Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Song of the Day 3/24/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Tuesday’s song is #491:

Jenifer Jackson – Dreamland

This gorgeously dark, brooding ballad went through a bunch of permutations before Jackson brought the tempo down for the sparse, mysterious version on her career-best 2007 live-in-the-studio cd The Outskirts of a Giant Town. It’s about coming thisclose to getting what you long for and then…if you’re lucky, she’ll play this tonight (Tues Mar 24 2009 at 8 at Rockwood Music Hall).

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March 23, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review: The New Collisions at Public Assembly, Brooklyn NY 3/20/09

The 80s get no respect. Sure, there were the Cheesy 80s: Reagan, and Bon Jovi, and Beverly Hills 90210. But there were also Cool 80s: the Dead Kennedys,  the Dream Syndicate, and new wave. Unlike how VH1 and the rest of the corporate media would like you to think – if they want you to think at all, that is – new wave didn’t start out as top 40. It was people doing new and unique and fun things with catchy pop songs, and that became top 40 because it was so much fun. In the spirit of those first new wave bands of the late 70s and the early 80s come the New Collisions. It’s a very encouraging story: in less than a year, they’ve gained critical mass in their native Boston and now they’re working on New York. Their show at Public Assembly on Friday added more than a few believers to the posse: there is without a doubt a film or five in development that could use their ridiculously hummable, biting, casually intense songs.

 

Indelible moment: platinum-haired frontwoman Sarah Guild spins away from the mic, look of disdain on her face, strolls back to the drums and then, back to the audience, raises her left hand in a tightly clenched fist. Nothing stagy or contrived about it, that’s just how she felt in that one moment. One look at this band’s song titles reveals a considerable edge: No Free Ride. Parachutes on the Dance Floor. In a Shadow. Caged Us Kids, one of the best songs of the night. In guitarist Scott Guild’s fiery, upper-register chords, the band’s fast 4/4 dance beat, soaring melodic bass and devious vintage synthesizer lines, there’s a sense of exasperation, of just dying to get out, to have some real fun for once in their lives. Which speaks for pretty much all of us these days.

 

It was a methodical yet inspired set, the band roaring from one memorable number to the next without much fanfare. Sarah Guild has a chirpy insouciance that reminds of Poly Styrene from X-Ray Spex, but also a big formidable wail with echoes of the Motels’ Martha Davis, and she uses both expertly. Scott Guild goes for a staccato, slashing style that pairs well against the fast, climbing bass and the meandering synth lines. Ones to Wander featured some marvelously tight, accusatory harmonies. The snide, darkly captivating Underground had an eerie organ solo that sounded straight out of the Radio Birdman songbook. Losing Ground built off a melodic, crescendoing bassline, reaching a peak as the chorus kicked in with its “uh-oh” vocalese. Their last song of the night, Escape began slowly with eerie electric piano and broken guitar chords, building to a searing anthem, evoking images of after-dark mall parking lots scattered with kids on car hoods drinking beer out of paper bags, leaning up against utility poles, somebody’s ipod rigged up to the car stereo speakers, who’re only there because it’s all they have. The New Collisions are the Kids in America. They’re back here at Arlene’s on April 23 and then at one of their usual haunts, TT Bear’s in Boston on April 28.

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Song of the Day 3/23/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Monday’s song is #492:

Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey

If you’re a reggae fan, you know this one, the prophetic 1974 title track from what might be the greatest roots reggae album ever. Yet the best version ever may be the one the band was doing in concert in the late 90s, amping it up to ska speed with a much more darkly direct, fiery horn chart. Look for a bootleg – the 1999 Central Park Summerstage version is transcendent. The youtube video above is choice too.

March 23, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , | Leave a comment