Monday, February 14, 2005

C, IV (RT)

Cheese Graters- An Appointment On The Back Porch

‘Betty’s Face’ and ‘Bill The Bus Driver’ still own after all these years. What’s up with the Dead Milkmen cover?

Chisel- Set You Free

Britpop by way of New Jersey, fronted by the ubiquitous Ted Leo (a man who, strangely, hardly anyone I know even has an opinion on- everyone has an opinion on everything around here.)
I can’t remember hearing anything else like this in 1997- the pop sensibilities of Big Star melded with the hip attitude of the Jam, a little bit of the saccharine of Matthew Sweet. Pretty good in spots- the middle of the record, from ‘River High’ through ‘Priviledged and Impotent’ runs well- four in a row. There are some hitches, some kinks- for one thing, ‘Set You Free’ is a double record. Ambition is cool, but the results aren’t always the best. Chisel would have benfitted by losing maybe four or five songs- more listenable and concise. The other thing to mention here is the brass, featured prominently in spots. Sounds like whoever did the recording didn’t have much of a frame of reference regarding the recording of the horns- the way that they’re way up in the mix makes it sound like Chisel is a ska band, which they most certainly are not. Yikes.

Chumbawamba- Tubthumper

Can’t find a bargain bin anywhere in the country that doesn’t have at least a couple copies of this one. Worth at least two dollars- the good ship lifestyle indeed.

Clash- London Calling legacy edition

I’ve seen the phenomenon a few times- to the delight of collector nerds everywhere, some crucial record gets re-released with special bonus features. The original, non-augmented record then gets sold back and lands in the used bin in large quantities.
So, while it comforts me to know that my original copy of ‘London Calling’ is in heavy rotation elsewhere, it bums me out that I had to pay like thirty bucks for the added bonus of suffering through some unlistenable demos and a totally adequate DVD. If you head down to your local, you can behold the majesty by buying the original copies me and the rest of the gullible fools sold back.


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