Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pick Up Sticks

New release Tuesday and three great bands with three great albums:

Ben Harper - Lifeline
Northern State - Can I Keep This Pen?
Joe Cocker - Classic Joe Cocker

Don't you dare buy those. That's a joke. Instead, get these:

Liars - Liars

No Age - Weirdo Rippers

Prinzhorn Dance School - Prinzhorn Dance School

We've had Liars at the station for several weeks now and I wasn't too keen on it at first. There are a lot of great individual tracks, but overall it feels a bit disjointed. Theme and sonic continuity have always been the one standard in their full-length releases, despite the varying sound themes they go for with each release. After several listens I've warmed up to it considerably. There's the absolutely killer middle section of tracks 6 through 8 which dip into Liars gone cock-rock ("Cycle Time"), Jesus and Mary Chain garage rock ("Freak Out") and the bands wonderfully sincere, spacey take on a ballad ("Pure Unevil"). Any three-piece band that feels two of the members need to play drums and let the third bash out noise on a unusually tuned guitar (low to high DFFCBB) is AOK by me.

Apparently Sanctuary is quietly reissuing the Modern Lovers self-titled today, complete with 8 bonus tracks. The reissue sticks to the original vinyl LP 9-track running order, so several of the 12-track version CD release crop up as bonus tracks. Maybe it's because M.I.A. used some of the "Roadrunner" lyrics in "Bamboo Banga." If you don't have this by now, seems like a good of a time as any to pick it up. Absolutely essential, especially for the Massachusetts sect of the readership as Jonathan Richman was a Natick son, "Roadrunner" should be the unofficial Massachusetts rock anthem and there's a track called "Government Center." It's the kind of album that could make you start a band.

Also, below is a link to an article published in the UK's Guardian Unlimited detailing the author's roadtrip through the famed "Roadrunner" lyric locations, including stops at places mentioned in other versions of the song, including UMass.

The Car, the Radio, the Night - and Rock's Most Thrilling Song

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