Entry for June 26, 2006

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Silly me! Here I was, convinced that 1995 simply couldn’t top 1994 for sheer musical wonderfullness–and I was wrong!

Puzzled?  Don’t be!  I’ve just received a press release notifying me that the Pavarotti And Friends II album will be in stores Tuesday, June 6–and, better yet, it will feature a guest appearance by Canadian superstar Bryan Adams!   

The kicker? “Highlights of the concert include Adams and Pavarotti singing Adams’ chart hit `All For Love’ and the same duo in a brilliant rendition of `O Sole Mio.'”     

Now imagine they’ll be singing it completely in the nude! 

Yee-hah!

 

***

 

TEENAGE FANCLUB Grand Prix (DGC) 4/5   POOH STICKS Optimistic Fool (Seed) 4.5/5 Well then, it’s agreed: To be truly hip, all bands must now emulate ’70s bands like Brinsley Schwarz, Starry Eyed & Laughing and massive super sellers Big Star!  It’s great!  And these albums–which come well into the careers of both of these Scottish wamboes, and represent a startling maturity, clarity of vision, and third thing–are among the finest collections of pop music you’ll hear all year!  It’s enough to make me randomly proclaim that somebody good stinks!

 

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bubblegum Classics Vol. 1 & 2 (Varese Vintage) both 4/5  Though there are a few bad calls and some missed opportunities here, this pair of late ’60s collections are the cheeriest records I’ve ever heard in stereo yet!  Offering big hits by such faves as Edison Lighthouse, the Cuff Links, the White Plains, and everyone who ever recorded for Buddah Records, these discs conclusively prove that all of rock history as we know it is wrong and it doesn’t even matter!  To quote T.S Eliot, if…oh, never mind.

 

UNDERGROUND LOVERS Dream It Down (Polydor) I have absolutely no idea who this Australian quintet is; ironically, they, too, have no knowledge of my own existence. Still, that wouldn’t stop me from highly recommending this album to anyone!  “Imagine a group that combines the best elements of the early Church and mid-period Cure,” I’d say.  “Now imagine that same group has been blown up!” I’d say exactly that, I think, and you would probably be mad at me. 4.5/5

 

TELEVISION PERSONALITIES Yes Darling, But Is It Art? (Early Singles And Rarities) (Seed)  Further proof that in the early ’80s I slid into a parallel world, this incredibly spectacular, much-needed, collector’s dream of an album will undoubtedly be ignored by nearly everyone on earth!  It’s weird!  That said, let me also add that this double-length CD featuring Brit cult legend Dan Treacy is an absolute necessity for anyone the slightest bit interested in music, dance, or that unsettling notion that an entire world of good times is passing you by while you sit alone shivering in a closet! 5/5

 

XAVIER CUGAT 16 Most Requested Songs (Legacy/Columbia) I’m not the first person in the world to compare the late Xavier Cugat and his wife Charo to Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, and Lord knows I won’t be the last.  Still, the comparison is striking. Like Nirvana’s late singer/guitarist, the affable Spaniard, known the world over as “Coogie,” took particular pleasure in detailing the grim realities of everyday existence. Heard here are 16 memorable Cugat recordings, including such soul-searing works as “My Shawl (Ombo),” the shockingly confrontational “You, So It’s You,” and the harrowing “South America, Take It Away,” a statement of personal politics certainly as deeply felt as Cobain’s own “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Also, both Cugat and Cobain had wives who were sort of hot.  4/5

 

(BAM, 5/16/95)

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