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Friday, November 12, 2004


  • The Cure - Join The Dots . Back in the day when cassettes ruled the world, you could get The Cure's greatest hits collection (79-86), Standing On a Beach, with a great collection of B-sides on the flip side. And, over the years, I've come to like the B-sides just a little bit better than the singles themselves. But, they never released the B-sides on CD... until now. Join The Dots is a collection of all The Cure's B-sides, from the late 70's through today. And, the first disc, to me, is reason enough to have the whole 4-CD set; it contains all the Standing On a Beach B's, most of the Japanese Whispers EP, and some really early stuff that you can't find anywhere else. The second disc has a bunch of really good Disintegration B's, some Kiss Me alternate versions, etc.. There are also a lot of covers and goofy remixes that I don't care much for. But just having the Standing On a Beach B's fills a huge hole in my must-have collection.

  • Jekyll and Hyde, live. My wife likes musicals, and she likes Sebastian Bach from Skid Row. So, when Jekyll and Hyde, starring Sebastian Bach, came to town, we had to go. Now, I don't much care for musicals, so I was skeptical about the whole thing. And, there were parts that grated on me: especially that too many of the songs tried to make emotional home-runs out of well-hit doubles. But, overall it was much better than I'd expected. The sets were pretty cool - they managed to accomplish a lot with simple black and white photographs of the late 1800's and some colored lighting. I thought Sebastian Bach started out sounding weak, thin and nasally, especially when singing conversational songs to other people. But when left to himself he loosened up; and when he did the Hyde parts, he was, actually, awesome. His voice is much better at the growling, shouting and screaming My Hyde, than the proper Dr Jekyll; and the songs where he did both Jekyll and Hyde at the same time were sometimes amazing - as when he switched from one character (and voice) to the other for alternating couplets. Definitely the best live musical I've ever seen.

  • Robyn Hitchcock, live at the Cat's Cradle. We saw him many years ago at a sports bar in Colonie NY; about 30 people showed up, but he still put on a great show. Then we saw him in 1999 at the Cat's Cradle with ICQ, Cornelius and the Flaming Lips (we left before the Lips). He sucked - he looked drunk and was totally out of sync with the audience who wanted to rock and jump around. But, this time he was right on. The crowd was full of aging hipsters who were ready for him and his strangely poignant songs about fish, bugs and ghosts. Interesting cover of "Love don't live here anymore". Lotta fun, if you like that kinda thing.

  • Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights. It's impossible to hear this and not think about Joy Division... unless you've never heard Joy Division, I guess. Still, I like it a lot. They grabbed a discarded style and ran with it, and it works.

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