viernes, 24 de diciembre de 2010

Beat Happening - You Turn Me On (1992)

Beat Happening's final LP is also their best: concluding the emotional and musical progression begun with the minimalist innocence of their earliest work, You Turn Me On is a mature record of tremendous breadth and complexity. Where once the trio's songs were brief and bouncy, the nine tracks here are epic (several top out at over six minutes) and ambitious; produced in part by ex-Young Marble Giant Stuart Moxham (an obvious influence), the record's full, deep sound belies its bare-bones performances -- "Teenage Caveman" sports booming, primal drums perfectly suited to its title, while the propulsive "Noise" manufactures the illusion of a bassline where none ever existed. The most democratic record in an output founded on egalitarian ideals, You Turn Me On offers Heather Lewis' strongest songs ever -- her hypnotic nine-minute "Godsend" is the LP's heart and soul -- and she and Calvin Johnson even trade verses on the closing "Bury the Hammer." As for Calvin himself, his solo contributions are exceptional -- the spartan opener "Tiger Trap" is an evocative heartbreaker, and the title track is a fire-breathing corker. A masterpiece. Source: [AMG]

Beat Happening - Tiger Trap

Track Listing
1. Tiger Trap
2. Noise
3. Pinebox Derby
4. Teenage Caveman
5. Sleepy Head
6. You Turn Me On
7. Godsend
8. Hey Day
9. Bury the Hammer


jueves, 16 de diciembre de 2010

The Afghan Whigs - Black Soul Gentlemen (1994)

The Black Soul Gentlemen bootleg offers an okay radio broadcast from an Italian show during the Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen tour. The performance is decent, if a bit somewhat meandering, which pretty much comes with the territory of most Whigs shows. Singer/guitarist Greg Dulli injects enough barbs from to keep things interesting in lieu of the mediocre recording. Battling a language barrier and introducing "Retarded" to an inactive crowd, he muses, "This song is from our first record called Up in It. You ever heard of it...on Sub Pop? Does anybody care? No? Okay." Quality-wise, there's an uneven emphasis between the guitars of Dulli and Rick McCollum, and John Curley's bass gets completely lost from time to time. A major deciding factor in the purchase of Whigs' bootlegs is the covers; on most occasions, the track listings provide no indication of what they might be, since the Whigs often incorporated verses and snippets into their own material. Add uninformed bootleggers to the pot, and there you have the lack of info. Such is the case here. A fair amount of the lyrics to the Spinners' "I'll Be Around" is tucked inside of a breakdown during "Turn on the Water." Lyrics from Prince's "When Doves Cry" gets mixed into a nine-minute version of "You My Flower." And to a much lesser extent, Dulli throws in a couple lines from Dr. Dre's "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" during the Supremes' "My World Is Empty Without You," as well as Madonna's hop-to-it snips from "Into the Groove" and "Express Yourself" during a rip-roaring "Miles Iz Ded." As far as the overall set list is considered, it's favored toward Gentlemen, with a fair amount of attention paid to the records that preceded it. Source: [AMG]

The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen

Track Listing
1. If I Were Going
2. Debonair
3. Turn on the Water
4. Gentlemen
5. Be Sweet
6. My World Is Empty Without You
7. When We Two Parted
8. Retarded Dulli
9. Fountain and Fairfax
10. Come See About Me
11. You My Flower
12. What Jail Is Like
13. Tonight
14. Miles Iz Ded


martes, 7 de diciembre de 2010

Buffalo Tom - Sleepy Eyed (1995)

Put Sleepy Eyed in your CD player, hit play, and prepare to be amazed -- "Tangerine," the lead-off cut, signals the brief but welcome return of "Dinosaur Jr. Jr." with two-and-three-quarters minutes of charging neo-grunge guitars and galloping drums, the likes of which you haven't heard from this band since Birdbrain. But, of course, Buffalo Tom sound a lot tighter, stronger, and more confident when they dig into the big shaggy dog rock than they did five years previous, and while they never get quite as rollicking as "Tangerine" again on Sleepy Eyed, cut for cut it's a far more direct and straightforward rock album than anything they'd managed since their creative breakthrough on Let Me Come Over. To some listeners, Sleepy Eyed might sound like a regression, moving back into noisy power trio mode after the more polished surfaces and intricate arrangements of Let Me Come Over and Big Red Letter Day, but play Sleepy Eyed back to back with Birdbrain and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the differences. Sleepy Eyed decisively proves Buffalo Tom write better hooks and better melodies, write smarter lyrics, and even rock harder than when they were still trying to find their way out from under J. Mascis' shadow, and they sound like they're having a great time just turning up the amps and letting rip, especially Bill Janovitz, whose rock-dude guitar outros are a hoot (and this is one band who I cannot begrudge for enjoying themselves every once in a while). On Sleepy Eyed, Buffalo Tom go back to the old neighborhood and show everybody how much bigger and stronger they've become -- it's sorta like a high school reunion, but louder and a lot more fun. Source: [AMG]

Buffalo Tom - Summer

Track Listing
1. Tangerine
2. Summer
3. Kitchen Door
4. Rules
5. It's You
6. When You Discover
7. Sunday Night
8. Your Stripes
9. Sparklers
10. Clobberred
11. Sundress
12. Twenty-Points
13. Souvenir
14. Crueler