Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Random Music Thoughts

- So you all know I was a proponent of the Killers' last album, right? After the first album's anemic by-rote 80s rip, I found the gigantic scope of their Springsteen Try to be ambitious and kinda awesome -- ultimately a failure, if you're stacking it up next to "Born To Run" or even Springsteen's latest, but an intresting, huge, bloated, beautiful failure. So last week, right, Trix kept mentioning this song they were playing on the radio. "It goes (she sings) 'Aa-a-a-a-are we huuuuman, or a-a-a-a-a-are we DAWWWWNCERS.' And it is the worst song I've heard in my entire life." Imagine my extreme disappointment when I finally heard it for myself -- not only is it the latest Killers single, of course, but she's absolutely right, it is appallingly, bone-crushingly awful. The music sounds like fucking third-rate bedroom Casiotone demos; there's NO grandiose sweep, no hook, no good melody; and the lyrics are so fucking horrible they just about made me cry. Killers: the fuck is up, guys? What happened to bloated ambition? Couple years you had to piss off and make something better, and nineteenth generation watered-down Spandau Ballet is the best you can do? Are we DAWWWWNCERS indeed.

- Very interested in the new Byrne/Eno album. Haven't heard it it all the way through yet, but an iTunes sampling tells me it's shockingly pop-oriented and really quite amazing. God knows I like Brian Eno, and God knows I like David Byrne, so what's not to like? Has anybody heard this thing yet?

- "Womanizer" -- pro or con? I vote pro. Joe Escalante on Indie 103's morning show was chuckling at it (c'mon, man, it isn't even COOL to chuckle at Britney anymore) and complaining that it sounded too much like Devo. Why is that a bad thing? I think it's a great song, even if her voice does sound rather pieced together, almost like someone's playing it on a Fairlight Synth.

- I'm also of two minds about Raphael Saadiq's latest, "The Way I See It." I mean -- it's good, and by all means go download it as soon as you can, because a closer and more loving Motown tribute you'll not hear this year. He hits all the marks, and the singing is actually damn near astonishing, the more I hear it. He ain't Smokey, but he's got something, this kid (*yes, I know he's not a kid.) But the question I've been asking over on my fave music board is: does it transcend? Does it pull an Amy Winehouse and actually become as cool or cooler than the thing it's borrowing from? I've listened all the way through about five times and I'm still of two minds. Every time through, I enjoy listening, but I'm still hit with the urge to put on ACTUAL Smokey Robinson after its over, and that might portend that it doesn't transcend. But man, is it fun. I mean, really really fun. And unlike a lotta people who channel the "old school," or think they do, this thing isn't just milksop balladry and slow jams -- it actually rocks in places, and you gotta give the man credit for that, at least. Minus two points for the Jay-Z cameo at the end. I loves me some Hova, but he sounds so outta place.

- Don't like Of Montreal now, never have, never will. Sorry, folks.

- High School Musical 3 -- how's the MUSIC, though? I didn't see 2, either (shame, I know!) but, y'know, I gotta hand it to whoever wrote HSM1, the songs stick in your craw. Someone who's heard the choons tell me whether I need to hit the theaters or not. I don't have a Daughter Excuse, so I need it to be really good to drag me into the theaaaatre.

- Bands: please stop hiring tribute band lead singers. I'm giving Journey a pass, but ONLY JOURNEY, okay?


Prince Gomolvilas said...

Jonny, personally, I only liked a couple tunes in HSM1, but thought that overall the songs were consistently stronger in HSM2. As for HSM3, I won't know that 'til Friday, but the clips that have been released sound pretty funky, a bit more "adult."

LAP said...

I'm not sure if I care about whether "Love That Girl" actually transcends because it's so good, and it completely has that essential Motown hint of rocking swing that it's more that I'm exciting that it sounds like Smokey wrote it more than if he sounds like he's singing it. More importantly to me, it doesn't sound at all contrived to me in what I've listened to. It really excites me, and Paulina immediately asked to hear it again too. THANK YOU for turning my ear to hearing it sooner than later.

"Womanizer" has the strange little phrazing affectations that pass for hooks with Britney. Thumbs up for me.

I'm invested in the third leg of HSM since I quite literally have to go see it, but it seems of the same blend of pop/camp musical blend of the first two. The overblown "musicale" gestures are what I like about HSM so I don't care if the songs stand up to the Jonas Brothers. I would almost prefer they don't.

Anonymous said...

Okay - Jon - give this a listen and then let me know what you think - from Aunt Nancy (aka Freida Fagouchi) ...now this is music!

Mike Anonymous said...

The Byrne/Eno album is quite good and well worth picking up.

Anonymous said...

I saw Of Montreal last night, here in Copenhagen. I confess, I am a fan, at least of the more recent catalog. I thoroughly enjoyed the show - but left before it was over. They are that kind of band.

ashley said...

- Haven't heard the new killers single. Maybe that's a good thing?

-I totally dug, "Womanizer." Better yet, I loved it.

-Get the new Byrne/Eno asap. I can wire you it, if neccessary.

-I wanna hear the new Raphael Saadiq! I haven't kept up with him since his Instant Vintage solo debut, but I'm gonna grab this and give it a listen.

-Don't like Of Montreal either. A friend of mine mailed me two of their cds, hoping that she could sway me into liking them. I thought it was okay at first, but by the 3rd song it grew really tiresome. It's not anything I can commit to.

Anonymous said...

ohmigod if you hadnt given journey's new singer a pass we would have had to have WORDS. but of course you did. thats why i adore you. you re-cog-nize. kells

Jon Hunt said...

Yeah -- I have the new Journey record and it's GOOD!

Anonymous said...

Jon, an thoughts on Sparks? Postive, negative or indifferent? In case you haven’t heard any of their work, here are some highlights from various point in their lengthy career.

early period: “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Two of Us”

middle period: “Number One Song in Heaven”

brand new: “Good Morning”

also brand new: “Lighten Up Morrissey”

Personally, I think these guys are the dog’s bollocks. All the same, I’d love to get your (or anyone else reading this) thoughts.