Sunday, October 30, 2011

Artist of the Week

As a lawyer, sometimes evicting widows, suing orphanages and rolling naked in stacks of twenties just takes away from less lucrative pursuits, like music and blogging. But ever aware of the social contract and placing aside my aspirations to be a 1%er, there are so many great, unsigned artists to listen to and so little time, without further adieu:

"Music is no way to make a living. It's a way to share the living you make."So begins the bio of Vermont singer/songwriter John Gillette. And a helluva songwriter he is too. His voice is reminiscent of a de-Texafied Lyle Lovett and his songs blend seamlessly blend folk and bluegrass. In the mournful "Riverstone,"Gillette takes gentle aim at the fading allure of an unnamed ex, whose partying is wearing her down "like a riverstone." Less mean that Richard Thompson's "Turning of the Tide," Gillette's skillful use of detail makes for a vivid, unforgettable lyric ("you spent $63 on that hangover"). He's won at least one well-deserved songwriting award and, if music is no way to make a living, I'm just glad Gillette is nonetheless sharing the wonderful living he's made.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sweet Jesus Jane "Lulu" IS as Bad as I Thought

After listening to the whole godawful thing, I think Metal Machine Music,long regarded as an unlistenable and/or an intentional joke, may not have been the Lou Reed worst recording ever. Lulu is epic bad. By the advanced chatter, see e.g., Steven Hyden's peice in Salon, it sounds like Lulu become a musical meme.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Metal, Art or the Ulimate Marriage of Pretension? Lou Reed and Metallica Together

As much as I liked the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed's later solo recordings, especially since New York, have just sounded tired and his talk-singing even more affected.  Past posts have also betrayed my disinclination toward Metallica. Now the two have formed an unholy alliance to put out Lulu, a two-CD ten song collaboration. You read that right--ten songs, one clocking in at almost twenty minutes long and three others close to ten. I'll not make a snap judgment that this shows overindulgence, but it sounds pretty far away from "Sweet Jane" to me (even the glam version on Rock and Roll Animal). 

You can stream Lulu and decide for yourself. I plan to as well as soon as I can stop laughing over the opening lines of the album's first song, "Brandenburg Gate," in which Reed deadpans:

I would cut my legs and tits off
When I think of Boris Karloff and Kinsky
In the dark of the moon
It made me dream of Nosfuratu
Trapped on the isle of Dr. Moreau

Time will tell whether fans of either artist will find Lulu to their liking.  It will be released on October 31 (a reissue of Metal Machine Music the same day would be too much to ask).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Fifty Year Flood

October has passed in a flash.  As does all time as we grow older.  This perception is widely shared and way smarter folks than me have tried to explain it.  It just seems as if one year is a much larger percentage of your existential experience when you're 10 than when you're 50.  I'm turning 49 this week.

And working too hard at my real job to do much of anything, but Spotify has been a fun diversion while I'm working on a monster brief.  More on that later, but if you haven't check it out, you should.  It rules Pandora and it is possible a game changer.

Also, I did write one song, "Fifty Year Flood."

Fifty Year Flood by Bill Odle

I won't leave this place behind, either.