Before Oasis battled Blur and Kanye West wrestled 50 Cent, there was this: the ultimate pop-music rivalry. The Beatles represented Northern England, taking up the mantel for all the marginalized country folk whose ways and accents marked them as separate from the cosmopolitan London manifested by bad-boy R&B purists the Rolling Stones. That said, despite the well-publicized differences between the bands, they had a lot in common. Both shared a fondness for some of the same old rock ’n’ roll, employed overlapping session musicians, lost their ’60s catalogs to the same shyster (Allen Klein), worked with the same movie director (Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who was behind the Let It Be movie and the Stones’ ill-conceived Rock And Roll Circus program) and used “hold me, love me” as a lyric. The Stones may have long since allowed their sell-by date to expire while improbably outliving half of the Fab Four, but back in the ’60s, this rivalry resulted in an amazing run of classic albums. Are you ready to rumble?
Odessa, the sprawling 1969 beacon of creativity by the Bee Gees, gets a lavish 40th anniversary, three-disc reissue treatment by Rhino on January 13. Credited by some rock critics as the songwriting equals of the Beatles, brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb loaded their only studio double-LP with orchestral-rock gems such as “Melody Fair,” “First Of May” and “Odessa (City On The Black Sea).” To those who remember the Brothers Gibb only as the chart-topping creators of mid-‘70s disco anthems, here’s a chance to fall under the spell of “I Laugh In Your Face,” the Bacharach-like drama of “Sound Of Love” and the intoxicating beauty of “Lamplight,” on which Robin’s heart-wrenching vibrato never sounded more expansive. Discs one and two are stereo and mono mixes of the original 17-track album, while disc three is stuffed with 23 unreleased tracks from the album sessions, including a pair of tunes that didn’t make the final cut, as well as demos and alternate mixes that provide a finely detailed road map to the majesty of this long-overlooked pop masterpiece.
“Odessa (City On The Black Sea)” from Odessa:
After a five-year hiatus, Nottingham, England’s Tindersticks are bringing their cinematic melancholy and infinite sadness to North America in March. The limited tour is in support of the recent The Hungry Saw, which found the band low on original members (half the band quit in 2006) but still high on their brand of musical depressants (check out MAGNET’s review here). It’s a rare trip over the pond for the moody Brits, so anyone in the need of of a quick bring-me-down, take note. Dates after the jump.
A weekly recap of The Best Show On WFMU, Tom Scharpling’s call-in/comedy/music show broadcast every Tuesday night from Jersey City. The three-hour program is available for free download at iTunes. Shameless plug: Best Show caller Philly Boy Roy wrote a piece for MAGNET’s Philly scene report in our latest issue, which you can purchase here.
Continue reading “Listening To “The Best Show”: 12/16/08 Episode”
After the greatness of Hüsker Dü and the first Sugar album, Bob Mould could have retired an indie-rock legend. Instead, he chose to to release a bunch of mediocre albums and write scripts for World Championship Wrestling (or, as the kids like to call it, WCW). But with 2005’s Body Of Song and last year’s District Line, Mould started to get his groove back. This trend thankfully continues with his still-untitled eighth solo album, due out April 7 on the Anti- label. The LP features Mould on lots of instruments plus Jon Wurster on drums, and it’s almost certainly Mould’s best since Sugar’s sophomore album, 1994’s File Under: Easy Listening. Mould’s label calls the record “honest and personal,” and they aren’t kidding. With lyrics such as “The taste of last night’s sex still in my mouth” (“Bad Blood Better”) and “Lead me to the Sanifair/Reach into my underwear” (“Argos”), we’re betting homophobic Mould fans won’t being singing along when he plays the new stuff live. Track listing after the jump.
Need to be aroused further? Check out this interview we did with Mould last year.
The last time MAGNET saw Mark Lanegan play a stripped-down set, he lasted four songs before a heckler got the best of him, prompting the ex-Screaming Trees frontman to leave the stage mid-song. Then people started throwing beer bottles, and things got really ugly. (And don’t even ask us about the time Lanegan, then still with the Trees, had MAGNET smuggle booze into the all-ages section of a Philly club for him; that did not end well for either of us.) Anyway, Lanegan and cc partner-in-grime Greg Dulli will play four intimate shows on the West Coast in February. Supposedly, they will be doing some songs that go deep into both musician’s back catalogs, so how much they tackle from the Gutter Twins’ excellent debut, Saturnalia, is anyone’s guess. Tour dates after the jump.
In the meantime, check out the exhaustive profile we did on Lanegan earlier this year here.
Paul Westerberg has become the rock ‘n’ roll version of the Super Value Menu at Wendy’s. Think of the former Replacements leader as indie rock’s Spicy Chicken Go Wrap. Or maybe its Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. After releasing digital records this year costing $0.49 (49:00), $0.99 (Bored Of Edukation) and $3.99 (3oclockreep), Westy is back with the three-track D.G.T. for the bargain price of $0.74. And although the words “great” and “essential” don’t exactly come to mind when listening to it, D.G.T. is worth every penny, which is a good thing in these hard economic times. You can download it here.
Editor Eric T. Miller picks his favorite reissues, collections and live albums of the year: R.E.M. (pictured), the Smiths, the Clash and more.
Collectibles columnist Fred Mills picks his favorites of the year: Triffids (pictured), Spacemen 3, Brian Wilson, Suicide and more.