A Place to Bury Strangers
What? Sex? I Can't Hear You. Sex?!
A Place to Bury Strangers: Worship (Dead Oceans)
With Oliver Ackermann a guitar effects tycoon first and a bandleader second, I hear them as an electronica outfit whose inhuman beat happens to be all volumized hard-rock boom-boom, only less funky than that stuff can get with sentient humans leaking flesh and blood on the tubs. What few words you can make out have the rare virtue of straightforwardness and are less miserabilist than you might fear‑-compelling sex in make-her-scream mode can cheer up a fella whose political-existential irrelevance is getting him down. But the album's logic is musical‑-even, plausibly, sexual. Beginning with a lyric whose faint eroticism is buried by the two-word theme statement "all alone," it works up to a provisional climax, tails to a lament followed by a dirge, and then explodes into overdrive: "Why I Can't Cry Anymore," Goth dread at its sanest and most desperate, followed by the breakneck rancor of "Revenge," presumably directed at the departed screamer. Lyrically, a dumb sequence‑-at least the two could have been reversed. Sonically, it's dynamite. A MINUS
A Place to Bury Strangers: Onwards to the Wall (Dead Oceans)
The placeholder EP is blunter and slighter than the album, two pieces of echoey roar fore and aft flanking a title song whose surprising "I'm still in love with you" is enunciated credibly and of all things breathily by‑-of all things‑-a goil. Alanna Nuala of Moon, to be precise. You know‑-Moon. Actually, neither do I. A MINUS
The f*ck it does. It means, just as it did out West when I grew up and nobody was required to have car insurance, that the most reckless, irresponsible drivers will get away with their behavior until they cause a catastrophe.
Really? Let's say you choose not to buy car insurance. It means you can't drive. But you're not additionally obligated to pay a fee to the Gov't, whereas you are with health insurance. I read the famous interview where Obama made the same argument and didn't find it compelling then either. Nor did interviewer George Stephanopoulos, whose college term apparently overlapped mine (he's younger), though I didn't know him. So did Suzanne Vega's, but I didn't know her either. I didn't get around much, I guess. The night that Suzanne Vega famously went to see Lou Reed on campus and decided on the spot to become a songwriter, I instead opted for the Clash's first NY show at the Palladium. I'm convinced I saw the better show, but just think how history might have changed if it went the other way around. I did know Stephanopoulos' buddy Mike Waldman, who went on to become a Clinton speechwriter. Memorable Mike Waldman quote: "Jeff! The Clash just put out a three record set!! And it SUCKS!!!!!!"
The United States of America-the only industrialized nation in the world without universal health care-(no)?
Finally a step in that direction-albeit a small one- and the right is having a nervous breakdown. At least with this ruling
they may be covered.
PS The individual mandate-how is it different than having to buy car insurance? It isn't.
PPS Alexander Vauche-where common sense and a sense of fairness go to die.
I have a special fondness for the recording where I sense a very potent operation becomes itself. Revisited one earlier today with Ray Charles. First nine tracks he laid down in his career are by somebody other than Brother Ray. He's not offensive in the least, but he's just a mockingbird. Then, sometime in 1949 in Los Angeles, the Maxim Trio records Leroy Carr's "How Long Blues" and suddenly "Ray Charles" comes into being. Tentative, of course -- he's not as much there even on the next cut, even though it's another Carr number, "Blues Before Sunrise."
With CCR, the shift comes a bit slower. On the single "Call It Pretending" (Oct. 1967), John Fogerty's voice escapes the clutches of the Wimp Spirit and slips into the embrace of the Bayou HooDoo that he will use to such effect later. Music ain't there. Next, "I Put a Spell on You" is finally the run-for-cover cover that you would never imagine from the damp little wads left by the Golliwogs not so long before. But the number where CCR comes into being is "The Working Man." Perfect.
I didn't know anybody who got stoned back in high school, but we rightly regarded Creedence Clearwater Revival as one of those "Ellis D Party" albums that got you dancing and then messed with your head. Especially since it ended with "Walk on the Water" a superb Jesus-as-acid-night-mare roar (and ancestor of the cosmic farce, "It Came Out of the Sky").
Mark -- Several people more eloquent than me have already beat me to the punch re: your last post. So I'll let it go. But I will say, thank you re: the Neil Young. You've been here a while, so you might already know my wife is a Republican. People do disagree from time to time. She doesn't like Neil Young. At all. At least, you do. Such is life, isn't it?
http://goo.gl/q3OOA (or just click on his link to the right)
My other favorite is from Rick Perry, known by most as an elected official -- "Now that the Supreme Court has abandoned us" -- revealing at least three flaws: 1) a lack of understanding of the separation of powers concept and its significance in the revolution that is and was American governance, (and the Age of Enlightenment that preceded and contributed to it, but then we're getting into European history and god knows that can only lead to sin and perdition so we'll stay on this continent for the moment), 2) the fact that as an elected official, this allows me to presume that the millions who have voted and will continue to vote for him don't clearly understand the separation of powers concept and its significance either, and MAINLY 3) who is this "us" he's talking about anyway? The 50 million uninsured?
Feeling the purge of my Exploding Head today, as I wait for Worship to arrive.
Also enjoying the new 2012 remaster of Monk's Misterioso whose solos sound better than ever. But why does the new bonus track feature Art Blakey on drums when Roy Haynes is featured on the rest of the album. The notes don't explain that. Odd because the new track was taken from the same night's concert.
I finally got a chance to search for the Jimmy Jones and Del Shannon performances of “Handy Man”, having only ever heard the James Taylor version. Very interesting takes – I had no idea it originated as an upbeat song. The problem was that after hearing the song a couple times it got stuck in my head for hours, and no way of getting it out of there while at work. Why was this a problem? Because the version I kept hearing was James Taylor’s, the one I was overly familiar with, the one with the You-Just-Relax-While-I-Fix-The-Faucet vibe.
On first listen, A Place to Bury Strangers sounds like something that would quickly clear out any unwanted earworms.
So what's with this email when someone replies to my post? It's not that I don't love you all, it's just that I spend enough time cleaning out my mail box as it is. It wouldn't even let me choose no. Technology is kinda weird sometimes.
I would only add that punk-rock freedom requires he forcibly insists that he be left to die at the scene, muttering, "This'll show you Commies ..."
Unfotunately healthcare doesn't exactly fit into that concept. Building on the Honorable Christgau's example, if you choose to pay out of pocket and have an unforseen illness or injury, your medical costs can easily go into the MILLIONS within a week or two. Whether or not that is fair is a separate issue, but it's the reality of our system now. What's definitely unfair is that your costs if you can't pay them will be distributed to everyone else one way or another.
For a lot of sensible people who don't get insurance through their employer and also don't qualify for federal programs, a high-deductible individual plan is a good option - but many, many other variables go into the affordability and fairness of said plans. Low deductible plans are even more unaffordable for most people. Therefore, the ACA's insurance reforms are trying to make the information and processes related to individual plans more standardized. Mark- I do agree with you to a point but healthcare just doesn't work like many other industries. It's not a system easily opted out of.
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.
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