Entry for July 05, 2006

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Oh no! There I was, sitting at my word processor, writing an introduction to this column that was simply the most profound thing I’d ever written. I’m not too modest to admit it, it was a masterwork: Three paragraphs that essentially told it like it was, in no uncertain terms, about rock ‘n’ roll and–dare I say it?–life itself!

Yepper, I was stunned at the quality of what I’d written. And you would’ve been, too! Too bad I wrote it on Saturday afternoon, August 10–the day a peculiar “power outage” blacked out much of the Western United States…including my very own house!

Yep! You guessed it! Before I could save what I’d written, it vanished into thin air and I was left with absolutely nothing!

So–rather than attempt to rewrite what I’d written, which, frankly, would be impossible, I’ll say only this: Billy Joel probably could whip Joe Jackson’s butt in a mud-wrestling contest!

 

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101 STRINGS Astro-Sounds From Beyond The Year 2000 (Scamp)  With all this hipster resurgence of “lounge music,” it figures some clowns somewhere would reissue this set–which features “the far out sounds of tomorrow’s uncharted trip beyond the now generation,” boasts a cheesy psychedelic cover, and cost me all of $1.99 when I bought it at a Winn-Dixie supermarket in 1969. Ummagumma it ain’t, but if you like Space Music, and songs with titles like “A Disappointed Love With A Desensitized Robot”–and who doesn’t?–you’ll buy this and other concepts as well! 4/5

 

PLACEBO Placebo (Elevator/Caroline) Reviews of my fave new album of the month have pegged this accurately indeed: Imagine an American singer sounding like both Feargal Sharkey and Geddy Lee fronting a Scandanavian rhythm section that pounds, shreds, and other similar verbs! Now imagine a duck making soap! Brilliant, catchy stuff, the highlight here has to be “36 Degrees,” which makes the logical leap and finally uses actual numbers as lyrics! Shouldn’t we all be doing that? 5/5

 

THE AMERICAN ANALOG SET  The Fun Of Watching Fireworks (Emperor Jones/Trance) Thanks to 1991’s Lack Of All Relevant Information On Album Covers Act, I have absolutely no information to offer about these rockin’ dudes–other than their label has an Austin, TX mailing address and their art director favors the color white. But! If you’re the kind of guy who once liked Philly’s Mandrake Memorial–or has the obscure White Whale album Suddenly One Summer by J.K. & Co. and digs it muchly–this record was produced precisely for you! If not, get something else! 4.5/5

 

THE APARTMENTS Fete Foraine (Hot mail-order UK import) A band near and dear to my heart–for they produced last year’s finest album, A Life Full Of Farewells–this disc features cultish Australian singer-songwriter Peter M. Walsh re-recording 10 tunes from the three albums he’s made since 1985’s The Evening Visits…And Stays For Years. While I’d prefer hearing entirely new material–which apparently doesn’t come easily to Walsh–I’d rather hear this than almost anything else you can name. Highly recommended, and obtainable from: Hot Records, PO Box 333, Brighton, Sussex BN1 2EH UK, fax 44 (0) 1903 77 6118 4.5/5

 

THE OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL Music From The Unrealized Film Script Dusk At Cubist Castle (Flydaddy) Offered by the same dandy label which brought us Cardinal and that band’s Richard Davies, this lengthy batch of cool pop shares similar influences–think Left Banke and the Bee Gees–and will figure prominently in any upcoming thinkpieces on “orchestral pop” you may or may not read in famous trade publications! I’ve listened to this over and over again, absolutely love it, and need to go get some gas in my car tomorrow! 4.5/5

 

(BAM, 8/16/96)

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