freaking great. So I did. I had never really noticed them before, but he never plays a bar the same way twice - always throwing in some crazy off beat stuff and improvising throughout the song. It's really cool. I dont remember who the guy was but I've never listened to the Police the same way again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

When I Was A Painter

#38 Pod: The Breeders. The Pixies are kind of like the Beatles. You know how interesting it is to listen to post-Beatles CDs from John and Paul, and you can tell exactly what qualities they brought to their their original band, John's peace-love-drugs utopia, and Paul's pop sensibilities and silly love songs. As solo artists, they are ok, but somehow the combination was transcendent. Same with the Pixies. Black Francis brought raw energy and power and noise, and Kim Deal provided the infectious hooks and sensuality. The combo of the two made for a unique and awesome mix of sweet and sour, sex and anger, melody and anarchy. Once they broke up, the sonic mess of Black's solo career has been unmemorable, while only Kim's work with The Breeders was worthy of an ex-Pixie. This CD is the best of those, with sparse, melodic, hook-y songs dripping with Kim's smoky vocals. Love it.