Cds, back from vacation

Ashley and I went to Niagara Falls, Ontario over the weekend, I listened to Cds in the car, and by all accounts I should include them in this compendium, but the listening experience is too different, to diffuse to include; it wouldn’t be fair to all the CDs I listen to on my boom box, or through headphones on my laptop. So, back at home:

16) Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People

I think this is the only Mogwai CD I own; no, maybe I have a live one somewhere. In any case, no one needs more than one, not that it isn’t a good cd, but–they make film music, lush and surging, and mostly sans lyrics, though there is some vocodor vocalizing going on here. The absence of understandable lyrical content is not a problem, but the absence of consistantly strong melodic content is, and so the more new-agey, meandering passages really suffer from the absence of lyrics. Or from the absence of a movie to make the abstract parts more interesting. The abstract parts could be more interesting, instead of simply being set-ups for the big, emotionally sweeping parts, but for the most part, they ain’t. Good to listen to while sweeping up the basement. (bonus: the CD contains a demo version of Cubase and source tracks to remix the song “Hunted By a Freak”; seems like a fairly enlightened move, but then also seems pretty narcissistic.)

17) Los Lobos: The Covers EP

Yes, a CD EP. But it’s Los Lobos, so what the hell. I have been trying to figure out what it is I love so much about Los Lobos–is it their tastefullness? Their perfect sympatico with the roots music of several different cultures? Their ripping guitar solos? The fact that they opened in 1980 for Public Image, Ltd.? I’m sure all of these elements are parts of the greater whole, a whole that saved my life at least once, when I found Kiko on the jukebox of a dive I used to frequent in Minneapolis. This EP is predictably fun, great song choices (Tom Waits, “Jocky Full of Bourbon”; Elvis Costello, “Uncomplicated”; Ruben Blades, “Patria”‘ Richard Thompson, “Shoot Out The Lights”). But: too damn short. (bonus: their next CD is supposed to be all Disney songs.)

18) Captain Sensible: Sensible Lifestyles: The Best Of Captain Sensible

Say Captain! What’s up with the red beret! What more can you ask for, he does “Happy Talk” (from South Pacific), “Rough Justice,” and whatever the hell “The Kamikaze Millionaire” is supposed to be (well, catchy is what it’s supposed to be, and it is that). “Glad It’s All Over” is quite touching, given that it was written by a pre-Anime cartoon character. The only problem with this is his version of “Jet Boy, Jet Girl” uses “hell” instead of “head” to make it more palatable, I guess–“ooooh, he gives me hell”? Why bother, when the chorus is “Jet boy, jet girl / gonna take you round the world, / jet boy gonna make you penetrate / gonna make you be a girl”? Say shut-up! (bonus: The Cap’n has founded a political party)

1 Comment

  1. Richard Ford

    Los Lobos: The dive – Danny’s, i believe. Just uttering the name makes me think of vomit, blood and sharpened screw-drivers. And one fine moment where we played “Saint Behind the Glass”, and maybe it was my imagination but the place seemed quieter and almost peaceful for a moment.

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