blackleatherbookshelf: (Flames)
daddytodd's birthday is today!
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Tune in to KCUS
4 Out Of 4 Stars

A giddy, goofy piece of rock and roll camp that delivers on all counts, from the homages to classic rock albums and pictures to the cameos from Moby, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Alex Lifeson, "Suck" makes glorious hash of the overworked vampire movie and rock band films. Dave Foley manages "The Winners," a mediocre band that travels in a hearse and can't catch a break. That is, until the sexy female bass player gets bit and becomes a goth idol. Before you know it, the band is gaining fans by the thousands, leaving a trail of groupies in their wake and Malcolm McDowell on their trail.

There is no real attempt to make this anything but a corny cult flick, even the 'animation' is hokey. Alice and Iggy are obviously having a blast chewing their parts, and there's an hysterical inside joke regarding Moby as the lead singer of a rival band. The original songs are just good enough to be Spinal Tapp-ish, but not too bad as to make you graon. The soundtrack itself contains the likes of Lou Reed, Iggy, Cooper, David Bowie and The Burning Brides, and is a true addition to the film. "Suck" is exactly the kind of film that should be on the A-List for a few decades' worth of Halloween parties.

blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Raconteur Reconnaissance
3 Out Of 5 Stars

Brendon Benson has carved out a nice little niche for himself as a power-popper extraordinaire. He's cut albums that use the blueprint of bands like The Who and The Beatles (and then their acolytes, like Jellyfish or Matthew Sweet), but his three albums prior attracted mostly critical attention and a devoted cult audience. One of those fans was Jack White, who pulled Benson into the rocking Raconteurs, which raised his profile sufficiently enough to get him another record deal, this time with ATO.

"My Old Familiar Friend" will surprise those familiar with Benson only via his Jack White friendship, but not those who have loved his albums like "One Mississippi." Benson flaunts his love of Paul McCartney from the first notes of "Whole Lot Better." There's a kick of Motown in the swirling strings of "Garbage Day." "Misery" even has a little bit of an Attractions kick to it. All across the album, there's a cheerful vibe to which the sixties were the most fun of the musical decades.

What does that mean for you (or for Benson, for that matter)? Depends on your record collection. "My Old Familiar Friend" will slot in nicely if you slavishly pour over your Jason Faulkner, Matthew Sweet, Big Star and Badfinger albums. Seeing as PowerPoppers are something of an insular breed of fanatic, then that's about the best recommendation I could give as to whether or not you'll like this Cd and want to buy a copy for yourself.


Easter Day

Apr. 25th, 2011 12:53 am
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Joel and I decided to head for the local Borders Bookstore, which is having a going out of business sale. I bought a few CD's, Joel got some books and music. It was a warm and sunny walk in the city. I picked up Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies' lead singer gone solo), Pernice Brothers, Elliott Smith, Sting, Violent Femmes, The Kooks and (no sniggering) a Toto CD.
Later, I had dinner with some friends, but Joel decided to stay home and avoid the temptation of non-Passover food (Passover ends Tuesday). Had some VERY tasty vegetarian Chinese in Philly's Chinatown. I had some non-chicken General Tao's Chicken with Brown Rice and soup, with Fried bananas for desert. It was probably good Joel skipped this, as there was way too much wheat in the non-meat.

We also watched some movies over the weekend, including "Inside Job" (Oscar winner deserved, but maddening), "Charlie Wilson's War" (Tom Hanks, terrific), "28 Weeks Later" (nihilistic and stupid) and "Triage," a very good war drama.
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Thanks BJ

Click through this, then click the squares.
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Ooh YeahOops, Eah?
3 Out of 5 Stars 

Daryl Hall and John Oates had such an incredible run on the charts that a collapse was inevitable, and "Ooh Yeah" was that album. It's not a bad album as much as an average one, and after a four year break between studio albums, average equated bad in the ears of the public. Add that "Ooh Yeah" is overproduced, and the duo's string broke here.

There should be a caveat inserted in here that the times were also changing; Phil Collins was white soul-man of choice by now and his songwriting was hitting a peak in this period. "Ooh Yeah" still managed three top 40 singles in the top 10 "Everything Your Heart Desires," along with "Downtown Life" and "Missed Opportunity." There's also a trilogy of sorts with "Soul Love," "Real Love," and "Keep On Pushing Love" as the album's closers. John Oates gets a solid vocal on "Rockabilty," while "Rocket To God" is one of Hall's better album tracks.

The ultimate problem, though, is the production. Pumped full of 80's electronic keyboards and faux soul horns (think Huey Lewis), most of "Ooh Yeah" now sounds like an obvious date stamp. Which is a shame, because it seems like Hall and Oates recognized that error by the time the follow-up, the far more acoustic "Change Of Season" and the career comeback in 1997 of "Marigold Sky." By then, it was too late to regain their chart dominance, even if they've regained their maturity and excellence. "Ooh Yeah" is an 80's album and sounds the part.

 Marigold Sky Very Best of Daryl Hall & John Oates From Time To Time - The Singles Collection Greatest Hits Greatest Hits  Hits
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Walls And BridgesAh! Bowakawa pousse, pousse!
4 Out Of 4 Stars

Coming out from his infamous "Lost Weekend" period in Los Angeles, John Lennon returned to New York with a batch of songs and renewed focus. From that wellspring came "Walls and Bridges," Lennon's first album to contain a solo number one single. I know a lot of Lennon fans characterize this album as one of Lennon's weaker albums; I happen to have a certain nostalgic love for it.

After all, Lennon had befriended Elton John and Elton famously bet Lennon that "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" would be a chart-topper. This being 1974, Elton was at one of his peak periods and it's his piano and backing vocals that propelled the song. Lennon lost the bet and the payoff was to be a guest at Elton's Madison Square Garden show, which infamously was Lennon's last live appearance and the duo performing "I Saw Her Standing There" eventually appear as the B-Side to Elton's "Philadelphia Freedom." The album also contains the one time John and his son Julian appeared together on record, as Julian plays drums with his dad as the album closes on the oldie "Ya Ya" (which John eventually recorded for inclusion of the "Rock 'n' Roll" album).

Even with these touching moments, Lennon had compiled some wonderful songs. "Number 9 Dream" is a mystical, hallucinatory dream diary where Lennon took words and thoughts from dreams and formed them into a nugget of psychedelia. "Scared," which opens with a lone wolf howl, is emotionally naked and can't be seen without the backdrop of his separation from Yoko. Nor can the stark "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out," which also bares its soul in a Dylanesque manner.

"Walls and Bridges" was the final album of original material from Lennon until "Double Fantasy" with Yoko six years later. While it was the last of Lennon's solo written albums, it often lost. With such open and autobiographical songs as "Going Down on Love," the bitter "Steel and Glass" (allegedly written about Lennon's disgust with Allan Klein) and even the jubilation of "Whatever Gets You Through The Night," it deserves better.

Double Fantasy Stripped Down [New Mix + Original Recording Remastered]  Imagine Gimme Some Truth Plastic Ono Band Rock 'N' Roll Mind Games
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Coming up Close: A RetrospectiveHe Wants Me, If Only Part of The Time
4 Out Of 5 Stars

That brilliant line came from Til Tuesday's biggest hit, "Voices Carry," and is likely the song most folks recall the band by. It also launched both the band and their lead singer/songwriter, Aimee Mann. While Mann has since embarked on a critically acclaimed career as a solo singer/songwriter, "Coming Up Close: A Retrospective" both follows the breif, three album arc of Til Tuesday and shows Mann's evolution.

"Voices Carry," both the single and first album, was typical of the MTV 80's. Synth and drum heavy, the photogenic Mann quickly struck a chord as the girl in the video to stand up in the opera scene to scream at her creep boyfriend. The songs "Love In A Vacuum" and "Looking Over My Shoulder" (which peaked at 61 on Billboard but oddly is left off this set) followed in the same vein.

While the band was set for a successful follow-up, Mann's songwriting had begun to shift into a more personal direction, as well as losing the funky new-wave style. "Welcome Home" was a great album, but lack of a "Voices Carry" clone lead many to peg the band as one-hit wonders. The stinging "What About Love" did manage to peak at 26, but the song "Coming Up Close," a terrific song about the twilight of a relationship, stalled at 59. There's also a taste of the quirkier points of her solo career with "Will She Just Fall Done," a poppy song about a dysfunctional girlfriend.

The rest of the band was feeling left out by the start of the third album, "Everything's Different Now." Only Mann and Drummer Michael Hausman with session players, it's basically Mann's first solo album and is partially about her breakup with songwriter Jules Shear (who co-wrote the title track). It included a collaboration with Elvis Costello on "The Other End of The Telescope" and Til Tuesday's last charting single, "Believed You Were Lucky" (a censored version, which completely changed the tome of the song) that peaked at 95. "Everything's Different Now" officially embarked Mann on her pop-folk voyage, as well as a legal battle that held up her solo recordings for another seven years.

"Coming Up Close" finishes out with an unreleased track by the original band called "Do It Again," with no other info about its origins. It's a pretty good song, but that was it for any reunions since Mann has been touring and recording steadily since. Overall, since only the debut remains in print, this retrospective is a worthy overview of a band whose output has been long overlooked.

I'm With Stupid Whatever @#%&*! Smilers Voices Carry Everything's Different Welcome Home
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Glee: The Music, Volume 4Glee starts hitting some bumps
3 Out Of 5 Stars

I am, I must admit, a middle aged Gleek. "Glee" is one of a tiny number of network TV shows I bother to catch regularly and I have been mostly satisfied by the soundtracks. What I tended to enjoy most about them is their variety. With the exception of the EP's (Power of Madonna, Rocky Horror and Journey to Regionals), the cast has been matched up to everything from classic rock to Broadway numbers to current pop. Volume Four is the first full length CD in the set to stay mainly on current hits. As such, it ends up lacking.

I am OK with the multiple Brittney Spears songs, since Glee did a whole episode based on her. However, did we really need three Bruno Mars songs? All performed pretty much by rote? Especially when you open with Jay Z's "Empire State Of Mind" and follow it with the all too similar "Billionaire"? Not really. Especially when you hear the re-arrangement of Spears' "Toxic" as a group vocal. Or the way the Lea Michelle hits the bulls-eye on her version of Paramore's "The Only Exception." (Or on the flip side of that thought, the thoroughly weak, wasted space that is "Forget You.")

When Glee does hit the mark, the versions are exceptional. Chris Colfer's version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand," while closely mimicking the version from the movie "Across The Universe," is perfect. Santana/Brittany (Naya Rivera/Heather Morris) make a great team on "Me Against The Music," and Matthew Morrison (Mr Schuester) gets a solid solo on "Sway."

Finally, the vocal arrangement of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" not only outshines Perry's original, it justifies owning this CD. It's a striking. original redo of a song that never meant that much to me on the first time around. More off-beat vocal arrangements like this (and "Toxic") are the reasons I like Glee for its music as well as its episodes. I only wish this volume had more of them.

Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers (Deluxe)  Glee: The Music, Volume 2 Glee: The Music, Volume 1 Glee: The Music - Journey to Regionals Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna Glee: The Complete First Season
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)

[info]gregwoobie's and [info]ac9dfe7fd's birthday is on Today!

Music and Sneakers. Yum.

blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)

1. Hit random on The page that comes up is your band name.

2. Hit random on The last 4 or 5 words of the LAST quote on the page make the album title.

3. - click on the last seven days link at the very bottom, then click on interesting photos from last seven days. The 3rd picture is your album cover.

4. MSPaint or Photoshop it and post in the comments.I
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Milk And HoneyThe Milking of The Legend Begins Here
2 Out of 5 Stars

Three years after John Lennon was assassinated, the first of his posthumous albums appeared. "Milk and Honey" is a collection of songs that John and Yoko were working on at the time of "Double Fantasy," but were unfinished. So let's be frank about this; "Milk and Honey" is half a finished album composed primarily of John Lennon's incomplete demos and Yoko's finished works.

While in 1983, this might have been met with the still lingering pain of John's murder, 26 years later and newly remastered, this album comes up painfully short. It's interesting to hear Lennon's playfulness and the goofy ad-libs, but that is the kind of patter that would have been gone when the time for the master take was laid down. When I hear the la-la's and na-na's in "Borrowed Time," I get the feeling that Lennon was still treating the lyrics as a work in progress. Even the album's best known single, "Nobody Told Me," has such a jerky chorus vocal that I figured it to be an unfinished segment. (Even so, it's one of "Milk and Honey's" highlights.)

Only once does the roughness of the recordings transcend, and that is on Lennon's cassette demo of "Grow Old With Me." Lennon was aiming for the stars on this one, and there's a certain raw charisma that comes out of this very simple love song. There's a hint of an "Imagine" to come, had there only been the chance. Like what the surviving Beatles ultimately did with a similar cassette of "Real Love" years later, perhaps.

Yoko also gets one really great song, in the closing "You're The One," which she wrote after John's death. "In the world's eyes, we were Laurel and Hardy," she pines, only to follow that verse with "in our minds, we were Heathcliff and Cathy." It's one of the few times she's hit upon an amazing song, and it almost justifies the album's purchase. But ultimately, while not as gawd-awful as "Menlove Ave" (which not-so-mysteriously did not get in this 2010 remastering blitz), "Milk and Honey" is unfinished music, placed on the market to feed the morbidly curious. I re-bought it, yes, but now I remember why I sold it out of the collection decades ago.

Double Fantasy Stripped Down [New Mix + Original Recording Remastered] Imagine Power To The People: The Hits Mind Games Walls And Bridges Rock 'N' Roll
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]
Ramones: Needles and Pins
Beatles: Till There was You
Elvis Costello: What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding?
10,000 Maniacs: Because The Night
Soft Cell: Tainted love
Grace Jones: Demolition Man
Pet Shop Boys: Go West
Robert Palmer: Bad Case of Loving You
Johnny Cash: Hurt
Jeff Buckley: Hallelujah
Cake: I Will Survive
Talking Heads: Take me To The River
Adam Lambert: Mad World
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)

blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)

Infinite ArmsSplittin' Apart at The Seams
4 Out Of 5 Stars

Band of Horses jump to a major label and do the new members shuffle for "Infinite Arms." While the result still sounds like the band that recorded "Everything All The Time" (mainly due to Ben Birdwell's wonderful voice), the band now sounds more like it belongs to Ben than ever before. His voice is now more front and center, the playing tighter and there's less of a dream-world sound than before.

This is a mixed blessing. While "Infinite Arms" feels more like a cohesive record than the previous two, it comes at the expense of the grandiose mood swings those albums owned. Ben is also working on his radio-friendly chops. "Laraedo" is the obvious ringer, but I was also seriously taken by the Beach Boy harmony on "Blue Beard." "For Annabelle" even comes off as a Southern Rock/Eagles ballad. There's atmosphere to spare all around (and especially on the title track and opener, "Factory"), so those who did fall in love with the ethereal sounds of the earlier album will find their space.

Overall, a solid record, maybe their best. Like Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses is finding a way to stay spatial while still finding their way down to Earth.

Fleet Foxes Cease to Begin Z

blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Day 25. A song that makes you laugh:

blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Day 23. A song that you want to play at your wedding.

Day 24. A song that you want to play at your funeral.

Two of them: In this Order


The Kinks - a song that always makes me both happy and sad at the same time.

Music Meme

Sep. 2nd, 2010 10:25 pm
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Day 20 - A Song when you're angry.

One of the funniest, angriest songs. Ever. From the lost classic "Life In The Foodchain."
blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)
Day 16. A song that you used to love but now hate

Day 17. A song that you hear (too) often on the radio.


blackleatherbookshelf: (Default)

September 2015

   1 2345


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 10:16 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios