Sensational “ œRapture (from ˜Speaks For Itself™)
œthere ain™t no buzzin™ in this man, this is Pro Tools, dog
Well, he™s dead wrong. No computer can clean up Sensational. Peripatetic or just perpetually dusted, it might be unfair to say that each Sensational album is just a subtle variation on the one that came be for it. Though it wouldn™t be an exaggeration to say they™re all fantastic. An outsider so genuine it™s a miracle David Bowie hasn™t attempted to remove his brain, Sensational™s fuzzy worldview is no harder to buy into than that of Sun Ra. Lydon LaRouche or Steve Carlton. That some portions of the hip-hop community have rejected him on the dubious grounds that his music is too fucking weird oughta be a badge of pride, but that’s slim consolation for the ultimate in lo-fi-while-high artist of our generation.
X “ œAll Over Now (from ˜At Home With You™)
For too long, I™ve had the juvenile tendency to associate certain artists or songs with far flung locales I™ve visited once or less. Western Canada = DOA/Subhumans/Jean Smith. Pittsburgh = The Five. Swindon = XTC. And so on.
I™ve never been to Australia, a regret that ranks somewhere below wishing I™d paid more attention during CPR training and above thinking this blog needed a snappier title. But whenever I close my eyes and try to imagine the former penal colony, the skyscraped-climbing guitar riff to X™s œAt Home With You tears through my head. Pathetic, I know. But it could be worse. At least I™m not replaying a Rose Tattoo video.
The Kills “ œI Hate The Way You Love (From ˜No Wow™)
We™re in an age of insanely talented, iconic duos. Jack & Meg. The Black Keys. Shields & Yarnell. Those guys from œStella — if you shoot all 3 and replace them with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook.
My fave duo, however, are the pseudonym-crazed couple that make up this UK/Florida pair, and despite some superficial similarities to some of their stripped down contemporaries, the Kills recall lesser talents of the recent bidding war scene not nearly as much as they do Suicide. Which is a good thing, I think, especially as the imagined kinship comes neither from the chosen instrumentation or the live presentation. It™s more about the menacing vibe and the two unique personalities playing off each other.. Vocalist V.V. garners a lot of the attention, naturally enough, but her considerable skills aside, there™s stuff that Hotel is doing on the guitar that™s almost other worldly. His reverb-soaked excursions are a dizzying death-rattle, the kind of self-taught virtuosity that makes you think a few more times about all the places the instrument can go in a supposedly limited genre. I mean, I™d think about it a few more times, but I keep re-playing his parts.
Violators “ œNY Ripper (from ˜Killed By Death #3™)
I have little to say about this spazzy classic and it™s intro that sounds so much like the Clash™s œTommy Gun except it is really fun to imagine Steve Dunleavy being forced to perform it during the NY Post™s annual karaoke bash..
The Dirtbombs “ œLivin™ For The Weekend™ (Ultraglide In Black)
If there™s another person who has soaked up as many of the good things in rock history as Mick Collins and responded with as many of terrific, funny ideas of his own, well, that must be one crazily creative human. There are worse ways to spend a few hours than immersing yourself in the Dirtbombs wildly varied back catalog, and being drunk, high or sleep deprived aren’t prerequsities for falling in love with the entire pile (though I’m willing to try being drunk or high if you think it will help).