Sunday, November 26, 2006

Music, again

So the post I lost yesterday was on three records I was acquired and was going to listen to. One of them, The Decemberists' The Crane Wife, I still don't have a feel for the record yet. I only listened to it once. But I have a fondness for their last record, Picaresque and especially "The Mariner's Revenge Song" (which Switchpod is being cranky with, but go find it), one of the songs that makes you stop when you hear it and go, "What the hell am I listening to?", hit repeat to make sure you're hearing it and then fall in love with it. It's a spectacularly over-the-top song that should be ridiculous and not work, and yet is glorious. So if the new record has a gem like that on it (and nothing has jumped out at me yet, but it's only the first listen) then it will be well worth it.

The other think I spent a chunk of the day listening to was Tom Waits Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. Just for the record, while I love Waits, three plus hours of his music is perhaps more than mortal man should really attempt. I haven't actually cared for the last several Waits records. The last one I liked was The Mule Variations from back in '99. And what with this record being a collection of stuff from soundtracks and things Waits dredged up from the vaults, I didn't have my hopes all that high.

But it's a pretty damn good set. There are things that don't work, of course. There are 50 odd songs here so some of them are going to stink. But there is some classic Waits' songs here. If you're a Waits fan then this is well worth picking up. If you're not, well, this is not going to do anything to solve the mystery of why people love a man who, as my wife likes to say, "sounds like a swallowed a goat."

(She's sitting next to me as I write this saying "I like the lyrics, but the man has more than just a frog in his throat, he has a goat.")

Anyway, my current favourite: Bottom of the World.

Finally, we have The Beatles "new" record Love. It's new in the sense that it's a mash-up record. The producers took Beatles songs and mixed and mashed them together. So you can take one song and add bits a pieces of a half dozen other Beatles songs into it.

It shouldn't work. It should be a mess. And, as you might expect, Beatles purists hate it. On the other hand, I really quite enjoy it. I like The Beatles a lot, but it's mostly background music at this point. You've heard the songs so often they hardly even register. So something that sounds like them, but then suddenly does something you don't expect, and makes you actually listen again is a good thing. Not everything works, but a lot of it does.

So I'm actually listening to The Beatles for the first time in years. This one is going into high rotation on the iPod.

Here's a sample of one of their songs: Strawberry Fields Forever.

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