Standard Fare/Allo Darlin'
Standard Fare: Out of Sight, Out of Town (Melodic)
Tighter and/or tougher‑-the guys sharper and bigger, the gal exploiting her nasality to cut through. But unless you care that the objects of Emma Kupa's lust have become more explicitly female, which she herself makes very little of, what really differentiates this from 2010's The Noyelle Beat is that Kupa's now an old pal even if you didn't think about her once since then. Which she suspects maybe you didn't, because right beneath her forthright specificity lurks an edge of anxiety that portends trouble down the road‑-trouble that may be your fault. Kupa gets around not because she has a taste for the orgiastic like fellow janglers Los Campesinos! but because relationships go awry. She really wishes they wouldn't, or at least that's what she thinks. But partner by partner, she's still figuring it out. A MINUS
Allo Darlin': Europe (Slumberland)
The magic of the debut wasn't just that thing that happens with young bands when everything is new and bliss is just around the corner. It's that Elizabeth Morris recognized this illusion as an illusion and entered wholeheartedly into its ebullience anyway. But now the Old World's cold weather and cramped spaces are getting her down‑-her most irresistible new song, taken solo with ukulele, recalls a blistering summer day down under when they found a Go-Betweens tape in the car. Though her tempos have slowed half a turn, reducing the twee factor if that was a problem for you, her melodies are still very much there and her lyrics are sharp throughout. But she's no longer at all confident that talent will out or love endures‑-her "This is life, this is livin'" is more resigned than celebratory, copping to her suspicion that a great night in bed will never be repeated. So let me assure her that at least she hasn't "already met all the people that'll mean something." Some of them haven't even been born yet. And I don't mean the kids I bet she's not sure she'll ever have. A MINUS
'Some of them haven't even been born yet.'
This is true. The older I get, the more I realise I won't have enough time, to meet all these great people!
(Damn, I wanted, to add Out of Sight, Out of Town to my year-end list, but it's 2011! Yes, I'm that finicky!)
I agree with Joe, Fela is great car music, especially for those long drives.
This Allo' Darling is sounding ever better the second time through.
When does that new Withered Hand coming out?
'I want to second this. A highlight of the entire run of the blog so far. Like a first-rate magazine survey. (Follow-up topic sometime: influential teachers?)'
Haha, this isn't even a swing or anything, but I don't know, when you're being sarcastic anymore! (Short bursts would suggest yes, but I'm not sure...)
And thanks, Nate, for making the turn to kids. One of the true joys (out of many) of being a parent has been having my kids open up my ears to music I would never have heard otherwise. And also helping me hear old stuff in a new way...
And Nate, can't wait to hear John K. Samson--a few years back my older child got me a Weakerthans record for my birthday and after I said I hadn't heard of them he said "What? You're gonna love this--it's like that jangly stuff you're always playing"
John K. Samson's Provincial. I'd never heard of the guy, though he's been around since the late 80s, first in the Canadian punk band Propagandhi,
Thanks a ton, Nate. My oldest son has tried to convert me to Propagandhi (and failed thus far though he tells me it's 'cause I picked the wrong albums to try) so this is one I can hand back to him. Sounds great so far.
Reminds me of one of my favorite family musical memories from the other direction as you say, when in mid-94 (he would have been 15) he said, "Dad, I've got two new bands for you. They're called Green Day and Offspring."
the first piece of bad advice from Just Tell Me What To Listen To.
What is Just Tell Me What To Listen To? Google ain't talking.
Nor have I thought about him since the 1980s. But it turns out he co-wrote the song "Last Man Standing'--for one of the Django movies-- that forms the basis of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." Nice.
My parents were TV watchers, but I do remember seeing/hearing these around the house...
Mom: Johnny Mathis, Johnny's Grestest Hits; The Sound of Music soundtrack; Andy Williams' Xmas Album; The Exciting Lloyd Price.
Dad: George Jones and Melba Montgomery, Close Together (As You & Me); Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison; comedy albums by Andy Griffith, Bob Newhart, Rusty Warren, Bill Cosby, and some duo whose name escapes me at the moment. (Not the Smothers Brothers.)
But they did say something nice about lucinda williams and the very best of drifters.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.