I can see myself listening to Flaming Lips all day. I think we all collectively suffered through a phase of post-Yoshimi Lips exhaustion at some point, but we’ve moved past that now. If anyone has the oeuvre to survive the curse of ubiquity, it’s the … Continue reading Race for the Prize
How about something uplifting? Angelique Kidjo duetting with American R’N’B star Kelly Price, perhaps? One of Kidjo’s great talents is seamlessly putting together seemingly disparate musical styles, and this is no exception. She and Price sound great together, and the African and the American sides … Continue reading Open Your Eyes
Say what you will about all the downsides of rock stars getting old, but there are some themes that only make sense coming from an older perspective. Feeling threatened by younger, better looking rivals is one of them. A young Mick Jagger would never be … Continue reading New Faces
So apparently David Bowie wrote this for the soundtrack of a video game, which makes David Bowie considerably more hip to the times than I am. Which is as it should be, because he’s David Bowie, of course, trailblazing his way into the new millennium. … Continue reading New Angels of Promise
“You never know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” A grain of wisdom oft rephrased and repeated. So Angelique Kidjo suggests, appreciate what you’ve got and the moment you’re living in. But remember also the flip side, the old adage about the clarity of hindsight; … Continue reading Never Know
So boppy, yet so existential. I too feel so damn old, and yet unchanged and still a child. And the equation that powers the universe remains a conundrum. And nothing every really even ends in the end either. Do I really feel anything? I’d like … Continue reading Never Ending Math Equation
A depressing song from a depressing songwriter. Elliott Smith frequently wrote about addiction and despair, being an alcoholic and drug addict himself. But he did so in a disarmingly charming style. Such is the balance of hummable charm and blackest ennui that this song can best … Continue reading Needle in the Hay
This is, in the world of too-invested Rolling Stones fans, controversial. Mainly because Keith doesn’t like it. Man, Keith really hates this song! There’s like a whole paragraph in his book about what a disgrace it is. Why? Because they used a drum loop. The Rolling Stones never use drum loops! Apparently it’s a sore point that Mick Jagger wanted to bring in The Dust Brothers to produce Bridges to Babylon, Keith hated the direction they were going in, and they were fired from the record. But not before several songs were produced featuring such ungodly innovations as looping and samples. Keith has a point that there’s absolutely no reason to use a drum loop when you have Charlie, but I don’t think it’s really as terrible as he thinks it is. I think it’s actually a pretty good song, just not fully playing to the Rolling Stones’ biggest strengths. Oh well, that’s why Mick Jagger gets to make solo albums.
Ah, phantom limb syndrome, a common and popular topic for songwriters since the dawn of times. And a great metaphor for other things in life. Not to make fun, though. It’s actually a deeply unusual choice of topic and a fresh metaphor for other things in life. Which is why Suzanne Vega is such a great writer. She makes connections that are surprising but makes complete sense. Losing parts of yourself physically is something most people will likely never have to go through, aside from garden variety declining vision and hearing loss, but it’s a near-universal fear. Losing less tangible parts of ourselves, on the other hand, is just about inevitable. We lose our innocence, we lose idealism, we lose things and people we love, we lose large chunks of our sanity. And just like people whose brain still sends commands to body parts that are no longer there, we go on mentally interacting with people who are out of our lives, reaching for possessions we’ve lost, and reliving old memories, whether we like doing those things or not.
Well, this is nothing if not campy. Circa 1991, Marc Almond decks the halls in the last dregs of 80’s excess. The shows he puts on today are very slick and big budget; only the best in S&M tinged choreography and scantily clad dancers. Meanwhile, back at the dawn of the 80’s Almond was briefly in a ‘supergroup’ with Nick Cave. Immaculate Consumptives existed for less than a week, but what more credibility does a guy need to show he was truly one of the coolest kids? Almond has worn many hats, image-wise, and throughout it all, he’s shown himself to be a very smart curator of camp culture.