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Monday, October 18, 2004

The Listener is Listening

  • Helio Sequence : Love And Distance - Busy, dense, electro-bleepy and hooky, but not spaced-out and retro like Stereolab, more like an upbeat and busy Radiohead.

  • Elliot Smith : From a Basement on the Hill - Just got this a few days ago. So far, it sounds like the album you'd expect to hear after his Figure 8 - the classic Elliot Smith sound - melancholy, witty, melodic, personal; maybe a little less heavily-produced than Figure 8. It's hard not to find lines in these songs that sound like goodbyes or self-eulogies.

  • U2 : War/Under A Blood Red Sky/Unforgettable Fire - I bought a little phono-preamp so I could plug my turntable into my sound card, and so I've started copying my old vinyl albums to MP3. These were in the first batch.

    I wasn't expecting much, but hearing these three albums again was a mini-revalation. I'd forgotten just how good U2 was back then. Aside from the rancid-from-overplay radio staples (Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride, New Years Day, etc), these are really great albums. Songs like Wire, Bad, Two Hearts Beat As One, Gloria, and so on, still sound as good to me today as they did back in '84. And I still shake my head in amazement at the Edge's playing on Wire - how can anyone be that fast and accurate?

  • ZZ Top - Tres Hombres : It's really hard to believe that the band who made this simple, greasy, groovy, wonderful record is the same band who wrote Sharp Dressed Man, made the videos with the silly spinning guitars and wore trench coats and matching hipster Santa beards. Someone should research their wherabouts during the late-70's to find out when the Bizzaro World novelty act ZZ Top replaced the best Texas blues band ever. Maybe if we pinpoint the location of the wormhole they fell into, we could do some magic to get them swapped back for the originals.

    Like the U2 records above, this was had been lingering in vinyl limbo for more than a decade, until last week.

  • The Doors - Alive She Cried : Well. Ya know. Now that I'm not 16, Jim Morrisson isn't quite as impressive an intellect. But silly lyrics aside, his voice and the music is still good. And how can you not love an extended live version of Light My Fire ? Actually, don't answer. Another vinyl rescue.

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