Yesterday, in the Hackney local newspaper, a front-page ad arrived for Hackney Diamonds, which, on the very surface seemed to be for a glaziers of some kind. On closer inspection it was the most unsubtle, guerrilla marketing for something new from The Rolling Stones. Whether Hackney Diamonds is the album title, or just the single, remains to be seen. But there is no doubt, we’re in for some Rolling Stones activity very very soon.
Vicar St, Dublin
What the hell am I doing here? It was suggested that I go a see Yes back when the ‘covid was a twinkle in a monkey’s eye. Back then, at the turn of the decade, the gig was advertised as being a performance of the album Relayer. I was not familiar with this album, as I didn’t own it. Or any Yes albums, as it happened.
The gig was postponed and postponed, but lo and behold over two years later than intended, Yes come to town, albeit after the death of drummer Alan White. Plus there had been a change from playing Relayer to Close To The Edge, which was now 50 years old in 2022. 50! Even I’m not 50 (yet). Happily I was not the youngest person in the crowd as there were 20-something Progheads amply dotted about the place.
A few days beforehand I realised the whole thing clashed with a very important primary school graduation, then the instigator of all this, Mr Steven C, had to call in sick and my ticket remained in Belfast. This explains why I sauntered in late having explained everything to the » Continue Reading.
Two weeks ago Weezer put out their second album of 2021, and both of them are wonderful return to forms. OK Human is their take on trying to sound like Nilsson Sings Newman, filtered through the lockdown. Van Weezer is a celebration of 80s guitar metal-pop with a Fountains of Wayne edge.
Putting out two albums in a calendar year always seems like a very impressive thing – a bit of a flex. And it’s different to putting out a second album within 12 months of the other. John Lennon put out Imagine 9 months after Plastic Ono Band, but one is very 1970, the other 1971.
What other calendar-year pairings deserve to be celebrated? Costello’s 1986? Taylor’s 2020? (I know, the Beatles got there first)
The recent rumours all appear to be true. On Friday, teasers began to appear for a new Paul album, McCartney III, assumed to be a fully solo, everything played by Macca, lockdown special. The date is expected to be Dec 11th.
To see the teaser, go to Spotify and pull up the album artwork for any track on the McCartney or McCartney II albums and you should see a dice rolling a 3.
There’s also a website: www.mccartneyiii.com.
I am looking forward to this.
Hey folks, I was due to fly to London this Friday and see Elvis Costello and the Imposters at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith. Obviously the other stuff happening is keeping me grounded in Dublin. The tickets are Circle Standing so they’re relatively cheap, £100 the pair. Anyone more local interested? Elvis is always great to see live. Ta!
This Friday Taylor Swift will release her seventh album, Lover. It’s been previewed by four great singles that have swerved and wrong-footed us all and teed up the new record nicely.
Her last album, 2017’s Reputation was a harder album with a mixture of cynicism and dismissiveness. The lead single back in 2017 announced “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why..? Because she’s DEAD”.
Hey folks. Myself and StevenC have started a new podcast about, are you ready for this, THE BEATLES. We are launching today and in future weeks will cover such topics as Help! & Magical Mystery Tour – the forgotten albums, January 3rd 1970, Beatle Books and more! So here’s a list of links to all the usual podcast-y places. Enjoy!
APPLE PODCASTS https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/nothing-is-real-a-beatles-podcast/id1462587848
RSS FEED http://beatlespod.libsyn.com/rss
OVERCAST https://overcast.fm/+R-acTxxl0 While your enjoying your elevenses, what not listen and subscribe to Nothing Is Real, out now!
APPLE PODCASTS https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/nothing-is-real-a-beatles-podcast/id1462587848
PODCAST ADDICT http://podplayer.net/?podId=2368655
At one point during McCartney’s gig last month he said to the crowd “we know when we’re doing a new song because we don’t see all your phones out”. A new song is often a cue to go take a break at a gig. But every classic hit was new once. Look at this clip of The Killers doing Mr Brightside to a small crowd in 2002 who are not that interested. This song now closes festivals. Anyone else have other examples of new songs before they were famous?
Echo Arena, Liverpool
How do you review a Paul McCartney gig? What metric do you use? The size of the crowd? The length of the set list? There’s no precedent for how the most successful songwriter in history should be presenting himself at 76.
The pre-show “support” is simply a one-hour build up to the great man appearing on stage. The first part is a DJ who mixes stems and loops from McCartney’s 60 year recording career, where nothing lasts longer than 60 seconds before segueing into another song you know like the back of your hand. The DJ then leaves the stage as the screens come on and a slow scrolling vertical digital montage of McCartney’s life rolls down the screen, soundtracked by more McCartney songs. It’s hard to know how long it’s going to be – turns out it’s over 20 minutes. The montage starts with a boy at a window on Forthlin Road, gradually moves through the stages of life, before ending with the image of a CGI Hofner Bass rotating on top of skyscraper with surrounding fireworks. At this point the imagery is matched by a soundtrack of the orchestral crescendo » Continue Reading.
I’m sure some of you have seen this by now, it’s the new video for Glass Onion, ahead of the White Album release next Friday. It’s quite a spiffing bit of animation.
Just look at that cover. LOOK AT IT!
It was announced yesterday that there is a new album on the way from The Monkees. 2016’s Good Times was a fantastic listen and they’ve gotten the band together one more time for a, wait for it, Christmas Album!
The Monkees Christmas Party has new and old contributions from all the people who generally live inside my pop brain. Produced by Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) and with new songs via Any Partidge, Rivers Cuomo and Peter Buck, plus they’re going to do *those* songs made famous by Roy Wood and Paul McCartney. Peter Buck also plays on a cover of Big Star’s Jesus Christ. Who doesn’t want to hear that??!? It worth saying again: Peter Buck plays guitar on a Big Star cover on the new Monkees album. What a time to be alive.
I’ve only seen this Alan Parsons Project video recently. It’s from 1977 and shows Mr Parsons running around a still new-looking National Theatre. For good measure there’s also a Univac Computer. Old computers and London’s South Bank: What’s not to love? Could any other AfterWorders suggest Old Music Videos Shot In Interesting Places.
The Roxy Music thread reminded me of Trash, a single with a video that’s fallen off the radar completely. 100k YouTube views compared with over 11million for Avalon.
Sometimes these forgotten cuts can shed more light on a band than some of their well known songs. A song that’s not a hit by a band that is used to having hits, can expose that band’s set of tricks or way of working a lot better than a track that is hugely familiar and successful. I have a low grade obsession with Queen’s Hot Space album. The video for Calling All Girls throws the band into the mix of a ridiculous Sci-Fi premise wherein they are the stars. The video is a damp squib, however they repeated the MO with the very next video they made: Radio GaGa. There’s a fine line between clever and stupid.
So any more of these parallel universe tracks?
After a few days of heavy tweeting, EC has announced that something new from The Imposter is coming out tomorrow.
An Imposter single? On the Fourth of July? I wonder who it might be about…
Apparently it’s National Vegetarian Week: Well done everyone! For over 11 weeks now I’ve been meat-free, and what had begun as a Lenten experiment now seems to be gaining some traction. There’s a desire not to “break the chain” but I still haven’t figured out what the long term plan is.
In some ways it’s been easy as you find out how much of your diet is meat-free anyway (let’s hear it for toast). In other ways it hard to break some habits and recipes have had to be re-learned or adapted. Amazingly the kids didn’t notice the switch to meat-free lasagnas (the rest of the household have remained carnivores)
I’d be interested to hear of other people’s motivations and experiences with vegetarianism and all that. I have no idea how anyone copes with being vegan. Imagine a life without cheese.
As I type, Record Store Day 2017 is a mere ten sleeps away. I’d like to declare the what-are-you-going-to-get thread OPEN! So, what is everyone interest in?
[Please note: this thread is an RSD-grump-free zone]
…called Is This The Life We Really Want? Nigel Godrich producing. First album in 25 years. I find it amazing that the previous 25 years covered Piper.. to Amused to Death. Time flies, eh?
Out March 31st. It’s another collection of standards…
DrJ on DrJ on the new 2CD reissues of all seven Crowded House albums
By the summer of 1985, Neil Finn was 27 and already he was an old soul. For eight years he had been in Split Enz: He had been around the world, had written their biggest hit, had felt their diminishing returns and finally he orchestrated the band’s dissolution. He was also married with a baby. Split Enz had never been his band though, it had belonged to his older brother Tim.
So that summer he decamped to LA with a record deal for a new band pulled from the end of the Enz and initially called The Mullanes. While playing in Chinese restaurants and with everyone living in the one crowded house, á la The Monkees, they recorded a debut album with producer Mitchell Froom. They also figured out what their new name should be.
Their debut album, Crowded House, came out in 1986 and in a parallel universe it would live alongside earnest but less well-regarded contemporaries like Icehouse and Burgeous Tagg: Vaguely remembered by some, fondly remembered by a few. Yet here we are thirty years later with this deluxe 2CD reissue leading » Continue Reading.
Crowded House are coming back to life again, for a little bit… There are two shows scheduled at Sydney Opera House in November to celebrate 30 years of CH & their induction into the Aria hall of fame. Plus all seven albums are being rereleased as 2CD deluxe sets with new vinyl versions too. This new news report is quite charming.
Today sees the release of new albums from The Monkees, Paul Simon & Dexys. In the pre-streaming/on-demand age, this would have sent me to a record shop to pick up those albums on the day they came out. Today I have “Saved” those records into my Spotify, but I really only feel compelled to pick up a copy of The Monkees. For the last Dexys album, which I thought was really great, I have never bought a physical copy.
So who are your “Day One” artists? Who’s new release do you still want to hear as soon as it comes out? Do you still need to buy a physical copy or has that tradition fallen away…
Hot off the digital presses: Burn The Witch.
As regular AW podcast star Ola is coming to Dublin next week, there will be a going-out on the Friday night, January 15th. Where? Oh, somewhere “in town”. Time? 8pm seems sensible. I’ll figure out the details next week. Yeah? Who’s in??
As we all get excited about “best of 2015” I wondered about if you are still enthralled with your favourite albums of 2014. Would you change your vote? Has something turned up that you missed at the time? I know I had St Vincent down as my favourite thing this time last year. However, The War on Drugs seems to have stayed the course more. Anyone..?