The Beatles – Past Masters Volume 2

6 12 2010

Listened: Wednesday November 10

Past Masters Vol 2 is a little heavy on the Paul songs, which only makes sense since he leans a little more pop in his songs. However, it contains one of my favorite John songs: Rain. I love the complex sonic waves that wash over me.

I don’t think many people share the sentiment, but I also love The Ballad of John and Yoko, if only for the great chorus of “Christ! You know it ain’t easy”. Only John Lennon would think of such a wonderfully blasphemous chorus.





The Beatles – Past Masters Volume 1

6 12 2010

Listened: Wednesday November 10

Past Masters Vol 1 throws me into the insanity of the early Beatles hits. The magic and simplicity of those songs comes through loud and clear. I love Yes It Is in particular; I’m surprised to see wikipedia note that John thought was a poor attempt on his part. It’s a great song!

The fact that they recorded I Want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You in German is particularly amusing. I suspect their pronunciation isn’t the best.





Coldplay – Parachutes

6 12 2010

Listened: Wednesday November 10

I’m probably going to date myself and confuse youngsters by saying that I remember buying Parachutes at a Blockbuster Music with a gift certificate my half-brother had given me. First of all, Blockbuster Music was relatively short-lived as a store in the first place, second of all, I rarely shopped there because it was expensive and sucky, thirdly, wow, shopping for albums at a store, and finally, gift certificates vs gift cards? Omigawd!

Coldplay is also the one of the few bands I remember seeing in their infancy who went on to become huge and successful in the mainstream. Most of the new bands I like either disappear or remain mostly cult-favorites. I remember seeing Coldplay at the Fillmore on their first US tour in 2001. Chris Martin was relatively shy and unsure how to behave onstage.

I was also on TV as a result of this show – for a short time on KBHK they were showing recent Fillmore shows late on Friday or Saturday night. I was at the front of the crowd right by the stage, so I made it on camera. Serendipitously, a friend happen to see me on that show and called me to ask if I had been there. Thanks to the internet I’ve recently found a portion of the show online (I’m at 5:43ish in the video).

When Coldplay returned later that year, they were already Warfield-sized. Then the next year, Greek Theater-sized. At that point, this was the biggest show they had ever played, and the band were clearly awe-struck. Chris had gotten a lot more comfortable with performing too; each show upped the ante of awesomeness. The Greek show is one of the best I’ve ever been to at that venue.

When they came back in 2003, they were Shoreline-sized. I enjoyed that show and their showmanship had expanded well enough to do a good  job in a venue that size, but that’s about my cutoff for show size and cost. Every time they’ve visited since I haven’t seen them. A sports venue hosting their show is just too big and too costly.

I do still enjoy their albums. They’ve matured well.





Jamie T – Panic Prevention

2 12 2010

Listened: Tuesday November 9

I bought Panic Prevention because the roar from across the pond about what a good album it is could not be ignored. When I first listened to it, the kind of bizarre, bratty, yelpy singing weirded me out and I put it in the “Hmmm” pile. The disorganized look of the album cover is exactly how it felt.

The project has forced me to listen to it several times, and now I think I “get it” more. It’s certainly still bizarre, bratty, and yelpy, but it grew on me. The tone reminds me of The Streets, the brilliant cheeky brattiness reminds me of Lily Allen (who guests on one of his songs), and the fact that I get it now makes me think I should go listen to Micachu again (a quite similar artist whose album elicited a similar initial response from me, and caused me not to buy it, though I did buy the one standout track, Golden Phone).

If you’d like to dip your toe in the Jamie T water, check out Shelia, Salvador, So Lonely Was The Ballad, and Northern Line (“actin like a motherfucker, drunk, fallin’ asleep on the northern line”).





Paloalto – Paloalto

2 12 2010

Listened: Tuesday November 9

I tried for a long time to come up with a comparison band to convey what Paloalto sounds like. The best thing I could come up with is Faith No More, but obviously less 80s sounding and more indie/Britpop-90s sounding. It’s pretty, hard-rocking anthems that fill this album. Head-bang/air-guitar-worthy for sure.

I had totally forgotten how much I enjoyed this, their self-titled album. The love affair was relatively brief; I never saw them live or bought their second album. But now that I go back and listen to it, I’m awash in the glory again.

Yet another brilliant building photo as an album cover!





Soundtrack – Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav

2 12 2010

Listened: Tuesday November 9

Isn’t it odd that pop music with words I don’t understand somehow is 50 times better than pop music in my own language? I heard an Iraqi pop song the other day, complete with Autotune robo-singing, and I’m sure I enjoyed it much more than I would have enjoyed any Katy Perry song (though I have to admit I enjoy Lady Gaga maybe more than a music snob should).

That’s sort of what listening to Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav, an album a friend brought me from India, is like for me. I enjoy it, even though there are cheesy 80s-esque saxophones and ridiculous levels of emoto-singing. What made is even worse was Googling the title and finding out the amazingly cheesy premise to the film. Yes, folks, this is soundtrack to the Indian version of Forgetting Sarah Marshall or related films. Admittedly, I don’t actually watch the American versions of this kind of film very often so that comparison is probably really off!

 





Radiohead – Pablo Honey

2 12 2010

Listened: Tuesday November 9

Pablo Honey gets dismissed a lot. Yeah, it’s very grungy and embryonic in terms of the “Radiohead sound” of years to come, but I still love it. As overplayed as Creep is, it’s a classic. It’s the soundtrack to every young person’s image of the 1990s. Plus it shows that even somewhat generic bands can involve into game-changers.

I love Stop Whispering, Thinking About You, Lurgee, and Anyone Can Play Guitar. Based on those songs, I’m shocked Radiohead didn’t become the next U2, busting out singalong anthems. Well, I guess they kind of did, It was just with dark, introverted, creepy anthems.





Just Jack – Overtones

2 12 2010

Listened: Tuesday November 9

Overtones was the first Just Jack album I heard, and I immediately fell in love after the first track. Besides resembling The Streets, I would say he’s also like the British Lyrics Born.

Lyrics like “But one day we’ll all make it , And walk around naked with our bollocks platinum plated” and “They always said she’d make a top model,
But now she’s hiding out in disco land, A happy clappy trustafarian” make me laugh and give props for the imagery.

If you’re an Anglophile or old-school hip-hop fan, you’ll love Just Jack.





Faithless – Outrospective

2 12 2010

Listened: Tuesday November 9

I would call Outrospective less political and more personal an album than No Roots, despite the album covers being opposed to that statement. They should have been swapped. I’d also say it’s a little more dancy than No Roots – the grooves are more sustained.

I think I like Zoe Johnston’s voice more than Dido’s (Dido’s brother Rollo is part of Faithless, which is why she guests on their albums a lot) – and probably she’s cheaper! Crazy English Summer can get stuck in my head for days.





Just Jack – The Outer Marker

1 12 2010

Listened: Monday November 8

I love Just Jack. Even this, his first album, makes abundantly clear his poetic skills and way with a groove. As I said before, he’s like an alternate universe version of The Streets, more regularly poetic and poignant. “Do you count the flakes when it snows?” is a great kind of zen question. I think he could really be popular here if people knew more about him.