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Recent Spins

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

Been playing these albums (so old fashioned) over and over and over again these last few days.

Seely, a band that seems to have disappeared after making this album (Winter Birds) in 2000, is one of those great aural wallpaper bands that’s great for putting on in the background. What’s great about ‘em is that you don’t have to pay any attention to the music and every now and again your ears will prick up and say, hey, this is actually pretty kick ass. Some of their tunes seem to repeat endlessly with minimal changes in a near Steven Reich-like intensity. . .only less in-your-face (Seely are a quiet band.) When you wanna hear textures that last a while, but fear the jam.

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Universally dismissed when released, Dire Straits’ last album On Every Street is a lot like Mark Knopfler’s current solo work which receives much praise. Amazing how branding effects such things. There are fun rockers, subtle guitar moments and a few very dense numbers with a “world influence.” Also, some very anthemic ballads that kinda creep up outta nowhere. Very good stuff.

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Nothing is more ass-kicking than the bits with Caiaphas, the low-low-low voiced baddie, singing “This Jesus is COOOOOOOL!” Anyone who doesn’t like this album hates America.

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The latest Megadeth album (late 2004) is surprisingly good. Hardcore purists may claim that it is too poppy, but I find the harmonies charming. There’s no track like “99 Ways To Die,” granted, but there’s a lot of neat stuff here, too — and nobody sounds like Megadeth.

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One of the great forgotten bands from the 90s, the best way to describe them is: not as good as R.E.M. But they are in the same basic universe. With a female singer and the occasional use of non-traditional rock instruments. Mostly ballads, but really terrific ones.

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1 Comment »

  1. I wouldn’t say that Wild Colonials album is good per se, but there’s one song on there — “Rainbow” — that would have been a huge hit single if the concept still existed in any meaningful way other than kid-pop nonsense. Ditto, their follow-up album, which had the song “Wake Up Sad” — but the rest of both albums feels kind of flat to me. Singer has a great voice, but the songs don’t always add up.

    I actually prefer the movie soundtrack to JC Superstar, fully acknowledging that the cast album had better vocalists. There’s one song on there (Could We Start Again) that isn’t on the cast album that never fails to floor me. You ought to pick-up Godspell while you’re at it and have yourself a “Jews for Jesus” party.

    And what’s with the funky head gear in the pictures below? That looks like something my late Aunt Bess used to wear to bingo in the Catholic church basement in Port Carbon, PA on Tuesday nights.

    Comment by Bill R. — December 22, 2005 @ 9:26 am

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