Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stuff I've been listening to recently

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.

9 comments:

jason said...

dude I always hated him too. then just out of the blue I seen the boss on the tube and wham it just seemed to rock! crazy huh....well as long as there's no mic sharing I hate that...

Squinner said...

This may be of interest

http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/300/feature5/http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/300/feature5/

squinner said...

oh and this

http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/ghostrider/

squinner said...

then again, you like your scifi

http://wip.warnerbros.com/ascannerdarkly/

Mark said...

Dick's A SCANNER DARKLY is one of my favourite novels of all time, so yes, the prospect of it being made into a movie fills me with a mixture of trepidation and anticipation. In many ways, it could be the easiest of Dick's novels to film (being, as it is, barely sci-fi), but Hollywood doesn't exactly have the best track record with him (bar BLADE RUNNER, of course).

300 looks good, too: it seems they've gone the Rodriquez approach to adapting it: always a good idea. I've got such low expectations from a GHOST RIDER film, anyway, that it shouldn't be too hard to exceed them. He was a hokey character in a perennially crappy comic. You never know: they might just pull the rabbit out of the hat (like with BLADE) and make a minor genre classic. Nic Cage has been wanting to play a superhero, any superhero (attached to make SUPERMAN LIVES with Burton, then IRON MAN, neither getting made), for so long, it'd be nice to see him pull it off.

geoff said...

me got that rod and the faces compilation that was out a few years ago on the cd player at the moment.

sounds somewhat better than it had when got it. i think i was just bitterly disappointed at the selection of tracks at the time, but bouggers can't be cheesers as they say, and until i get hold of every cd they did, i can't exactly make my own compilation anyway.

spunkstain was never really that bad, y'know. he put out the odd bit of crap and the odd gem. the fact that everything on the born to run album pissed me off greatly, so i haven't bought one of his albums since. thought about getting nebraska a long time ago. never did get it. thought of getting his new album - but y'know me, the next album i get will either be something alt.rock (if it's still called that) and trendy, some cheap reissue/remaster from 1960s or 70s or yet another deano compilation.

Mark said...

Always thought if you have A NOD'S AS GOOD AS A WINK and OOH LA LA then you've got all the The Faces albums you'll ever need. Everything else was warm-up or rip-off.

geoff said...

pretty much.

redlib said...

Ah, Springsteen. Saw him (in home state New Jersey) recently on his solo tour- he played the harmonica, guitar, kept a drum beat with some footpad, and sang. It was quite the scene.