Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Album of the Day 8/22/10

Every day, we count down the 1000 best albums of all time all the way to #1. Sunday’s album is #891:

Nico – Chelsea Girl

Bet you thought you’d see the Marble Index here instead, huh? Nope. That one’s the definitive teutonic druggie dirge album, something you should definitely check out if you haven’t already, if that’s your thing. This one’s maybe the ultimate prototypical chamber pop album, ahead of the Pretty Things’ Emotions. Which is ironic to the extreme because Nico hated the string arrangements that were overdubbed onto this afterward. You could even call this the best Jackson Browne album ever: did he ever do another album with three good songs on it? Probably not. Nico could never sing worth a damn, we all know that – but what an atmosphere she and everybody else created here despite themselves. Browne’s The Fairest of the Seasons sets the stage for the understated high drama of the rest of the album. Despite all the flat notes, she gives a genuine angst to another Browne ballad These Days, and the brooding, languid strings help; and she takes Somewhere There’s a Feather from folkie naivete to Marlene Dietrich world-weariness. The best song here is the poignant, organ-infused ballad Little Sister (an obvious Velvets outtake). The stark Weimar blues echoes in John Cale’s Winter Song still resonate today in a million noir cabaret bands from the Dresden Dolls to World Inferno. There’s also the iconic title track, a version of Dylan’s I’ll Keep It With Mine that in its own fractured way rivals Sandy Denny’s version with Fairport Convention, and the gently epic, 9/4 Velvets outtake Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams. Here’s a random torrent.

Advertisements

August 22, 2010 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jackson Browne Lands in Brooklyn

by Richard Wallace

I don’t know about you but in some meaningful way for me, Brooklyn came of age last month when Jackson Browne appeared at the Celebrate Brooklyn concert series on July 21 at the Prospect Park bandshell.

I mean for a long time BAM has produced a terrific concert series for years in a very well thought-out, multicultural, downtown/alternative post-mainstream kind of way and they deserve a tremendous amount of credit.  Supposedly Bob Dylan played at Prospect Park last summer but I missed that show and I still don’t believe it happened. But last night Brooklyn had Jackson Browne all to itself and for this particular 70’s throwback, the fair borough landed.

Perhaps I speak for a certain population segment, the one that lived in Manhattan until they realized that Brooklyn, certainly from Prospect Park in to Brooklyn Heights was a doable place-to-live option.   And then they realized that it might actually be a better option that came with getting married, having children, home ownership, real estate appreciation/depreciation, etc.  In other words, getting settled. And that was all good but there remained a lingering feeling at times (okay, almost every night) that you weren’t living in Manhattan anymore and maybe, just maybe you were missing something.  That was before the silver Time the Conquerer tour bus pulled up on Prospect Park West Tuesday afternoon.

I did not buy an advance ticket to Jackson’s show.  One of the greatest American songwriters, one whose legacy includes a brotherhood with a large group of top shelf musicians as well as one of the most loyal fanbases ever, was playing down the street.  I guess I wasn’t going to believe it until I heard the music itself.  And of course it rained on and off all day so I wasn’t sure that the show was going to take place at all. I didn’t walk to the park until 8 PM, arrived about half way through the first set and approached the bandshell cautiously.  It turned out to be true.

Jackson Browne and his band were filling the humid night with some of the best songs of a lifetime.  The music hung in the air like a lyric from Late For the Sky just waiting to be held before being absorbed. Surprised to see general admission tickets still available, I bought one and entered the bandshell arena.

The band played songs from Jackson’s newest release,  Time the Conquerer, as well as a selection of songs in chronological order from the albums Saturate Before Using, Late for the Sky, The Pretender and Running on Empty.  The seemingly ageless 61 year-old Browne ended the first set with Take it Easy off the For Everyman record, a song he co-wrote with Glen Frey of The Eagles.

Jackson himself seemed to share my amazement as he stood on stage, acknowledging the crowd’s applause after the song, shaking his head and repeating with some wonder, “Brooklyn.”  The audience reveled amid what had become a midsummer night classic and for me, Brooklyn itself was complete.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment