Primal Scream's new single has a gorgeous cover of crazy ol' Townes Van Zandt's typically lovely Southern Gothic ballad To Live Is To Fly as its B-Side. Worth the money on its own, even if A-Side Country Girl hadn't been a hilariously joyous tear-up itself. As per usual with The Spinal Cream, a quick game of "spot the influence" quickly leads to Led Zeppelin's Boogie With Stu, from PHYSICAL GRAFFITI. Only with slightly less daft lyrics. In the words of Alan Hansen: h'unbelievable.
The Raconteurs's album BROKEN BOY SOLDIERS is a likeable slice of power pop, except when the alchemic cross-pollenation of Jack White and Brendan Benson conspires to make them sound like Rush. The Who - oh yes. Fleetwood Mac - sure. The Small Faces - why not? Squeeze - hmmm. But Rush? Nein Danke.
When I was a kid I disliked Bruce Springsteen intensely. I thought him synonymous with a boring, lumbering form of AOR that was the definition of tedium. I thought he had one good track, that was much better when covered by The Stupids for comic effect as "Born To Skate". Even worse, my dad liked him. This dislike mellowed with age, never to the point of actually buying one of his records, though.
Imagine my surprise when I came home from the pub a couple of weeks ago and caught some of a live show on BBC4, playing tracks from his new album WE SHALL OVERCOME: THE SEEGER SESSIONS. I was quite unprepared for how much I'd like it: the band were absolutely kick-ass, lurching from bluegrass to zydeco to New Orleansy jazz with ease, often within the confines of the same song. Given that Pete Seeger was such a regular interpreter of the works of his friend Woody Guthrie, Springsteen cleverly inverts that influence, sounding like Guthrie playing the songs associated with Seeger. Something in this album's water reminds me of two projects I've loved in recent years, Steve Earle's album THE MOUNTAIN with The Del McCoury Band; and Billy Bragg and Wilco's two MERMAID AVENUE long players.
If you liked either of these, or even Bobby Dylan's THE BASEMENT TAPES, chances are you'll dig this. Even if you did hate Bruce Springsteen before.