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Listening Notes - March 2016

  • Led Zeppelin – IV [vinyl] (1971)
  • Gallagher, Rory – Calling Card (1976)
  • Alice In Chains – MTV Unplugged [DVD] (1996)
  • Isley Brothers, The – 3+3 (1973)
  • Fleetwood Mac – Tusk [5.1 Audio] (1979)
  • Pulp – This Is Hardcore (1998)
  • Cure, The – The Head Of The Door (1985)
  • Blur Leisure (1991)
  • Frampton, Peter FCA!35 [Blu-ray] (2012)
  • Yo La Tengo Popular Songs (2009)
  • Suede Night Moves (DVD) (2016)
  • Kozelek, Mark Rock'n'Roll Singer (2000)
  • Alice In Chains MTV Unplugged [Vinyl] (1996)
  • Japan Adolescent Sex (1978)
  • New Order The Best Of (1995)

Listening "Notes" for March 2016

  • 02/03 - Led Zeppelin - IV [vinyl] (1971)

I have always avoided "that song" in isolation. But track four follows track three on side one so it's very hard to avoid. When it comes around it's an absolute snorter! Perhaps it's worthy of a "songs bagged for no good reason" theme at a future "Shut Up And Listen" session.

I could give "Misty Mountain Hop" a miss though!

  • 03/03 - Gallagher, Rory - Calling Card (1976)

Rory does Jazz!? This great record gets off to a rollicking good start with the fantastic "Do You Read Me". This grabs you and doesn't let you go - what a start! This album is a great mix of Jazz, Rock and Blues. Track after fantastic track.

  • 04/03 - Alice In Chains - MTV Unplugged [DVD] (1996)

A great live unplugged session, with pictures, of a band I had no appreciation of until well into this century.
It's all the more poignant seeing Layne Staley so frail and struggling to hold it together. "Ain't found a way to kill me yet..." Dead soon afterwards. Sad.

Best track: Frogs

  • 06/03 - Isley Brothers, The - 3+3 (1973)

A warm 28 degrees outside today. No summer breeze to speak of but might as well reminisce about a fantastic batch of weather we've enjoyed over the last few months.
Took my best headphones and portable amp on a walk and "Summer Breeze" never sounded so good. Needed to play the whole album this afternoon.

Lots of classy funk and rock outs. The 2 best tracks though - "Who's That Lady" (They do a completely bonkers version live at the end!) and "Summer Breeze". Ernie was greatly influenced by Hendrix and it shows.

  • 08/03 - Fleetwood Mac - Tusk [5.1 Audio] (1979)

OK I cheated! I've waited nearly a month and I'm sill waiting to get my copy of the super duper deluxe addition of the Mac's wonderful "Tusk" from Amazon UK. (Vinyl, CD and DVD). What is one to do? "Acquire" a copy via devious, fully digital means that's what! This 5.1 recording 96/24 surround recording is FANTASTIC!

As soon as I get my copy in the mail Nick, my old, second hand version, is coming your way. [I eventually got my copy via JB-Hifi in Wellington after the copy for the UK got damaged in transit]

Saw them at Athletic Park in Wellington in 1980 soon after the release of "Tusk". It was very special.

  • 09/03 - Pulp - This Is Hardcore (1998)

Always the drama queen, Jarvic Cocker delivers a classic hook filled snapshots of sleazy British life.
As far removed from Fleetwood Mac as you could get.

  • 10/03 - Cure, The - The Head Of The Door (1985)

These were strange days indeed. Newly transitioned and emigrated from up North I desperately needed The Cure.
Probably my main concern coming to Nelson was the quality of the record shops. Everyman Records existed for me in the early days and I was further exposed to more magic.
However, at the time this was on high rotation, a carry over from those Levin days. The Smiths also dominated.

  • 11/03 - Blur - Leisure (1991)

What a find!!! There it was in all of it's glory "BLUR 21", The Box Set. For a mere pittance.
21 discs, CDs and DVDs, of Blur's entire remastered output in a beautifully packaged box with my name on it.

Last year, I had secretly stashed away several special editions of Blurs records selling for $20 each hoping to return when I had the readies. When I did go back they were gone.
Devastated! This is a huge reprieve and an absolute bargain to boot. It worked out far better.

Leisure is a noisy affair but a record I always go back to.

Best track(s): There's No Other Way, High Cool.

  • 13/03 - Frampton, Peter - FCA!35 [Blu-ray] (2012)

Another great find at TWH. 189 minutes of Frampton brilliance for $6.98. OK. Not everyone would agree that Mr.Frampton is worthy of such accolades but I've always rated his guitar playing.
His recent "Thank You Mr. Churchill" is also highly regarded.

As a pre-punk teenager this was the bee's knees. Johnny and the boys ruined it for a while but I keep going back.
This recent celebration is a great up-dated rendition. Not note-for-note but done with tasteful reinterpretations.

  • 15/03 - Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs (2009)

Relatively recent Yo La Tengo record that ticks all the right Yo La Tengo boxes. Some lovely extended sonic explorations on the last 3 tracks.

Best track(s): Periodically Triple Or Double

  • 17/03 - Suede - Night Moves (DVD) (2016)

Admittedly, I was a bit disappointed when I first listened to this soon after purchase. It just didn't gel with me.
Having now nestled into my brain after a few hi-res headphone sessions, it's awesomeness is realised. Brilliant!

Listening/watching the accompanying DVD reinforces the fact that this record definitely needs to be listened as a whole.

  • 20/03 - Kozelek, Mark - Rock'n'Roll Singer (2000)

I haven't always warmed to Mark Kozelek's morbid meanderings but if you can get past the voice, the music is haunting and revealing. Not a record to share with others but a personal exploration I feel.

Best track: Ruth Marie

  • 21/03 - Alice In Chains - MTV Unplugged [Vinyl] (1996)

After enjoying the music-with-pictures version earlier this month, I really felt I needed to listen to this unplugged relic in the most unrestrained way. On vinyl this definitely reaches new heights. All of the instruments sound so "present" and there's something really organic going on. Hardly medieval troubadours but close! Superb! Over clocked my old Perreaux amp for some reason - ran as hot as a toaster!

  • 24/03 - Japan - Adolescent Sex (1978)

Far removed from "Tin Drum" this debut is still a bit of a stunner!
!978 was a big year in many ways with music pulling me in many directions. It wasn't until after "Tin Drum" was released when I explored their earlier catalogue.

While their style would change dramatically this is still a great introduction (OK it's a bit rough in places)to a very talented group of musicians.

Best track: Television

  • 31/03 - New Order - The Best Of (1995)

"1963" still gives me fucking goose bumps! An awesome song that demands high volume. Actually, this whole record is the bee's knees. Song after song elicits strong memories of a blissful 80's. I really did fall on my feet!! This is life affirming.

Best Track: 1963