Hot off the presses: new music! Better said, new music that is worth your time.
Winter is notoriously slow for new releases as well as live music, and 2018 is no exception thus far. Luckily, the next two weeks do have some intriguing work that I am excited to dive into. And, yes, smartass, I know it’s still technically autumn… (Gob Bluth voice: “C’mon!!”)
More soon, my friends!
Also released (and not strong enough to recommend):
David Byrne – True Stories: The Complete Soundtrack
In the mid-80s, the great David Byrne decided to make a movie that I am told is about a small town in Texas. He was popular and talented enough that some movie company execs allowed it, and thus True Stories came to life, and even features a young John Goodman (or as I refer to him, Walter). Although I absolutely positively love David Byrne, there is not much here musically.
“Wild Wild Life” is a classic Talking Heads song that is included, but it had already been released. There is also a funky version of “Radio Head”, but that too had already been released. Aside from those two tracks this is mostly unworthy of listening outside of the film, where I’m sure it sounds great (?). No, this is not some lost Heads album – sorry, folks.
However, I will take this opportunity to mention that Talking Heads are one of the greatest bands of all time. Yes, some people lump them into the new wave movement, and I suppose that is not too far off – but what they really are is a bunch of kids making art in the form of rock n roll, and my goodness I just can’t get enough. So, if you are not an aficionado, here is my playlist of the greatest tracks from the band and Mr. Byrne’s post-TH solo work. Also, the next person you meet that is a TH fan is someone you should be friends with, just sayin’…
My “Best of Talking Heads / Byrne” Spotify playlist link:
Lake Street Dive – Freak Yourself Out (EP)
This EP is a play on words relative to their LP Free Yourself Up from earlier this year, and one would assume is leftovers from those recordings, although I don’t know that for certain. What, do you expect me to research everything? Anyway, “Jameson” is my favorite track here and finds Rachael Price trying to convince an old fling that she doesn’t remember him at all – but after four minutes, we are left to wonder if she is trying to convince him or really herself. None of these songs are terrible, but aside from this one I can take it or leave it. So, I guess I’ll leave it.
The Infamous Stringdusters – Live From Telluride
Another showcase for the brilliantly talented bluegrass quintet that again leaves no doubt about their insane talent level, but still leaves me feeling like something about them is incomplete. They seem to lack some sincerity or passion, or maybe it’s just me… Having said that, these guys are talented beyond belief and if you get the chance to see them live, you should. It is mind blowing, honestly. The highlight here is the nine-minute instrumental “Machines”, which is never boring or too showy – two places I feel much of their music unfortunately resides.
One more thing, and I don’t mean to take it out on these guys, because so many bands do it: Stop name-checking the town/venue you are playing. We know where we are/live, and we know that you don’t give two shits about it. Play your music, seem engaged, give us our money’s worth, and we can all be friends. Thanks, from everyone but the couple of drunk people that freak out when a band mentions their town.