Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Album of the Day 11/2/10

Every day our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Tuesday’s album is #819:

The Bongos – Numbers with Wings

Along with the Feelies, the Bongos put Hoboken, New Jersey (across the river from Manhattan for all you outsiders) on the map in the early 1980s. Their quirky, sometimes jangly, sometimes powerpoppy Drums Along the Hudson remains a cult favorite almost thirty years after it came out. We picked this one not only to be counterintuitive, but also because this 1983 ep is a whole lot better, in fact, it’s got some of the best janglerock ever recorded. The classic here is the swooping, hypnotic, uncharacteristically dark and plaintive title track; Sweet Blue Cage mines a distantly glimmery, psychedelic Rain Parade feel. Barbarella, with its Adam Ant-style percussive dance groove, is the smash hit that should have been. They follow in a similar vein with Skydiving and wrap it up with another deliciously jangly should-have-been hit, Tiger Nights, a party theme waiting to happen. Some fans and critics objected to this album as overproduced and slick, but the band never wrote better songs before or after. Frontman/guitarist Richard Barone has continued as a solo act; guitarist/bassist James Mastro would go on to a career as a brilliant and highly sought-after lead player with Ian Hunter, the Jayhawks, Amy Speace and many others. Here’s a random torrent.

November 2, 2010 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 2/13/09 – Happy Birthday Gail!

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Friday’s is #530:

The Bongos – Numbers with Wings

The 1982 title track to the Hoboken band’s excellent ep, this is an uncharacteristically haunting if lyrically nonsensical janglerock anthem, Richard Barone’s watery guitar soaring over a brisk dance beat. Others – guess who – would say that this isn’t even the best track on the album, that it’s the atmospheric, melancholy Sweet Blue Cage that really hits the spot…

February 13, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment