6.27.2008

Our MORNING JACKET

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"It Makes No Difference"
"Black Sabbath"
"Rocket Man"
"Where to Begin" by MY MORNING JACKET:
Louisville, KY's My Morning Jacket have a new album out. If you've come here with the expectation that you're going to hear about it, I'm sorry to disappoint you. Other than a couple of tracks, I haven't heard it yet. I'm sure there are dozens of places where you can find all the latest breaking news, anyway.

Tonight, I'd rather give you a few rarities and live tracks. My Morning Jacket have slowly been earning the reputation as one of the best live bands working today, and judging from what I've seen and heard from dozens of bootlegs and televised performances, that reputation is solid. The band recently appeared on Saturday Night Live and absolutely killed on "I'm Amazed" and the strangely Prince-ian "Evil Urges," a track that has been dividing MMJ fans down the middle. Decide for yourself HERE.

My Morning Jacket have fantastic taste in covers, as represented by the inclusion in this post of their live rendition of Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath," and their studio recording of The Band's classic "It Makes No Difference." Even when covering a song that has been driven into the ground by classic rock radio, like Elton John's "Rocket Man," lead singer Jim James manages to breathe new life into the tune.

The band were one of the few highlights of Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown, and also (depending on your opinion of the rest of the movie) Todd Haynes' meditation on Bob Dylan, I'm Not There. "Where to Begin" comes from the former film; I previously posted MMJ's take on Dylan's "Going to Acapulco" a few months back.

For Omaha area readers, My Morning Jacket will be performing outdoors at the Stir Concert Cove in August. I highly recommend checking them out, and I hope to see you there.

Songs my iPod shuffle re-introduced me to this week:

"Big Love" by KEVIN DREW & BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE

"Conquest" by TAPES N TAPES

Don't forget to check out Dylan and the Movies to see if watching 365 movies in 365 days takes its toll on my psyche.

6.25.2008

With the quickness.

Okay, no time right now, but I do have a couple of housecleaning issues to deal with:

"The Pusher" by NINA SIMONE

First and foremost, I'm starting a new blog. "What the fuck, Dylan?" you might be saying. "You can't even keep up with this one."

I know, I know. This one isn't a music blog, though. For no exceptional reason I decided to try and watch 365 movies in the next 365 days and write about the movies whenever possible. Since I didn't want to clog up this site or my MySpace blog writing about movies on an almost daily basis, I started Dylan & the Movies. If you ever find yourself bored. . . incredibly bored, please stop by and check out what I've been watching.

In other news, a reader posted a comment in my last post about the old GUIDED BY VOICES 100 I did a few years back. They specifically asked if I could post the entire Jellyfish Reflector album, along with the vinyl-only bonus tracks. Unfortunately for all of us, I can't post the album. I only own it on vinyl, and was lucky enough to find someone long ago who could send me an .mp3 of "Pantherz," one of my all time favorite GBV tracks. I'm reposting that song tonight for that reader. I'm sorry I couldn't do more for you, friend:

"Pantherz" by GUIDED BY VOICES

6.16.2008

"I've got a lump in my throat about the note you wrote."

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"Contact"
"Nothing Achieving"
"Canary in a Coalmine"
"I Burn for You"
"Synchronicity II" by THE POLICE:
On a whim, I caught The Police a few weeks ago on the Omaha stop of their reunion tour. I couldn't decide if I was excited to see the show. Something about it felt. . . obligatory. It didn't help matters that I had caught a post-Police Sting show in one of my earliest concert memories (he was touring for The Soul Cages), and little about that show sticks out for me today. At that point, his pretentiousness was rank, a victim of the classic "once cool guy who ages into complete douchebag" / Rod Stewart syndrome.

It doesn't hurt that Sting was backed by two dudes far more electrifying than he: drummer Stewart Copeland and guiartist Andy Summers (or Somers, if you prefer the true spelling). In Omaha a few weeks ago, these two guys proved why Sting's ego couldn't fit within these confines anymore; it was because he was the least talented guy in the band. I'm pretty sure it's a fact at this point that Copeland is one of the best drummers ever, and after seeing Summers play guitar in person, I'm fairly certain he should be considered among the best to play that instrument as well.

As the show neared I stared to listen to my Police albums. I remembered how many classic songs lay hidden away on those records. Weird numbers like "Contact," with it's droning bassline and spidery guitar. Certainly, they weren't going to play these songs at the show, but it was still a cool reminder that these guys were a lot weirder and cooler than their legacy might seem. I'm almost positive I've posted "Nothing Achieving" here before, but I had to drag it back out to prove to the kids that, at one time, Sting rocked. I held out hopes for hearing "Canary in a Coalmine," or even something slow like "I Burn for You" at the show, but neither made its way into the setlist.

I was most bummed by the omission of "Synchronicity II," a song I had noticed they'd been playing on this tour, and one of my favorite Police songs. Listening to it now reminded me of just how dark and bleak the majority of The Police's material is, especially the songs they somehow turned into hits. If anyone is truly the forebear for bands like Radiohead, a massively popular band without a sunny song to its name, it's The Police. "Roxanne" is about a guy who loves a prostitute begging her not to go out anymore. "Every Breath You Take" is about a stalker. Even the seemingly bubbly "Don't Stand So Close to Me" is the story of a teacher trying not to lust after one of his student's. Christ, these guys had a hit called "King of Pain"!

"Synchronicity II" is pretty much the ultimate bummer of a hit song. Full of family strife, suburban malaise, chemical destruction, suicide, the soul crushing nature of work. . . all thematically linked somehow to a creature crawling from a lake to destroy all in its path. It kind of baffles my mind to this day that a lyric like, "And every single meeting with his so-called superior IS A HUMILIATING KICK IN THE CROTCH!" is played daily on radio stations around the country. To go back to my Radiohead comparison, "Synchronicity II" was the "No Surprises" of it's day.

Ultimately, I was definitely glad I went to the show. Hell, the ticket price (approx. $58 with fees) alone was worth seeing Stewart Copeland work his madness. Having the incredible Elvis Costello as the opener didn't hurt one bit, either.


TUESDAYS WITH LIZZY!

"Just the Two of Us" by THIN LIZZY:
Another Tuesday, another Lizzy jam, as promised. This one is a b-side from the Black Rose album. That's all you need to know.


In other news tonight. . .

"S.F. Sorrow" by S.F. SEALS
"S.F. Sorrow is Born" by THE PRETTY THINGS:
Those paying close attention will know that I posted the original version of The Pretty Things' "S.F. Sorrow is Born" (presented again here tonight) a long time ago. I was pleased to have someone forward me the S.F. Seals' take on the track a few nights ago, as it's one of my favorite songs and has always seemed to me to be shamefully ignored. I really like the Seals' take on it, though they don't surpass the chugging psych-rock of the original. I have to give them points for taste, and credit for leaving no detail unexamined in their version.


"I Can Only Give You Everything" by THEM:
Man, Van Morrison had some pipes.


"D├ęcollage" by BALAYEURS DU DESERT:
I've had this one going on repeat for days now. Hypnotic.

6.03.2008

"Crackers!", Thin Lizzy Tuesday, etc.

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(Image nabbed from Post Punk Kitchen)


"Do Do Wap is Strong in Here"
"Little Child Runnin' Wild"
"Get Down"
"(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go" by CURTIS MAYFIELD:
Say what you will about Curtis Mayfield, but what you're sayin' better be good. Mayfield's intoning and screaming at the opening of "...Hell Below" is pretty much as in-your-face as Soul gets. Hearing "Do Do Wap" again after not hearing it for a year reminds me how much I miss my old DJ gig sometimes.

"Sarah"
"Sarah"
"Cowboy Song (live)" by THIN LIZZY:
That's right, adventures of Phil Lynott and Company continue here at Pimps of Gore, in what will pop up regularly (okay, more likely to be occasional) as Thin Lizzy Tuesday. Back when I used to frequent a blog called Kittytext, my love for the Lizzy blossomed because of that blogger's weekly posts on the band. I hope to convert a few of you on a semi-weekly basis as well. The two "Sarah" tracks posted here today are vastly different; the former is a mostly acoustic piano ballad, while the latter is bubbly, somewhat dated, and impossible not to enjoy. Lynott wrote the latter version with guitarist Gary Moore as an ode to Lynott's newborn daughter. Can you imagine your parents writing a song like this for/about you? Can you imagine having this to listen to after your dad is gone? Sometimes I'm a sentimental bastard. As a bonus, and as a tribute to my friend Brian who performed this song in live band karaoke the other night, I've added a live take of "Cowboy Song" from a concert in Philadelphia circa 1977.

"Goner"
"Keep a Friend" by DR. DOG:
I figure since I'm already bringing up Thin Lizzy for the 400th time, I might as well keep being a repeating piece of shit and post a couple more Dr. Dog favorites. "Goner" is a mindblower, a goosebump inducing masterpiece that evokes (but never apes) everyone from Bowie to Queen to The Beatles. Both of tonight's songs are as good as anything Wilco has ever recorded. Dr. Dog deserve to be big. They've got a new album coming out next month, so keep your eyes peeled around these Internets for previews, etc. Check out Dr. Dog's site for half a dozen more downloads, news, etc.

"Title and Registration"
"Title and Registration (alt. version)" by DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE:
Since we're kind of rocking that mainstream radio "2 for Tuesday" vibe this evening, here are two versions of Death Cab for Cutie's "Title and Registration." The first version comes directly from the Transatlanticism album. I don't know much about the alternate take, but I can only guess it was an early mix of the song before some of the studio tinkering went into effect, and frankly did the song a disservice. I thought of posting a song from Death Cab's new album, but figured WebSheriff would come a knockin'. Hell with that.