Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
Location: California

uao is also a contributor to Blogcritics.org, Rhapsody Radish. and FIQL.com.

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A Sampling of Articles, Reviews, and Essays:

Feel free to dig through the Deep Freeze for more, but stuff dated before mid-March 2005 is still formative and impressionistic, and not really worth the effort.

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I grew up reading Robert Christgau, Village Voice, and Lester Bangs, Creem, Punk, various others.

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THE DEEP FREEZE:
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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Friday, May 06, 2005
 

Weekend Reissue Roundup #6 05/07/05

Not a lot out there this week. In addition to these, the most noteworthy re-releases are Sad Days, a re-issue of New York band Alice Texas' 2003 sophomore effort on Fargo; six late 80's/early 90's Aerosmith albums and five 80's Pat Metheny Group albums on Universal Japan; Great George Jones and Great Mahalia Jackson on Rajon; and a pair of 1990's Maria Muldaur albums, Meet Me At Midnite and Louisiana Love Call, on Shout Factory. Other noteworthy released include:

They Might Be Giants: User's Guide To They Might Be Giants (2005)   Cheepskates: It Wings Above (1988)   Tim Hardin: Bird On A Wire (1971)   Deep Purple: Burn (1974)


They Might Be Giants: User's Guide To They Might Be Giants (Rhino; May 3, 2005) ****
Cheepskates: It Wings Above (Manic Music; May 3, 2005) ****
Tim Hardin: Bird On A Wire (Sony Japan; May 3, 2005) ***
Deep Purple: Burn [Bonus Tracks] (Rhino, May 3, 2005) ****

They Might Be Giants: User's Guide To They Might Be Giants
They Might Be Giants: User's Guide To They Might Be Giants (2005)
They Might Be Giants, from New York City, is one of those bands you either love or hate. Their wry, quirky, nerdy brand of humor and their immense catalog of what are essentially novelty tunes can be pretty funny, and they back it up with unusually canny and musicianly experimentation. However, a little of it goes a long way, the same way funny nerds are likable in small doses, before they start to grate. In short, exactly the type of band that anthologies suit well, and A User's Guide to They Might Be Giants is a typically well-packaged effort from Rhino to provide the first career-spanning single disc retrospective on this long-lived, prolific duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell. As an overview, its 29 tracks (most under 2 minutes) focus on their poppier, most accessable work, including the well-known "Don't Let's Start," "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," "Birdhouse in Your Soul," and "Ana Ng", and a wise assortment of lesser-known nuggets, representing the gamut of their styles. Probably the best way for newcomers to acquaint themselves with They Might Be Giants without having to dig through two decades worth of releases.

Cheepskates: It Wings Above
Cheepskates: It Wings Above (1988)
Cheepskates, led by Shane Faubert, were part of the garage-band revival movement on the East Coast in the early-mid 80's. They released a pair of albums on Midnight records in 1984 and 1986 as a quartet before changing labels and paring down to a trio, releasing four more albums in a power-pop vein from 1987-1990. Those four albums: Remember (1987), It Wings Above (1988), Waiting For Unta [live] (1989), and Confessional (1990) have been given no-frills re-release this week by Music Maniac, who are also re-releasing three 90's Shane Faubert discs. While the band was never destined for stardom, and are barely remembered today, It Wings Around, their best and best-selling album, is an engaging listen, worthy of a second look. Still retaining some garage band sound, with more of a surf bent than a punk style, it's uptempo and tuneful stuff, worth it for power-pop and neo-garage band fans alike.

Tim Hardin: Bird On A Wire
Tim Hardin: Bird On A Wire (1971)
Folkie Tim Hardin penned two of the most enduring and often covered songs to come from the mid-60's, "If I Were A Carpenter", and "Reason to Believe". By the time of this 1971 release, now re-issued by Sony Japan, he had a debilitating heroin addiction that was soon to take a heavy physical toll; after 1973, he'd never record again, and he'd ultimately die in 1980. While he was still functional when he recorded Bird on a Wire, he managed only six new songs; he covers four others, which generally outshine his own. The Leonard Cohen title track may well be one of the most beautiful things he ever recorded, with a vacal more soulful than most folkies could manage. He also gives touching perfomances of Hoagy Carmichaels's "Georgia On My Mind" and John Lee Hooker's "Hoboin'". Among Hardin's tunes, the best are easily "Andre Johray" and "Moonshiner", both literary songs in a Leonard Cohen vein. This isn't the place to start with Hardin; newcomers are steered towards Essential Classic Hardin,1963-1980: Person to Person on Raven. Long-time fans will welcome the re-appearance of this usually hard-to-find disc.

Deep Purple: Burn [Bonus Tracks]
Deep Purple: Burn (1974)
Burn, from 1974, was Deep Purple's first album following the departure of vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover, and could easily have been a disaster; their previous album, Who Do You Think We Are! was a let-down, and Gillan's presence had become so much an integral part of the band's sound that many long-term fans feared the worst. The band recruited two singers as replacements; the young David Coverdale, and bassist Glenn Hughes (ex-Trapeze). Against the odds, this turned out to be one of the band's better albums; organist Jon Lord, drummer Ian Paice, and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore sound reinvigorated, and the new members acquit themselves with valor. The title track is a classic, "What's Going On Here" is one of their best singles, and "Mistreated" a fine molten blues. The album returned them to the top-10 for the last time ever. Rhino's reissue tacks on Coronarias Dedig, an instrumental B-side, and four 2004 remixes of original Burn tracks; none of the latter are essential.


A slightly modified version of this article appears at Blogcritics.org