Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sufjan Stevens: "John Wayne Gacy, Jr."

Beautiful and chilling song. 

Paul McCartney: "Ram"

I realize that Paul McCartney's 2nd post-Beatles album, "Ram," doesn't have the best reputation in the world.  John Lennon of course was famously derisive of it.  But I'm listening to it today for the first time in ages, and am really enjoying it.  It's not a major statement, nor is it trying to be.  Yeah many of the songs sound like throwaways, but so were many of the tracks like "Honey Pie" and "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" that populated many of the Beatles' later albums.  "Ram" has a fresh vibe to it, and is pleasingly lacking in pretension.   It's a collection of melodic, well-produced pop songs by one of the great pop songwriters in rock.   Nothing on here ranks among his best work, true.  But does it have to in order to be enjoyable?

I actually made my own custom version, adding the "Another Day" single and its bside, "Oh Woman Oh Why."    Fills out the album and makes it seem a bit more complete.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Leonard Cohen: "Songs from the Road"

Gotta give Leonard Cohen credit. One of the great songwriters of the last 40 years, and he's still out there touring at age 76. His voice is different as he's gotten older it's weakened/softened a little with a touch of raspiness, but he still sounds great and the voice suits the songs perfectly.

He just put out a new live album, "Songs from the Road" - terrific versions of "Famous Blue Raincoat," "Suzanne" and other classic tunes. Well worth picking up. It's a worthy representation of a master near the end of his career.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rush Live: Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA, 9/18/10

Amazing performance by Rush last night. They sounded terrific, incredible light show and camera work, and very funny video clips shown. Any rock fan who has the chance to see Rush live should do so. A fantastic show, one of the best I've seen in recent years. It's a privilege to see such a legendary band performing so well - will always remember it. "Presto" in particular was great to hear, and the "Moving Pictures" performance was fantastic.

Set list:

1. The Spirit Of Radio
2. Time Stand Still
3. Presto
4. Stick It Out
5. Workin' Them Angels
6. Leave That Thing Alone
7. Faithless
8. BU2B
9. Free Will
10. Marathon
11. Subdivisions

12. Tom Sawyer
13. Red Barchetta
14. YYZ
15. Limelight
16. The Camera Eye
17. Witch Hunt
18. Vital Signs
19. Caravan
20. Drum Solo
21. Closer To The Heart
22. 2112 Part I: Overture
23. 2112 Part II: The Temples Of Syrinx
24. Far Cry

25. La Villa Strangiato
26. Working Man

Here's their performance of "Presto" from Jiffy Lube Live:

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Kinks: Dont Forget To Dance

My friend Joe has been sending me some Kinks' videos tonight, and it reminded me of this gem. As a child of MTV's early days my first exposure to the Kinks was "Come Dancing," which was on heavy rotation. The follow-up "Don't Forget To Dance" wasn't as big a hit, but it got a fair amount of play as well. I always loved it - very poignant track, and a terrific vocal. Underrated.

Joe introduced me to this track, which is incredible... love it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gram Parsons: "The Return of the Grievous Angel"

 Enjoying this album a great deal tonight.  Bought a new sealed copy of at CD Cellar in Falls Church over the weekend, and finally played it tonight.   Sounds beautiful.   A timeless album.