Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Song of the Day 7/1/10

Less than a month til our best 666 songs of alltime countdown reaches #1! Thursday’s song is #28:

The Pretenders – Back on the Chain Gang

One of the greatest janglerock songs, a requiem for not one but two of Chrissie Hynde’s bandmates, guitarist James Honeyman Scott and bassist Pete Farndon:

Those were the happiest days of my life
Like a break in the battle was your part
In the wretched life of a lonely heart

A hit single at the end of 1982, it’s on the Learning to Crawl album.

July 1, 2010 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 6/29/10

Only thirty more days til our best 666 songs of alltime countdown reaches #1! Tuesday’s song is #30:

The Church – For a Moment We’re Strangers

Opening with a blast of guitar fury uncommonly intense even for this band, it’s the most disquietingly accurate portrait of a one-night stand ever set to music:

In the empty place the souls strip bare
Of skins and heart
And they come apart
In your icy hands
I forget my role
As I stare into your soul

A title track of sorts from the iconic Australian art-rock band’s 1981 debut album.

June 29, 2010 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 6/24/10

Every day, for a little more than a month, our best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues all the way to #1. Thursday looks like it’s gonna be a hot one so here’s a hot one, #35:

The Room – Shirt of Fire

The title is a TS Eliot quote from the Four Quartets. And the mid-80s Liverpool psychedelic rockers play the song as if they’re wearing one in the video above (click the link and then scroll down). Lead guitarist Paul Cavanaugh’s insanely fast, crescendoing solo on the Tom Verlaine-produced studio version is considerably more focused, one of the best ever, frontman/songwriter Dave Jackson at the absolute top of his game as angst-ridden, literate new wave crooner.

June 24, 2010 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 5/7/10

The best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues every day, all the way to #1. Friday’s song is #83:

The Slickee Boys – Your Autumn Eyes

A one-of-a-kind artsy masterpiece by the legendary DC-area psychedelic punks, a towering, haunting 6/8 anthem that rolls out with graceful anguish, aloft on a bed of beautifully watery guitars. From the Fashionably Late album, 1989.

May 7, 2010 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 4/7/10

The best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues every day, all the way to #1. Wednesday’s song is #113:

The Saints – Grain of Sand

One of the great janglerock hits of alltime, and also the most evocative song about cocaine ever written. It doesn’t exactly romanticize the drug. From All Fools’ Day, 1989, the group’s high point as a jangle band.

April 6, 2010 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review: The Roscoe Trio at Lakeside, NYC 3/23/10

The big news is that Eric “Roscoe” Ambel’s 80s band the Del Lords are back together, having just returned from a short Spanish tour, their first in practically twenty years. They were one of the best bands of the 80s – forget that silly synthesizer stuff, there were so many great guitar bands back then, it’s not funny – the Dream Syndicate, True West, the Long Ryders, the list goes on and on – and the Del Lords represented New York. So any Roscoe appearance at Lakeside these days could be a Del Lords show, considering that they’ve already done at least one unannounced gig there under a phony name. But it was not to be. “I saw an open date on the calendar. So I put my name on it,” said Ambel, and this time he brought his trio, Demolition String Band drummer Phil Cimino and Spanking Charlene bassist Alison Jones. It was like a casual night in the band’s rehearsal space – or a trip to the supermarket in a vintage Trans Am, laid back and comfortable in the bucket seat until you put the hammer down and then all of a sudden you’re burning rubber and your eyeballs are getting pushed way back into your brain.

Ambel had a couple of amps going at once, gleefully blending an eerie, watery chorus tone with distorted clang and roar. Since he’s a gearhead, any time he gets to experiment with textures is a treat for the crowd because that means he goes for the jugular. He’s a melody guy, but he’s just as good at evil noise and that was tonight’s special. It was obvious from the git-go, with a nasty little blaze of wailing bent notes on the stomping Song from the Walls, from his Loud and Lonesome album. Another snarling number from that uncharacteristically angry cd, Way Outside, blew the embers all over the place. A cover of Gillian Welch’s Look At Miss Ohio started out slow and soulful and then careened all the way into the outro from Hendrix’ Hey Joe, which the rhythm section had a ball with. They also did a plaintively jangly version of the Everly Brothers-ish Peter Holsapple tune Next to the Last Waltz, Dee Dee Ramone’s Chinese Rocks done Johnny Thunders Style (which gave Ambel a chance to relate his first encounter with Thunders, who’d been hogging the men’s room at the Mudd Club so he could shoot up), and a slinky, characteristically funny version of the Hank Williams Jr. sendup Monkey with a Gun. They wrapped up the show with a slow, surfy instrumental that Ambel suddenly attacked with a frenzy of tremolo-picking, only to gracefully bring it back around. And was that the Power Lounger Theme they closed with? That’s a blast from the past. Despite what the indie blogs will tell you, great lead guitar never went away – the great thing about living in New York is that you can see it for the price of a beer and a couple of bucks in the tip jar for the rhythm section.

March 24, 2010 Posted by | concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Song of the Day 3/23/10

The best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues every day, all the way to #1. Tuesday’s song is #128:

The Wild Swans – Now & Forever

Nonchalantly chilling new wave pop semi-hit from 1988 from the Bringing Home the Ashes album, an overcast British wintertime tableau that doesn’t exactly exude optimism:

You want the life you can’t afford, after all that you’ve been through
Soon it will be over
Boy has this town crippled you

March 23, 2010 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/22/10

The best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues every day, all the way to #1. Monday’s song is #129:

The Church – Antenna

Gorgeous, majestic 6/8 Rickenbacker guitar art-rock anthem from the band’s best-known album, Starfish, 1988, with a particularly excoriating lyric by frontman Steve Kilbey. If you’re in NYC, the band is at City Winery on 4/22.

March 21, 2010 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/20/10

The best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues every day, all the way to #1. Saturday’s song is #131:

The Wild Swans – Bible Dreams

Haunting anthem from the British band’s 1988 goth-inflected album Bringing Home the Ashes, chorus crashing in as the bass takes it down the scale:

Soldier boy, soldier on
Your eyes are cold, the spark has gone
They’ve chosen you to bear the stain
Though God has left this world bereft, the scars remain

The link above is a dodgy live clip from what seems to be a fairly recent reunion show. You’re going to have to look around for this if you want the studio version, digital versions are hard to find.

March 20, 2010 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/14/10

The best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues every day, all the way to #1. Sunday’s song is #137:

The Thought – Rapture

This goth-ish Dutch new wave outfit did two excellent New Order-inflected albums back in the 80s and this is from their second, 1985 self-titled one. It’s a towering, sweeping anthem written from the point of view of a deity who finds himself completely alone, isolated and in the grip of madness. “I live in a penthouse high above creation/See little creatures squirm, out of boredom or sheer frustration.“ The link above is a download of the whole album.

March 14, 2010 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment