Author Archives: Time Lord

Kate Bush nearly came between me and my wife

Greg Spawton tweets the link to this great story from James Hall:

As a cause of potential marital strife, it was a biggie.

About six weeks ago I received an email from a contact in the music industry. Would I, as an occasional music critic, like to go to one of Kate Bush’s sold-out shows at the Hammersmith Apollo at the end of September as their guest? There was no room for a plus-one, sadly, the contact said, but if I wanted to come alone then I was more than welcome.

Greg’s comment:

KB syndrome is a common issue for men of my generation

Forever Still @foreverstilldk — “Scars” — free song download

Now available: a free download of the new Forever Still song, “Scars.”

Mark Judge reviews U2’s Songs of Innocence

u2 songs of innocence

Mark Judge gives us a great commentary on U2’s new album, in the form of a confessional review … and on his birthday, no less!

A taste:

If you were into some bad stuff in the 1980s, and a lot of us were, U2 could confront you like a tough, poetic, and compassionate priest. I remember spending a lost summer at the beach (in a house that would eventually be raided by police) and when I looked up out of the haze, I saw U2 performing “Bad,” one of the greatest anti-drug songs of all time, at Live Aid. The song was about a drug addict who eventually commits suicide. It’s a desperate, retroactive cry for the person to not throw himself away.

Thanks in no small part to U2, I avoided that fate. I gave up the mind enhancers and one night stands and became a Catholic. I also never lost my love for rock and roll, and now, thirty years later, with Songs of Innocence U2 has given us one of the best records of their career. They have kept true to the punk ethos of writing honestly about what’s in your heart and what you see as the truth. The album is smart and dynamic, diverse, and mesmerizing.

Like U2, I’m not afraid of making the grand statement — it’s probably just genetic to the Irish — and I think that Songs of Innocence is needed today. I mean that both in terms of the world and for me personally. America, which was always a source of musical inspiration for U2 as well as a kind of great spiritual hope, seems lost. The great progressive dream has resulted in more economic inequality, and political correctness imposes the kind of burden on free speech and thought that punk came along to destroy.

When I first fell in love with U2s music in the 1980s, I had my heart set on being a writer. I was from an Irish family that idolized Joyce and Yeats, which is probably why Bono fit so well into our pantheon of greats. For a time the dream of being a writer came true, but the reality of the digital revolution has made it a profession that can no longer be sustained. There is intoxicating freedom, but it simply doesn’t pay any longer. I have to take Bono’s advice. I have to surrender.

And yet, inside me is still that punk rock spark of hope — the idea that you can in fact do it yourself, keep your soul, flourish spiritually, and survive. It’s a feeling U2 addresses in “Cedarwood Road,” one of the best tracks on Songs of Innocence. It’s a recollection of how the band formed.

Haken video — the band plays “Darkest Light” from Restoration EP

HAKEN plays “Darkest Light” (OFFICIAL VIDEO). Taken from the Restoration “EP”.

Great vocals throughout, but the best part is truly the instrumental freakout in the back half.

The “EP” drops on Oct 27:

The track list and playing times are as follows:

  1. Darkest Light (6:44)
  2. Earthlings (7:52)
  3. Crystallised (19:23)

The final track is a no holds barred epic including guest ‘cameo’ appearances by Pete Rinaldi (Headspace) and Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic / Flying Colors).

Have you noticed that everyone is releasing “albums” these days that are the length of double LPs? (See the new Slash, for example!)

And that “EPs” are now the length of LPs? (Like you, Haken!)

Not that I’m complaining, right?

A high quality problem…

Too many notes, Mozart!

“You Don’t Need Excuses to Be Good” — from Sloan’s Commonwealth LP

I am pleased to report that the new Sloan LP is completely awesome.

In advance of my full review, I just had to share with you all one of my favorite tracks on the album.

So hard to decide such things, but as always I am a super-huge fan of anything Chris Murphy contributes to the band.

Here he is again at his finest, with a killer riff and thoughtful lyrics: “You Don’t Need Excuses to Be Good” — from Sloan’s Commonwealth.

Play it loud … for the sake of the kids!

U2’s “dystopian junk mail”

U2’s new album? You can’t even give it away.

Chris Richards is offended:

On Tuesday afternoon, U2’s new album was just there, waiting for you. Like an Ikea catalogue. Or a jury summons. Or streptococcus. The latest inescapable unpleasantry for anyone who’s chosen to participate in our great digital society — more specifically, the 500 million human beings on this planet who use iTunes.

As for the album itself, it’s called “Songs of Innocence,” perhaps to suggest that U2 is abandoning a swaddled orphan on your doorstep, not an intrusive cluster of idea-starved rock songs. Yeah, okay, this might be the largest album release in history. It’s also rock-and-roll as dystopian junk mail.

In this brave new farrago of medium and message, U2 seem to have transmitted all of rock-and-roll’s misguided egotism into one ridiculous statement: Our music is technically worthless and everyone in the world should hear it. That’s what this band is “all about,” and Apple is happy to do its part, making you the owner of these songs without asking your permission. Which is disgusting.

Well, I don’t know how dystopian this event is. Giving away free stuff: isn’t that just a promotional stunt, calculated to generate PR to sell more stuff?

U2 and Universal Music Group will face some hurdles due to disgruntled retailers. Sources say Target has a policy of not carrying any title that was first released to digital retail. Target refused to initially carry Beyonce’s self-titled album following her surprise iTunes exclusive, and Amazon withheld the usual prime page placement. To entice retailers, Universal is offering four tracks that iTunes will not have until November, according to sources. Some retailers could walk away with more tracks, as sources say Universal has three additional tracks for select retailers.

The awareness surrounding the Apple giveaway and related advertising efforts could be a financial boon to U2’s catalog. As such, Universal is said to be planning the most aggressive catalog program it has ever executed for U2. The band’s catalog has already been sale-priced at iTunes and is promoted as “limited-time pricing” on the iTunes Music Store home page.

King Crimson now officially on YouTube with DGM

King Crimson has a cool new YouTube channel:

H/T: K.K.

“Stranded” in a New World with @DaveKerzner

Keith Emerson is your DJ…

“Stranded” is the first release from Dave Kerzner, former member of the progressive rock band Sound of Contact and co-writer/producer of “Dimensionaut”. The song is a 5-part “rock opera” that starts off Dave’s forthcoming concept album called “New World” (Expected to be released in October through his independent RecPlay label). It features special guests Steve Hackett (Genesis) and Fernando Perdomo on guitars, Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd, Jason Scheff (Chicago) and Ana Cristina on backing vocals, Nick D’Virgilio (Tears for Fears, Genesis) on drums with Dave Kerzner on lead vocals and keys. The song was mixed by Tom Lord-Alge and mastered at Lurssen Mastering.
All lyrics and music by Dave Kerzner. Lyric video created by Christine Leakey. Produced by Dave Kerzner.

“Stranded” is now available as a single on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/stranded-single/id916951355?ls=1 , Amazon, Google Play and other download sites. The full-length album version, instrumental mix and more is available as a downloadable “single/EP” in mp3 and FLAC from Dave’s Sonic Elements Bandcamp:https://sonicelements.bandcamp.com/

Sloan — “Forty-Eight Portraits” (17:49)

Whoa!

Sloan goes prog on their new album, Commonwealth, with “Forty-Eight Portraits” clocking in at 17:49 — to take up the entire fourth side of the double LP space!

Awesome.

The record company has the details:

The 15- song collection sees Sloan creating one of the most unique and ambitious recordings of their two-decade-plus career.

The Toronto-based rock quartet is perhaps the most truly democratic group in the annals of pop, with Jay Ferguson, Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, and Andrew Scott all contributing original compositions to each record, equal partners with equal say over every aspect of their work. Where in the past creative lines have been blurred to create the multi-faceted Sloan sound, Commonwealth sees the four bandmates disassociating ever so slightly to create an old-school double album sequenced with each member staking out a single side as their own artistic dominion.

Designated by the four playing card suits, the essentially solo sides allow for all four members’ work to at last be heard through the prism of individual identity. Ferguson’s opening “Diamond” side showcases his remarkable knack for symphonic pop, Pentland’s “Shamrock” offers a substantial helping of pedal-hoppin’ psych rock, and Murphy’s “Heart” is fit to burst with wit, jangle, and eclectic energy. As if the four-sided concept weren’t challenge enough, Commonwealth finishes with “Forty Eight Portraits,” an ingenious 18-minute pop suite that fills the entirely of Scott’s closing “Spade” side. Ultimately, what makes Commonwealth so special – and so distinctly Sloan – is how the fragmented approach in fact only serves to underscore the veteran band’s extraordinary strengths, showcasing the particular ingredients without ever losing sight of the sum of their parts.

Song cycles and concept-driven albums are nothing new to Sloan. Over the course of 10 albums and more than 30 singles – not to mention multiple EPs, hits and rarities collections, live albums and official bootlegs released, like all the band’s work, on their own independent label, Murderecords – the band has tackled countless creative conceits while ever forwarding a sonic palette that blends pure pop and radio rock into what is now a truly trademark sound, all big melodies and power hooks, cheeky charm and tearjerking introspection, rich harmonies and idiosyncratic personality.

Commonwealth follows 2011’s The Double Cross, which earned Sloan some of the most glowing notices of their acclaimed career. “(Sloan’s) impeccable power pop has often felt like the apotheosis of the genre,” wrote SPIN. “The hooks and harmonies rarely disappoint.” “An unapologetic celebration of Sloandom,” praised AV Club, “and a safe place for those who believe good dual-guitar breaks are the reason why we’re here on Earth.” Pitchfork summed it up best: “20 years in, they’ve made one of their best albums…That (Sloan) sound this creatively fresh this deep into their career is a real treat for people who’ve stuck with them through the years. If you’ve never given them a chance before, this is a great time to get to know them.”

Diamond Side (Jay):

1) We’ve Come This Far

2) You’ve Got A Lot On Your Mind

3) Three Sisters

4) Cleopatra

5) Neither Here Nor There

Heart Side (Chris):

6) Carried Away

7) So Far So Good

8) Get Out

9) Misty’s Beside Herself

10) You Don’t Need Excuses To Be Good

 Shamrock Side (Patrick):

11) 13 (Under A Bad Sign)

12) Take It Easy

13) What’s Inside

14) Keep Swinging (Downtown)

Spade Side (Andrew):

15) Forty-Eight Portraits

Jack White on “Entitlement” at Château de Fontainebleau

“Stop what you’re doing” …

… and watch Jack White performing “The Same Boy You’ve Always Known” and “Entitlement” at Château de Fontainebleau!

Or are you “sick of being told what to do”?

Hmmm, well, “Entitlement” beings at 4:33 …

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