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Sunday, August 14, 2011



Alyssa Reid
The Game (Wax) :: “I didn’t see that coming” says a stock-sampled voice at the end of the first track, and it sure knows whereof it speaks because this one starts out with a plaintive solo piano paean in the sensitive style of Tori Amos only to shift into a brief church choir vamp that hints at a potential future as an art rock practitioner. Then everything belly-flops into a generic mung of breathy squeaky-voiced girl power angst-ridden ballads and mandatory guest star macho raps, all of which come straight outta Xerox Studios complete with embarrassing cringe-inducing lyrics like this one: “I feel like Spider-Man, you got me flyin’ offa the wall.” Calling Doc Ock!

– “Spider-Man” (Sire) :: Julie Taymor should’ve hired these guys instead. So what if they’re all dead? They’d still do a better job.

Phantoms (Modern Outsider) :: And so would these guys ’cause they crank out a power pop pulse that has absolutely everything you want to hear as the summer winds down and the winter winds up—and that includes a surfeit of jing-jangly guitars; chirpy-chick vocals; and skin-slammin’ beats to keep your ten toes aligned and tappin’ in time. Even better, they’re not adverse to shifting gears and submerging into an echoing ethereal environment of evocative emotion. You know, kinda like a midnight meeting of the minds between Portishead and Sandii & The Sunsetz.

Live At The Greek Theatre: 1982 (Eagle) :: Brothers and sisters, I’m ashamed to admit it now but, back in the day, I had no time for these guys—which only goes to show what kind of a snooty stuck-up snob I was. Maybe if they’d called themselves the Coke Brothers instead, I might’ve been interested. And you can bet your bottom dollar that an old Glam Rock adherent like myself would’ve been there in a Jobriath heartbeat had they gone the blown tranny route and called themselves the Smack Sisters. Heck, even an inner city moniker like the Crack Cousins could’ve caught my attention but, c’mon, the Doobie Brothers? Oh, pshaw; it is to laugh.

Well, better late if ever I always say—and that’s why I’m man enough to ’fess up and admit that I was as wrong as wrong can be when I lifted my leg on these guys ’cause this is one of the hottest and downright funkiest live albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Shucks, even the smooth-as-silk make out ballads have enough pudenda-pounding potential to make you wanna conduct your own baton-brandishing bedspring symphony, if you catch my drift. But whatever you do, don’t make the same mistake that I did. Go out and buy this raucous rip-roarin’ record now, while there’s still time to save your musical soul.

I guess I should’ve listened to Frampton Comes Alive and Saturday Night Fever when they came out, too, huh?

Be seeing you!

Sun, August 14, 2011 | link 

Sunday, August 7, 2011



Jim Morrison
music by The DoorsAn American Prayer (Elektra) :: Morrison Hotel may be the apex of his Doors career but, if you ignore the superfluous bonus tracks and stick with the original vinyl incarnation, this is Jimbo’s finest solo moment, however posthumous. His surviving band mates did him good by crafting an album that’s so restrained it sneaks up on you every time you think you’ve got it memorized. It’s just too bad that the singer himself never got to hear it becaus—oh, that’s right, I almost forget: Jim is alive, man!

Bad Company
Live At Wembley (Eagle) :: I saw them in the ’70s on their first North American tour as the opening act for someone—maybe it was Screaming Lord Sutch—and they were so good that I walked out before the headliners even hit the stage—possibly it was the Masked Marauders—and went straight to my friendly neighborhood record store; shelled out $2.99 to buy a copy of their debut album; headed home; slapped it on the old Victrola; and was shocked by how dead ass dull it was compared to their dynamic live show. Well, this new offering is the butane barn-burner I expected to hear that night, from Paul Rogers’ hyper-studly “Can’t Get Enough” to Mick Ralph’s Hoople-standard “Ready For Love” and beyond. Wait, I remember, it was Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys!

The Prodigy
Live: The World’s On Fire (The End) :: The only band that matters never sounded as bludgeoningly brutal as they do on this audio-video twofer. When the singer sagely says: “I hear thunder but there’s no rain! This kind of thunder breaks walls and window panes!” he ain’t talkin’ about unbridled nature, he’s talkin’ about an unnatural aural assault propelled by a bowel-buffeting bass that’s so severe it makes the bottom end on “Instant Karma” sound like a crumpled ball of tin foil by comparison. Despite ostensibly being a tour souvenir album inevitably infused with a surfeit of songs from Invaders Must Die, all the global game changers are accounted for, including the iconic “Firestarter” and the heroic “Smack My Bitch Up.” The real Prodigy experience, however, is on the second disc’s full-length video, which readily redefines what a live performance oughtta be.

and Cliff EberhardtAll Wood And Doors (MVD Audio) :: Already they’re calling this one a CSN version of the Doors, but that’s just lazy shorthand by so-called “music journalists” who never heard of the Kingston Trio. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon now; trust me, Babe: can’t you see that I am not afraid to say that this tastefully acoustic guitar session is nothing less than a bluesy stripped-down symposium that showcases how truly timeless their greatest hits really are? Bonus points for being accompanied by erstwhile Doors members Robbie Krieger and John Densmore; plus previous Monkee Peter Tork. Hey hey, they’re the Doorkees!

Stronger than dirt!

Sun, August 7, 2011 | link 

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