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The Clash – London Calling

24 09 2010

Listened: Tuesday September 7

If you asked me to name an album released in the year of my birth, London Calling is the only one I can think to name. How many more do you need to know?

This album was pretty big in my high school music life, probably because of the punk and ska revival happening at the time. Live 105 used to play The Clash pretty often, even 15 years after most of their songs were first released. I remember loving London Calling and Train In Vain.

The album cover was also very recognizable to youth at the time, probably because the photo is one of the most perfect expressions of rock and roll in existence. I wasn’t aware until very recently that the pink and green framing type was borrowed from Elvis Presley’s debut album. It’s new and old joined to equal more than the sum of their parts, which is the way it should be.

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Beirut – Lon Gisland EP

24 09 2010

Listened: Tuesday September 7

I felt a little dumb after I left out the space in the name of this album when typing this review – I didn’t realize until then that Lon Gisland is really Long Island with the space in a weird spot.

Lon Gisland is an EP of more gypsy love from Beirut, in the Gulag Orkestar vein. It’s been more than a year since Beirut has released their last EP, March of the Zapotec. I hope to hear more from them soon.





Phoenix – Live In Sydney

24 09 2010

Listened: Tuesday September 7

Free music from Phoenix! I see why they released this Рthe crowd sounds massive and sings to every word. We know about Germans and David Hasselhoff  Рis it the same phenomenon with Australians and Phoenix?

Get it here and experience for yourself.





Genesis – Live: The Way We Walk, Vol. 2 – The Longs

24 09 2010

Listened: Tuesday September 7

Wow. It’s been a long time.

This is one of the first CDs I owned. I had Genesis Live: The Way We Walk: Vol 1, The Shorts on tape, and I listened to that quite a bit. I remember it being the soundtrack to showering in late middle school and early high school (for some reason when I was growing up I used to listen to music loudly in the bathroom). Vol 1 is their modern 80s and 90s pop stuff, which I had heard on the radio at the time. I’ll admit it – as a 13-14 year old I was a big Phil Collins fan. So sue me. He was a good gateway drug to real rock music from top 40 pop, as far as I’m concerned.

Vol 2 is modern interpretations of their older, more progressive rock songs, with Phil Collins now singing the parts that were originally sung by Peter Gabriel. At the time, I was totally unfamiliar with these songs (and frankly, I still am, in their original form, anyway), but I learned to love this album after repeated listens.

Listening now, though, I’m glad there are not so many damn keyboards or neenery guitars these days. Or when they are used on rock songs, they’re used to entirely different effect. This album sounds so very dated. I’m sure even at the time they were a little out of fashion, given that this album was released in 1993.





Rodrigo y Gabriela – Live In Japan

24 09 2010

Listened: Tuesday September 7

For a newish band like Rod y Gab to already have released a live album is unusual. There’s a good reason for it, though – their live show is very captivating. Though without seeing Gabriela drumming wildly on her guitar, you don’t quite get to experience all of their showmanship from Live in Japan.

From what I understand, Japanese audiences can be pretty reserved, even at rock shows, but Rod y Gab get them all riled up, understandably so. I’m impressed that they seemed to understand Gabriela’s Japanese – how many languages does the woman speak?





Simon & Garfunkel – Live From New York City, 1967

24 09 2010

Listened: Friday September 3

Mrs. Robinson is a good song, but it’s nice to hear Simon and Garfunkel perform in a time before they were so well known for the music from the Graduate.

Even though many interesting and profound “60s things” had already happened before January 1967 when this was recorded, there were so many things yet to happen in “the 60s” as we think of them. When I hear this, I’m amazed how incredibly young and innocent it sounds. Also, how in love the audience is with the performers; they laugh appreciatively at anything the duo does. It reminds me Bob Dylan’s Live 1964 album.