Signal failure has led the Dads to veer wildly out of their lane. Instead of visual stimulation, today I’ve decided to note down a few thoughts about some music. Not so much of a hot take, more lukewarm edging towards ice cold.
Much like our movie reviews, these aren't going to be records that are hot off the press. Instead I wanted to note down some thoughts about the records I'm currently enjoying, regardless of how new or old they may be.
Your next favourite record might be described below!
I have included Spotify links for ease. We are not affiliated to Spotify, it's just the streaming service I happen to use. That's the boring disclosures out of the way. Lets get to it!
Death From Above 1979 – You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine
Lively would be an apt description of this duo’s sound. This music is loud, shouty but also surprisingly melodic. One dude bangs the drum and sings (Sebastien Grainger) and the other (Jesse F. Keeler) plays some bass.
The noise that this two piece make is incredible. Lightning Bolt are another duo that make an absolute din, but I don’t care for them quite so much. DFA are the ones for me.
The album is littered with riotous stompy rock bangers. Opening salvo Turn It Out sets the pace and the LP doesn’t relent until the closing track Sexy Results dials down the ferocity a couple of notches. Highlights are many, but to pick out a few to start off with… Go Home Get Down could almost be a dance record, I’m just not sure how you’d dance to it yet. Title track You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine is equally fast paced and no less shouty.
The album’s title is a reference to the 2004 pilot episode of the Battlestar Galactica reboot. So that’s as good a reason to listen to this as I can think of!
Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
A bit of a surprise this one to be honest. I was caught up in the hype and hysteria when Lana Del Rey first came to prominence around the Video Games & Blue Jeans singles. However, I listened to the Born to Die album and the “kiss me on my open mouth” lyric put me right off. I’d not listened to her at all since then.
Something happened during lockdown. I cannot for the life of me remember what happened to bring this record to my attention! I don’t think I’d heard a single on the wireless. I don’t remember seeing any promotional material for it. Nothing. And yet here we are nearly a year later and this record hasn’t been off my stereo. I fucking love it.
The music here is not sparkly pop or radio friendly unit shifters. This is more piano backed thoughtful and melancholy type affair. There’s an element of folkiness about this one, and I mean that in the nicest possible way!
For my money Venice Bitch is one of the great pop records. Clocking in at 9:37 this is no throw away ditty. “You write, I tour, we make it work”. There is a longing here and her almost lazy, whispered delivery of her lyrics are perfection.
Bartender, another piano backed ballad, is just exceptional and I’d urge you to have a listen.
People may throw the Lizzy Grant thing at me, and the “she’s had plastic surgery” stuff. So fucking what?! David Bowie (Reeg’s fave!) changed his look often and was celebrated for it. So, you can stick that sexist argument a mile up your arse!
To sum up, this one is great AND it’s one of the few albums that the missus and I can enjoy together. High praise indeed!
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense
You know about this lot. Former art school students. Played their first gig opening for The Ramones at CBGBs – what a gig that must have been!
Talking Heads really hit their stride in the late 70s resulting in a run of albums mere mortals can only dream of. Remain in Light being a personal favourite of mine.
But seeing as we’re primarily used to waffling on about movies, this recommendation is for the concert movie Stop Making Sense. Jonathan Demme, of The Silence of the Lambs fame, filmed this show over a couple of evenings in December 1983.
The show begins with David Byrne performing Psycho Killer on his lonesome. Every song performed adds another member of the band, until the whole gang is up there in full effect.
Set highlights… Wow, there’s so much here to enjoy. Life During Wartime features the band jogging on the spot without missing a beat. It just looks fucking cool! Just off the top of my head, Making Flippy Floppy, Crosseyed and Painless and of course Once in a Lifetime are all amazing. But special mention to This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody), just coz it’s such a fucking great song.
David Byrne is currently wowing stage audiences again with his American Utopia production, which I’m excited to see!