Tag Archives: morrissey

20 YEARS AGO: 1990

MOVIES

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (d. Steve Barron)

HOME ALONE (d. Chris Columbus)

WILD AT HEART (d. David Lynch)

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS  (d. Tim Burton)

GOODFELLAS (d. Martin Scorcese)

ALBUMS

DEPECHE MODE – VIOLATOR

PIXIES – BOSSANOVA

HAPPY MONDAYS – PILLS ‘N’ THRILLS AND BELLYACHES

MORRISSEY – BONA DRAG

THE LA’S – THE LA’S


COMICS

SPIDER-MAN #1 by Todd McFarlane

GIVE ME LIBERTY by Frank Miller & Dave Gibbons

Cable debuts in the pages of NEW MUTANTS #87.

Frank Einstein A.K.A. Madman debuts in CREATURES OF THE ID #1.

AKIRA by Katsuhiro Otomo concludes after eight years in the pages of Young Magazine.

G.



TOP ELEVEN SINGLES OF 2009

Leave it to me to wait until the very last day of the year to upload my top ten of 2009 list to the blog….and for it not to even be a top ten. Here are my eleven favorite singles released over the course of the last 364 days; this list could easily be very different if it had been written last week or next week, but here’s where I stand as of today, December 31st, 2009:

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – “MY GIRLS”

This one is sure to be on many indie-ish lists this year, but I feel like I have to include it here, because I like it. It starts off  with Phillip Glass-esque arpeggios, includes massive handclaps and one of the best singalong choruses of the year. And it’s even emotionally resonant to boot. I remember hearing this shortly after it came out at a small basement show BP played in Boone, Iowa. It sounded really great then, and for me it confirmed this song as an instant classic.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

DEPECHE MODE – “WRONG”

I’m a huge Depeche fan, so there was almost no chance that I wouldn’t include a single by them on this list. But favoritism aside, I think “Wrong” is easily one of the band’s strongest songs of the last 15 years. It’s a bit of a grower, lacking an immediate hook like past DM hits, but its repetition, rhythm and forward momentum add up to a great, dark groove. With one of the year’s darkest videos, to boot.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

THE FLAMING LIPS – “WATCHING THE PLANETS”

THE FLAMING LIPS – “WATCHING THE PLANETS”

“Watching The Planets” closes the Lips’ newest record in bombastic fashion; after journeying through Embryonic‘s weird experiments and strange interludes, the listener is greeted by this song, arguably the album’s most straighforward song. An insistent, pounding rhythm underpins Wayne’s chant-like vocals, while twinkly keys add a melancholy touch to the proceedings.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

GIRLS – “HELLHOLE RATRACE”

Girls are my favorite new band of the year, and “Hellhole Ratrace” is my favorite song from their debut album Album. A slow build song a la Spiritualized, “Hellhole” grows from its modest beginnings into a “Hey Jude” for the Noughties. The best chorus of the year, in my opinion:    “And I don’t want to cry my whole life through/I wanna do some laughing, too/So come on, come on, come on, come on and laugh with me/And I don’t want to die/Without shaking up a leg or two/Yeah, I wanna do some dancing too/So come on, come on, come on, come on and dance with me”. Simple, resonant and relateable, these lines become a mantra as wave after wave of sound is added, creating a cathartic effect that once experienced, is hard to forget.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


THE HORRORS – “SEA WITHIN A SEA”

When I first heard of The Horrors a few years ago, I grouped them in with all the other garage-rock bands NME was championing at the time. It wasn’t until Manic Street Preachers said the band’s new album Primary Colours was their favorite of the year that I actually listened. And I glad I did. Behind the haircuts and moody stares is actual musical talent and ambition, as evidenced in “Sea Within A Sea”. Starting as a dark motorik groove, “Sea” takes its time establishing a mood, gradually changing from its initial foreboding to a synth-strewn climax. 2009’s most pleasant surprise for me.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

IAN BROWN – “STELLIFY”

What I really like about “Stellify” is its minimalism. Based mainly around the same simple piano riff and a stomping beat, Ian Brown and his collaborators still manage to create and sustain interest in the song throughout its duration. Brown’s love of hip-hop is fully evident here, and the mid-song horn break adds an ebullient touch to an already uplifting song. When the two elements come together, it creates one of the greatest moments in the man’s solo catalog.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

LADY GAGA – “BAD ROMANCE

Yes, Lady Gaga. I love this song and I love this video. I like some of the singles from her first album, but I feel she’s kicked it up several notches on this one. It’s melodramatic, has a great melody and a big chorus. It almost reminds me of Erasure. I don’t care about the crazy costumes or any of that other crap; as long as she releases singles like this, that’s what really matters.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

MAJOR LAZER ft. RICKY BLAZE & NINA SKY – “KEEP IT GOIN’ LOUDER”

I discovered this song through the brilliant, deranged video directed by Tim and Eric’s Eric Wareheim. And though that was my initial reason for listening to it, I’ve come to love “Keep It Goin’ Louder” based on it on merits. It has a lot of elements that have turned me off of other songs: auto-tune, lyrics about clubbin’…but the way these elements are put together on this track work for me totally. I think it’s the sense of euphoria that underlines the entire song…it makes a line like “Girl I wanna party with you” seem almost life-affirming.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


MORRISSEY – “SOMETHING IS SQUEEZING MY SKULL”

Morrissey’s return to prominence after seven years in the wilderness was one of my favorite music-related stories of the 2000s. “Something Is Squeezing My Skull” was the final single of this decade of renewed activity, and it’s a doozy. A thrashy rocker, “Skull” becomes a classic when Moz’s lyrics of mental instability are thrown into the mix. He manages to make it sound exhilarating and hopeless at the same time.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

OASIS – “FALLING DOWN”

Upon its release in March, I had no idea that “Falling Down” was destined to be Oasis’ final single (at least for now). But if it is to be the band’s last release, it’s an appropriate one. Instead of a rousing anthem or a sing-along ballad, “Falling Down” is instead an uncertain, world-weary slice of psychedelia sung by Noel instead of Liam. I like the idea of the Oasis story ending on a note of doubt and ambiguity; and if this is, indeed, the end, it’s a fitting conclusion.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………

YEASAYER – “AMBLING ALP”

Yeasayer is doing what I’d like to do musically – mixing experimental tendencies with pop sensibilities. Their debut album was quite good but I’m really excited for 2010’s Odd Blood if “Ambling Alp” is any indication.


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

HONORABLE MENTIONS


– Asobi Seksu – “Familiar Light”

– Bad Lieutentant – “Sink Or Swim”

– Echo & The Bunnymen – “Think I Need It Too”

– eels – “Fresh Blood”

– Franz Ferdinand – “No You Girls”

– Julian Casablancas – “11th Dimension”

– Phoenix – “1901”

– The Prodigy – “Warriors Dance”

– Weezer – “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To”

– Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Zero”

On to 2010…

G.

CONCERT: MORRISSEY w/ The Courteeners (Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL 4/4/09)

Time number 5 for Morrissey and me. Paris, Austin, Omaha, Kansas City and now, having just released his new album Years Of Refusal, Chicago. Mandy and I made the pilgrimage to the historic Aragon Ballroom in downtown Chicago (the place with the tall stage), stopping only for gas, bladder relief and a great meal at The Chicago Diner. After waiting in line for a bit and being frisked, we managed to jockey for a position in the fourth row. There we waited, as the temperature rose with the increasing body heat. Then…lights off! Show!

thecourteeners

The openers were a band from Manchester, England called The Courteeners. I’d heard a bit about them before, but was basically unfamiliar with them until today. They put on a good show….it’s a thankless task to open for pretty much anybody, but when you’re opening for someone with such a fantically devoted audience as That Guy Who Used To Be In The Smiths Who Isn’t Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke or Mike Joyce, I’m sure it can be especially punishing. Having said that, they went over pretty well with the crowd. The Courteeners’ sound isn’t a million miles away from, say, The Libertines (in fact, I’d say it’s more like three houses down), but they do what they do well, and their single “Not Nineteen Forever” was a definite highlight for me. It made me want to hear more from them, so mission accomplished. After these lads exited the stage, videos were projected onto a large sheet that covered up all but the very front of the stage. This was done between sets during the 2007 shows as well, and most of the videos were the same as then (New York Dolls performances, etc.). Since then, he seems to have developed (or exposed) an interest in 60’s Dutch rock band  The Shocking Blue (perhaps best known on these shores for their song “Venus” and “Love Buzz”, which was covered by Nirvana and released as their first single), as three performances of theirs were included here. As the final video ended, the sheet fell to the floor, exposing a backdrop with the gentleman on it, “Refusal” emblazoned across his chest:

sailor

And then Morrissey appeared.

morrissey-naked

(But not, unfortunately, like this.)

The man emerged from the wings dressed to the nines in a dapper tux, with his band uniformly wearing black shirts and slacks with white ties featuring their leader’s face. “Good evening, Chicago“, said Morrissey in a “Da Bears voice as “This Charming Man” sprang to life. It was great to finally hear rthis song live; he had never played it since going solo until this year (I remember when my brother and I went to see Morrissey in Paris in 2004; between songs someone requested “This Charming Man”, to which Steven parroted in what can only be described as a “retard” voice “This Chauming Mahn, This Chauming Mahn). It lacked some of Johnny Marr’s more Johnny Marr-ish parts, but it was still delightful to hear the song that made me love The Smiths in-person.  “Something Is Squeezing My Skull” (a highlight of the new album and its next single) came next and saw Morrissey whipping his mic cord around as he is wont to do; it was quickly followed by Vauxhall & I‘s “Billy Budd” and Refusal‘s “Black Cloud”, before making way for that one song, “How Soon Is Now?”.

As the opening tremelo of “How Soon..?” was sounded, the crowd went predictably wild. There’s a reason that this song has been included in most of Morrissey’s setlists since 2004…for most people, this is his signature song, and the Smiths song most likely to be known to a non-Smiths fan. However, I would fine if he dropped it. Obviously, it’s a great song but I’ve seen it live at least four times. But much like I wish Oasis would give “Wonderwall” a rest at shows, I wouldn’t mind “How Soon” being relegated to the mothballs for a bit. Having said that, it was probably the best live version I’ve seen to date.

3417489342_7a9b4a9c56

Two tracks from Moz’s “comeback” album You Are The Quarry, “Irish Blood, English Heart” & “How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?” came next and cleared the way for a spirited rendition of The Smiths’ “Ask” (which featured the lyrical change “If it’s not love/Then it’s military might/Then it’s macho military might that will bring us together”). Refusal‘s first single “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” saw longtime Morrissey collaborator Boz Boorer show off his mean clarinet skills, and acted as a jangly prelude to the mid-tempo glam of “The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores” (strangely, four tracks from 2004’s Quarry were included the set, but none from 2006’s Ringleader Of The Tormentors). A languid bass intro signaled the beginning of “Death Of A Disco Dancer”, one of the highlights of The Smiths’ final album Strangeways Here We Come; its performance saw Morrissey stationary at the microphone, while the band worked up the song’s queasy groove. After finishing his vocal contribution Morrissey left the stage, allowing the musicians to jam out on the song’s outro in a way that Marr, Rourke & Joyce may have done had they ever performed it live. Definitely a concert highlight.

Morrissey reappeared, newly de-tuxed and dived into “The Loop”, a personal favorite and one of his most rockabilly numbers (upright bass and all). “Does anybody want to stare into an open grave?”, he asked as the band kicked into “I Keep Mine Hidden”, the final song to be written and recorded by The Smiths. I was really surprised when I saw this appear on setlists earlier this year, as I never thought it would get a live airing (like “Disco Dancer”, The Smiths didn’t survive long enough after recording it to consider playing it). In this instance I was quite happy to be wrong, as its jaunty arrangement translated well to the live arena.”One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell” followed, making way for another high point, a perfomance of “Seasick, Yet Still Docked” from 1992’s Your Arsenal. The stage was bathed in blue light as the song’s melancholy progression reverberated throughout the Aragon. Lovely ambient keys added pathos to this song, so often overlooked.

3416681477_bf3f921066

The rocking continued post-haste thereafter, as “Best Friend On The Payroll” from 1995’s soon-to-be-reissued Southpaw Grammar thundered to life, acting as a bridge between the sorrowful “Seasick” and a wistful “Let Me Kiss You”, which concluded with the obilgatory take-off-shirt-and-throw-it-to-the-crowd bit. A trio of tracks from Years Of Refusal ended the main set (“When Last I Spoke To Carol” sounded great, in particular), and after the cursory stage exit and applause Moz & Co. came back on-stage and launched into “First Of The Gang To Die”, a performance that saw him dispense with most of the words in favor of various gutteral grunts and squawks. You are reminded when seeing him live how much of a weirdo Morrissey actually is. And with that the stage was vacated and the show was closed.

On the way back, I listened to The Ricky Gervais Guide To… and the new Depeche Mode album twice.

Overall, time no. 5 was quite good, but I am incredibly biased. I feel the setlist could use some work; when one has over 200 songs available, both with The Smiths and solo, should such greats as “Reel Around The Fountain”, “Suedehead” or “Glamorous Glue” be left on the sidelines while the likes of four songs from You Are The Quarry and “How Soon Is Now?” are allowed to run rampant? No, obviously, but that’s what comes with being a Morrissey fan. I really get the impression that he plays what he wants to play, and isn’t trying to cater to the audience (“How Soon?” excluded). I mean, he waited 21 years to play “This Charming Man”, one of his most beloved songs. The performance was a great, I just wish the set was a bit more varied. But that’s ok…as long as he’s playing live, I’ll still see him. It’s always a treat. Where will time no. 6 be? Will there be a time no. 6? Who knows these things? Lord knows I don’t. But until next time…keep watching the skies!

SETLIST

1.) THIS CHARMING MAN

2.) SOMETHING IS SQUEEZING MY SKULL

3.) BILLY BUDD

4.) BLACK CLOUD

5.) HOW SOON IS NOW?

6.) IRISH BLOOD, ENGLISH HEART

7.) HOW COULD ANYBODY POSSIBLY KNOW HOW I FEEL?

8.) ASK

9.) I’M THROWING MY ARMS AROUND PARIS

10.) THE WORLD IS FULL OF CRASHING BORES

11.) DEATH OF A DISCO DANCER

12.) THE LOOP

13.) I KEEP MINE HIDDEN

14.) ONE DAY GOODBYE WILL BE FAREWELL

15.) SEASICK, YET STILL DOCKED

16.) BEST FRIEND ON THE PAYROLL

17.) LET ME KISS YOU

18.) SORRY DOESN’T HELP

19.) WHEN LAST I SPOKE TO CAROL

20.) I’M OK BY MYSELF

ENCORE

21.) FIRST OF THE GANG TO DIE

VIDS:

STAGE ENTRY & THIS CHARMING MAN (SNIPPET)


BLACK CLOUD & HOW SOON IS NOW?


SEASICK, YET STILL DOCKED

WHEN LAST I SPOKE TO CAROL

DEATH OF A DISCO DANCER (CARNEGIE MUSIC HALL, 3/09)


I KEEP MINE HIDDEN (BBC CONCERT, 2009)

THIS CHARMING MAN (BBC CONCERT, 2009)

G.



CANON SONIQUE: a mixtape (16)

continuing the online mixtape.
[(1).(2).(3).(4).(5)]
[(6).(7).(8).(9).(10)]
[(11).(12).(13).(14).(15)]

song (16):

Morrissey“Certain People I Know”

this song is the 3rd single off of the 1992 album, “Your Arsenal”.
morrissey your arsenal album art

Morrissey. well… i think most people know who he is. he was in the smiths, ya know. and even reel big fish have covered his songs (here’s proof), so you know he must be at least as well known as ah-ha.

here’s a video. look how fucking ROCKABILLY these guys are. i usually HATE rockabilly guys, but i LOVE these babies. hey! nobody’s perfect.

scott

related posts:

CANON SONIQUE: a mixtape (1)

andy visser (of floodwater records fame) and i were supposed to trade mixtapes about SIX months ago. i’m sure he got his finished shortly after the pact, but i, on the other hand, still haven’t completed the project.

like so many other things i start, i’ve gotten right to the very end, but have yet to make the final leap over the finish line. so… in a pathetic attempt to continue my procrastination, but still complete the mix, i’m going to post all the tracks on this blog.

the only thing linking these tracks to one another, and allowing them to make sense with each other, is that they’re songs that i believe mr. visser might not have heard, but would enjoy.

oh yeah… it’s a double disk mix, and i forgot the track list, so… put ’em together however you like! (ugh. sorry.)

 

song (1):

The Smiths – “A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours”

buy the album Strangeways, Here We Come, and you can legally have this song.

this artist, the smiths, well… i’m sure everyone knows about them, so i won’t even bother writing one single little thing. they’re good. maybe greg will write some articles about them after he finishes his series about primal scream

and here is old morrissey performing this song LIVE in 2004:

 

scott

related posts:

Some GOOD Rockabilly

if you know me, you know that i HATE pretty much every NEW rockabilly band, and EVERY new psychobilly band. however… i really love GOOD rockabilly.

and here is a good rockabilly song by one Morrissey.

shit’s good.

it’s off of Kill Uncle, which i honestly haven’t listened to at all, but… this song alone makes me want to get it.

 

scott