my latest cd review for the paper
IN YOUR EAR
Kevin Wood / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer
Everything Must Go
Warner Music, 2,400 yen
Back with a new album after a relatively short break this time, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's follow-up to 2000's album-of-the-year Grammy winner Two Against Nature is more of the same jazz-infused pop soul that made the band one of the greatest of the '70s and '80s.
Becker and Fagen have not mellowed with age, merely honed their dry, dark wit. The differences between Everything Must Go and earlier classics like Aja (1977) and Can't Buy a Thrill (1972) are superficial and tracks from the new album would have been quite at home on any of the band's earlier albums.
Gone are hot studio guitar players like Skunk Baxter and Denny Diaz from the early incarnations of Steely Dan. In their place we find Becker's polished, precise riffs and Fagen's lush horn arrangements.
Fagen's keyboard chops and clear, plaintive voice have lost nothing from the band's heyday, and Becker, in addition to playing all the driving, funky bass on the album, has come up yet another notch on this album from his exceptionally tasty solo guitar work on Two Against Nature. He also makes his debut as a lead vocalist on "Slang of Ages."
From their earliest work, there has always been a decadent feel to Steely Dan's immaculately arranged studio pop. That theme continues here on songs like "Things I Miss the Most," with the singer bemoaning the loss of "the talk, the sex, the somebody to trust, the Audi TT, the house on the Vineyard, the house on the Gulf Coast."
Such delightfully snide criticism of materialism runs through album bookended as it is with "The Last Mall," a singing commercial for an Armageddon day sale, and the title track, a last memo from a corrupt CEO whose corporate malfeasance has caught up with the whole company.
A Steely Dan album is like a chocolate eclair--its arrival gives us pleasure and its departure merely makes us hungry for more.
On and On
Universal, 2,427 yen
Former professional surfer and filmmaker Jack Johnson's second album On and On, is, like its creator, a product of Hawaii.
The album was recorded in Johnson's studio there, with one track recorded live, complete with breaking ocean wave accompaniment, at a beach barbecue at his brother's home.
Johnson is reminiscent of that guy you knew in university who played old classic rock tunes on acoustic guitar around the bonfire or in late night dorm-room jam sessions. He wasn't the greatest guitarist or singer, but fun to listen to. Now suddenly that same guy is making hit records, but he hasn't really changed.
By most accounts, Johnson's success as a musician has come almost in spite of his relaxed approach. The intimate feel of On and On gives new meaning to the term "laid back."
Simple three-chord guitar grooves, backed with basic drums and bass and topped with idiosyncratic lyrics delivered in an almost hip-hop cadence make for a folky, eminently listenable, relaxing album.
Despite the laid back feel of On and On there are flashes of poetic cleverness in songs like "The Horizon Has Been Defeated" ("People are lonely and only animals with fancy shoes") and Symbol in My Driveway ("I've got a perfect set of blueprints/I'm gonna build somebody else") and some fairly muscular guitar work that in another setting might seem bombastic, but here acts more like an extra
"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"
Thursday, June 19, 2003
my latest cd review for the paper
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Speaking of chronolgy ...a few historical tidbits for those of an historical bent.
June 17, 1497- Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto, on a mission for the English Crown and therefore known to most of us as John Cabot, 'discovers' Canada (actually for about the third time, but this time the idea caught on in Europe and people remembered where it was.)
June 18, 1876. - Indians 200, Yankees 0 - 200 members of the US. 7th calvary under egotistical moron and genocidal maniac Gen. George Armstrong Custer are wiped out by the Sioux at Little Big Horn, Montana. Also on June 18, 1903 George Orwell is born.
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
This is mainly to see what "reverse chronological order" will do.
So post something. Like.......
Hey folks, while you're downloading the new Metalica album with your favorite software (nyuck, nyuck).... check this one out.
The more you know Frank Zappa the more you will appreciate the song "Genius in France" on the new Weird Al album. I honestly thought it was going to be about Jerry Lewis. Be warned, its just short of nine minutes long. If you know Frank, that should already be funny. I havent laughed so hard in a loooong time. He does a Dylanesque one called "Bob" too, but I didn't think it was near as good as "Genius". Oh, both are original Al-tunes and not a specific song parody.
Post............ or should I say "sign my poodle".
Monday, June 16, 2003
Speaking of comedy ruining perfectly good music. I can no longer listen to The Doors without seeing Bruce McCulloch demand that I steal a car........
Transcribed from: Comedy Central
Transcribed by: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce- Record Store Clerk
Vito Viscomi- Second Customer
[THE SCENE: An old record store somewhere, presumably Los Angeles. There is a couple looking at records and a Bruce is talking to them.]
Bruce: Yeah...those are all hacked...[shrugs and gestures to couple] Take care.
[The Couple leaves and a Kevin enters the store and begins looking around the record bin.]
Kevin: 'Scuse me.
Kevin: Do you have the new Depeche Mode record?
Bruce: Yeah it's over there, [motions to the record bin] but it sucks.
[He continues to work on paperwork.]
Kevin: Well, do you have the latest Pixies album?
Bruce: Yeah, but it sucks. All that new stuff sucks, but it's over there.
Kevin: You know, actually I was thinking of getting into something vintage. Anyway...I don't know, maybe The Doors?
[Bruce spins around and looks at Kevin.]
Bruce: Really! Never had you figured for a Doors fan.
Kevin: I'm not really a Doors fan, but sure I'd like to get into them...
Bruce: No no no my friend! Doors fans aren't made, they're born. I think right now in Africa there's some guy madly beating on a drum. He's a Doors fan. Or an old lady sitting on the bus sucking humbugs. She's a Rider On The Storm, but she ain't never heard the sounds.
[Bruce looks at Kevin and snaps his fingers.]
Bruce: So what about you?
Kevin: Well I heard a record of theirs last night at a party...
Kevin: ...and I've always liked Love Her Madly.
Bruce: Well, if you become a Doors fan, Love Her Madly is the only song you won't like.
Kevin: Oh right! [Looking through the record bin eagerly] I guess I should start with the Greatest Hits?!
Bruce: Hey! Greatest Hits are for housewives and little girls!
[He takes the record away from the Kevin and throws it across the store, and starts pushing the Kevin out of the store.]
Bruce: You're not serious! You don't want to be a Doors fan! Get out of my store! We're closed, get out!
[Bruce walks back toward the counter, clearly offended.]
Kevin: No no no no! I want you to show me the way!
Bruce: turns and looks at Kevin with disgust.
Bruce: Was that a Frampton reference in my store?!
[Kevin thinks for a second as a look of terror crosses his face.]
Kevin: No no no no! No lyrics, just words, just words...words?
Bruce: All right if you want to be a Doors fan, you cant just buy any album. It's scientific.
[Bruce goes to the record bin and picks out an album.]
Bruce: You gotta buy this...Waiting For The Sun. It's the departure point.
[Bruce kisses the album tenderly and glances at the credits on the back.]
Bruce: Listen to it around dusk every night for about a month.
[He hands the album to Kevin.]
Kevin: Sounds good! Then what...?
Bruce: Who's playing bass?
[Kevin looks frantically at the back of the record.]
Kevin: Umm duuuu baaaa.... No one?!
Bruce: No bass!
Kevin: No bass?!
Bruce: That's right! The gypsies had no homes, The Doors had no bass. But don't let that scare you, my friend let that liberate you! 'Cause when you're free flying with the Doors, man - what do you need a safety net for?
Kevin: [shouting] Viva Le Doors!
Bruce: Viva Le Doors. But listen, there's a burden that every real Doors fan has got to live with. That's the fact that the greatest rock n' roll band of all time is never going to play live again. You can't live in the past...
Kevin: No wait...there's hope. I heard once that Iggy Pop is going to front them and the Doors are going to tour again!
Bruce: Where did ya hear that?
Kevin: I heard it somewhere...
Bruce: Yeah?!? Read it in your precious Creem Magazine maybe? Well, it's not going to happen.
Kevin: Well how do you know that?
Bruce: Because somebody told me.
Kevin: Well, who told you?
Bruce: Do you wanna know who told me?
Kevin: Well, yeah...
Bruce: Jim Fuckin' Morrisson told me, that's who!!
[Vito runs into the store.]
Vito: Hey! Do you have the new Depeche Mode album?
[Kevin points at Vito and screams...]
[Vito runs out of the store.]
Bruce: I forgive you. Here. [Hands Kevin a copy of Morrisson Hotel] Take this, it's an 8-track tape. It's one of the last in existence. I want you to steal a car...
Kevin: I have a car...
Bruce: Steal a car!
Kevin: Steal a car!!
Bruce: I want you to get in it and drive West. Play the tape full blast. When the tape ends, get out and get into a fight, then get back into the car, come to town and meet me at the Carcas Club.
Kevin: What will you do?
Bruce: I will let you in to the most prestigious hotel of all time...
Kevin: Which is?
Bruce: [rolling his eyes] Mor'son Hotel!
Kevin: Then what?
Bruce: Then, you're gonna be a Doors fan, man.
[A door opens to a bright new future, which the soon to be Doors fan walks through, with his spirit guide, the Bruce.]
Credit to Kids in the Hall/Broadway Video
just a little something from the kids in the hall for pete and mike.......
Transcribed from: Comedy Central
Transcribed by both: KdsInThHal@aol.com and I Hecubus@aol.com
[Opens with Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet playing music, Bruce McCulloch sitting in a chair playing bass. Kevin McDonald appears from behind Bruce]
Kevin: That's the best bass player I ever heard. He's playin' so sweet, I'm gettin' chubby. You know what I like best about the bass player? His neck.
[Bruce bobs his head a few times]
Kevin: Oh, he made a little mistake. You may not have noticed it, but if you did, I think you'll enjoy my tale. Hmmm....
[Singing:] The mother, the father, the serpent, the priest. The foreman, the woman, the widow, the beast.
Hey, bass player. Look at the bass player. Look at that smile, there's sadness in that smile. Look at that chord structure, there's sadness in that chord structure. Look at him flail like the wailin' wall with nothin' but stubby fingers and a dumb look on his face. He don't know it but he's balding...spiritually. But everybody hates the bass player. No one invites the bass player to the party after the show.
Bruce: Hey, what are you guys doin' after the show? Oh, nothin'? Okay.
Kevin: If he does go to the party, he can only get the good looking girl's... best friend.
Bruce: Is Heather coming?
Kevin: [laughing] Heather...The bass player is the loser of the band, yes he is, if you don't believe me take a look at the one you're with. But, there's something beautiful about the bass, sometimes when I listen to it, I--I don't know, I get caught up in the swirl, I'm flying, I'm flying Ma, over a big beautiful lake. He's playing the bass and I'm flying. Sometimes when I land I'm in a different neighborhood, but that's okay, 'cause whenever I listen to the bass player, I always bring cab fare. But after all, aren't we all bass players? Aren't you all bass players? They told me this was a bass players convention, you are all bass... Pick up the beat, pick up the beat. Hide the sadness, and tap your feet.
Singing: The mother, the father, the serpent, the priest. The foreman, the woman, the widow, the beast. Aren't you glad that you're not one?
[Kevin hides behind Bruce's chair and SMOASP begin playing once again]