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
I played the first Rough Guide to Highlife in the car over the last couple of days. The last song tanks but the rest still sounds good.
I was pleased with the Elvis/Stones segue, I was going to open with "Rip This Joint" but then I figured anything that followed would lose momentum so it was better to lead into it. And what better than "It's coming closer, the flames are now licking my body"?
I love those playground songs, a little miracle from of one of the darkest years in our history. There was Bloody Sunday, Bloody Friday, internment, but also "Ma, Ma, will you buy me a, will you buy me a banana?"
I was going to pick "Peace Like a River" but I was afraid of running over time. Juan and Ryan had discussed "Everything Put Together Falls Apart" elsewhere recently, so that was why I picked it. Shortest song on the album too. I'm doing a catchup show in a couple of weeks and might play it then, it might sound good on Bastille Day. (Actually, if you have any good Bastille Day ideas, please let me know. "Jailbreak" by Thin Lizzy is a given, I think.)
The documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil has received good reviews.
So I arranged a private car transfer to pick me up at Naples airport and drive me to Amalfi coast. The driver told me he would play great Neapolitan music in the car so I told him I'm a big fan of Paolo Conte and Pietra Montecorvino. He told me he had Bocelli, Pavorotti, and Dean Martin.
Not everyone loves Al Green. I know a few people who say "I just don't get the guy".
Not among them were the 1100 women leaving the Winnipeg Concert Hall barely noticing
Will say that I would have picked "Peace Like A River" but that's a small quibble since such distinctions from Simon's first album are totally subjective.
Thanks again a ton. 1972. Very, very tasty. And now . . . a piece of recorded history. Who knew.
Is anyone else fortunate enough to have a Mundo Civilizado CD/case? I got it yesterday and have never seen such cool packaging! I usually don't care about such details but it's definitely unique and awesome. Then I put on the music and heard an odd and enthralling mix of a fragile sounding voice and guitar with nice, weird beats which somehow seems to be always in flux but driving forward. Much better than DNA, although when the mood hits DNA can be nice too.
Scissor Sisters were a bit of a let down. Sure great to hear Ana Matronic do that great verse on "Any Which Way" ("in front of my parents"!)
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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