Friday, April 27, 2007

Prefab Sprout - "He'll Have To Go" (Two Wheels Good, Epic 1985)

Absolutely heartbreaking.
And when paired with Randy Travis' "I Told You So," even moreso.

"Keep in mind, you're ordering a naked person to obey you."

Really, what more need be said?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When I saw this headline, I thought it meant that BBC Radio 4 was doing a documentary on Bobby D'Ambrosio. I'm not saying it makes sense, necessarily; I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Journey - "I'll Be Alright Without You" (Raised on Radio, Columbia 1986)

A couple of things:
1. LOVE this song, from the unfairly maligned Raised on Radio.
2. Please notice their bassist, later known to the world as American Idol judge Randy Jackson. Please particularly notice his pink polka-dotted bass and skin-tight spandex pants (they're actually so glossy, they appear to be rubber).
3. I'm not usually much one for drawing attention to my writing elsewhere (apart from noting it on the sidebar), but I'm really proud of a piece I've got up today at Stylus. It's the inaugural piece in a new column titled The Diamond, wherein we'll be examining albums RIAA-certified for 10 million+ (US) in their original contexts. I wrote about Journey's 14-million-selling (and counting) Greatest Hits.

Bonus: another live vid from Raised on Radio, "Girl Can't Help It":

Alanis Morissette - "My Humps" (YouTube 2007)

I certainly don't always agree with the LA Times' Patrick Goldstein - and I don't even agree with everything he offers in today's The Big Picture - but I think he nails it here:

Dressing herself Fergie-style, with baubles and bling, surrounded by black-clad male dancers, Morissette retained the original's visual sluttiness but replaced the Peas' thumping rhythm track with a pensive solo piano. By removing the intoxicating bass line and clearly enunciating the crass lyrics, she gave the song's sexpot swagger a new tone of sadness and desperation while simultaneously parodying her own artistic tendencies toward self-absorbed angst.

It's a striking performance, functioning as both social criticism and self-criticism.


For Morissette, this video — made at her home on digital video for roughly $2,000 — may transform her persona as much as taking a part in "Pulp Fiction" did for John Travolta.

This could conceivably make my year-end ballot, I like it so much.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - "Thou Shalt Always Kill" (Lex (UK) 2007)

I know it's ultimately a novelty record, but how great is this? It's like a more chartwise Commodore 64 version of "Losing My Edge." (Which means it's kinda superb.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Prince - "Black Sweat" (3121, NPG/Universal 2006)

One of Prince's best videos ever because it shows what a fine sense of humor he's capable of having - pay attention to his facial expressions. He often benefits from being stripped down (both visually and musically), and this is further evidence. Song: A, video: A+.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Tanya Tucker - The Upper 48 Hits: 1972-1997 (Raven (AU) 2002)

This is brilliant: a true career-spanning collection of great songs, sung superbly. (It's unlikely to happen, but Tucker deserves a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame some day.) Yes, her early work is her most beloved, and justifiably so, but don't sleep on her Lazarus-like career resurrection in the late '80s and early '90s (her only CMA Female Vocalist win came not during her teenaged heyday, but in 1991). Packages like this one and their Rosanne Cash and Rodney Crowell comps show that Australia's Raven Records is filling quite a niche in country music (not unlike Germany's Bear Records was doing with early rock'n'roll in the mid- and late-'80s, actually). (Upper 48 deserves a much more thorough review, but I'm time-limited and wanted to say a little something, at least, about it.) A

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