Saturday, October 04, 2008

This Week in Tunes

New Old Stuff
The new David Gilmour album, Live in Gdansk, is pretty damn good. Gilmour and Phil Manzanera on the same stage? Yeah! Classic Floyd tunes? Yeah! An orchestra that, instead of making this sound like The Moody Blues at Red Rocks (or some other imaginary muzak turd... wait, that's a real album? Ugh...), makes the tunes sound like they would without synthesizers? Yeah! Exquisitely extended guitar solos on pretty near every tune on a two-disc set? Yeah! Gilmour's On an Island album made a bit more edgy in a live setting? Yeah! I suppose this could be called "adult rock." If more adult rock were this good I might start acting like a fucking adult. Until such time, though...

I recently heard for the first time a very, very good blues album, Stand Back! Here Comes Charlie Musselwhite's South Side Band (1967). Smokin' blues harp and a great band. I'm probably the last person to have heard this album, but if you haven't, check it out.

Another band I just recently heard for the first time is Japan's Church of Misery. In the realm of metal I guess they'd be called a doom/stoner metal band (think Sabbath, but with fewer laughs). They base their tunes around the lives of notorious serial killers--yeah, I know, sounds kinda weird/sick, but I don't really get a bad vibe from these guys. Check out Master of Brutality and Early Works

Neglected Masterpiece
If you've never heard of The Pretty Things, it's probably because they were drowned out by The Beatles, The Stones, and The Who. 1968"s S.F. Sorrow is a both a classic psychedelic/art rock album and the first "rock opera." I don't like dissing The Stones, but sometimes I think that this is what Their Satanic Majesties Request should have sounded like. Well worth a listen.


  1. On a general point; I do admire you for keeping the faith with music. You and I probably like a lot of the same stuff, but I started listening in the late '80s, worked backwards and have now sort-of stopped, figuring that I've heard more or less all that I need to hear.

    I honestly don't see the point of someone like Dave Gilmour (apart from to provide note-perfect renditions of classic Floyd songs in arena settings, using hi-tech backing tracks and musicians who weren't even born when the originals were recorded.) Cynical, moi?

  2. Tafkass,
    I'm in general agreement with you about "note-perfect renditions" and such. Bands used to actually jam on stage, etc.
    In fairness, however, I like to treat each offering case by case. To my mind this Gilmour album has two strong points: a) a lot of very nice guitar work by Gilmour and Phil Manzanera, and b) the performance of On an Island is, I think, greatly enhanced by the live setting.
    Having heard some bootlegged stuff of Floyd playing live in the seventies (simply and awesomely ferocious, angry-sounding performances), however, there's no doubt that this is pretty tame in comparison.

  3. Pink Floyd "angry" in the '70s is understandable, if Roger Waters was still in the band; I've never known anyone be quite so enraged by a comfortable middle-class upbringing.

  4. Tafkass,
    Yeah, I know what you mean about Waters. The bootleg stuff I heard was from some Canadian stadium shows c. Animals, and I was genuinely surprised at how ferociously the band played live--I mean, they bloody rocked...