But JULEE CRUISE's FLOATING INTO THE NIGHT moves me in such a way that when a side is over, I have to play it again before flipping it.
This year apparently my luck is in Italian soundtracks. And I found one I'd been looking for since 1998, when I first saw this incredible Ettore Scola movie with an unforgettable score by Armando Trovaioli.
When every song on an album is conceptual, and genuinely beautiful, and completely trippy, all at the same sweet time, well to me it's like Christmas and my birthday all at once.
Among a million other brilliant ideas, the album almost opens with a harmonization of poet GHERASIM LUCA's stuttering Passionnément. Here's the orginial: And now here's LA NEGACRA.
The Internet tells me Leila Fateh, mostly known as Line Monty, is an Algerian Jew, and one of the divas of chaâbi. She's apparently extremely famous in North Africa, I for one had never heard of her, but obviously something that beautiful can't be unknown:
This set is sortof a dream come true. First of, it doesn't sound horrible by audience-recording standards. Then, it's from 1977, right in the period some call Alex Chilton's Lost Decade (I call it his prime). It features some BIG STAR tunes (including Look My Way and O My Soul!), and some then-unreleased tunes from the then-upcoming albums I love so much, Bach's Bottom and Flies.
Also, as always, it features some out-there choices of covers; remember that 1975 radio show during which Chilton covered Dolly Parton and the BONZO DOG BAND?
Well here, he covers COLIN BLUNSTONE (!) and THE MODERN LOVERS (!!)
Jesus, I miss Alex Chilton.
So there you have it: ALEX CHILTON AT NY's OCEAN CLUB, APRIL 19, 1977. Enjoy.
And few people know Michael Nesmith was, before the Monkees, already a recognized, talented songsmith (he wrote THE STONE PONEYS' Different Drum, 1967), and a friend of TIM BUCKLEY's
LES CHARLOTS were also a band known for their novelty appeal, with their own TV show (and a bunch of movies), but few people remember that they started out as LES PROBLEMES, dubbed as "The 1st authentic French Rhythm and Blues band" on their 1965 debut EP:
One year later, they'd back ANTOINE (dubbed as the French Dylan).
Commonknowledge has it that they stopped making music with any merit whatsoever after they changed their name from LES PROBLEMES to LES CHARLOTS, but this one song would be an exception to the rule:
I was pretty sad when they split. The upside is, now as two different entites, CYANN and YETI LANE, they will release twice as much music.
And for some reason I woke up feeling bad about quoting a small fraction of his poem THE GENIUS out of context in my previous post. For LEONARD COHEN always includes a bit of humor in even his darkest works, and if you take it out something is missing, somehow the spirit is betrayed. So here it is in its entirety.
I will be a ghetto jew
And put white stockings
On my twisted limbs
And poison wells
Across the town
I will be an apostate jew
And tell the Spanish priest
Of the blood vow
In the Talmud
And where the bones
Of the child are hid
I will be a banker jew
And bring to ruin
A proud old hunting king
And end his line
I will be a Broadway jew
And cry in theatres
For my mother
And sell bargain goods
Beneath the counter
I will be a doctor jew
In all the garbage cans
To sew back again
I will be a Dachau jew
And lie down in lime
With twisted limbs
And bloated pain
No mind can understand
I'm sure by now you've already read some reviews, complete with quotes maybe, like
"We find ourselves on different sides of a line that nobody drew" or
"I know you have to hate me, but could you hate me less?" or
"I'm old and mirrors don't lie" or
"I caught the darkness drinking from your cup, I said 'Is it contagious?', you said 'Just drink it up'".
In fact you've probably already heard the whole thing since it's been streaming for a week. I must say though that the vinyl sounds way better than the stream, including the atrocious guitar sound on The Darkness.
Cohen has been making synth albums for 28 years now - over half of his recording career. Out of eleven albums, only six were good old fashioned Leonard Cohen style (I'm using that term loosely, considering his voyage with Phil Spector).
And I'm not complaining. In fact I will argue that I'm Your Man and The Future stand up there with New Skin and Love and Hate.
But now he picked things up where he'd left them in 1979 with Recent Songs. I just wonder if the title "Old Ideas" refers to that sound he'd left behind, or to the words.
The album opens with Cohen describing himself as a "lazy bastard living in a suit". Which reminds me of a 1964 poem from FLOWERS FOR HITLER in which he desribed himself as "locked in a very expensive suit".
It closes with "Both of us say there are laws to obey". Also in FLOWERS FOR HITLER he wrote "These were not poplar trees and nuns you walked between. These were laws."
In PARASITES OF HEAVEN (1966), he wrote " I loved a hundred women, never told the same lie twice." This has nothing to do with the subject at hand, I just think it's a cool line.
Old Ideas then. The working title was THE DARKNESS, when the release was first announced several months ago. It would have been misleading - although that would have fit more than one or two of his previous works.
Now, it appears that something has healed inside this man who in 1961 wrote "For you I will be a Dachau Jew, and lie down in lime with twisted limbs, and bloated pain no mind can understand". (from THE SPICE-BOX OF EARTH)
In 1971: " Myself, I long for love and light, but must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?" (SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE)
In 1988: "Everybody knows that the war is over, everybody knows the good guys lost". (I'M YOUR MAN)
And in 1992: "When they said 'Repent', I wonder what they meant". (THE FUTURE)
I'm sure many will describe this new album using quotes from it, calling it an "anthem of forgiving", a "manual for living with defeat". But really this could apply to everything he's ever published or sung.
Lately I've found NIVARNA's infamous 1989 show at la MJC d'Issy-les-Moulineaux (infamous in France cos everyone over thirty and living in Paris pretends he was there).
I've come across footage of EEK-A-MOUSE live in Jamaica in 1981, in his prime.
I have watched a (relatively) young and (obviousy) stoned LEONARD COHEN playing one of my favorite songs of his, Sing Another Song Boys, and these are the images of the recording, the actual recording that features on Songs of Love and Hate!
But I never thought that I'd ever see images of JIMMIE RODGERS though (he died in the early 1930s).
God I love Youtube. It is my favorite invention. Until someone finds a cure for cancer, this will remain the greatest achievement I will have witnessed in my lifetime.