Saturday, January 7th, 2016: The First Day Of The Musical Rest Of Your Life
We all get sick from time to time, but last week was the first time I felt so ill I was simply stuck in bed. A vision of mortality as the world went about its business: Putin and Trump. murders in airports, weather advisories, Judge Judy and Jeopardy. I was awake by five in the morning, but slipping in and out of dreams, watching movies on just about everywhere. “Respectable: The Mary Millington Story” on Netflix, “Daddy’s Home” (don’t say it) on Hulu, “Flic Story (an old Alain Delon-Jean-Louis Trintignant cop movie) from Itunes. I was reading the papers and the Bruce book, eating a steady diet of toast, drinking coffee and seven up, doing the must do stuff for working. My writing stank and by yesterday afternoon I was about ready to concede and go to the doctors when it began to end. I’ve still got another coupla days but, amazingly I might not die in the immediate future!
Musically, I was catching up and then adding to the late releases and new releases of last year this year. But it isn’t the best idea in the world to review when you’re not well and everything I heard was a disappointment. Or maybe, it is them? Let’s start with the new Dropkick Murphys album, 11 Short Stories Of Pain And Glory. I love the Murphs as much as the next Mick, they are a Matt Damon-Ben Affleck movie come to life, and so Boston tough and Irish bloody mindedness. What they aren’t is New York and what they certainly are not is the Pogues. And to make matters worse, in the 80s the IRA were the ISIS of the 20th Century, and there was a real revolution in their (actually, a war). In 2017, all their badass posturing is precisely that. “You’ll Never Walk Alone”? Is that what it is? Grade: C+
Over to the singles, and I reviewed a number of em yesterday, but i did miss some.
Funeral Pyre – Julien Baker – Will you get on with it? Do we have to take this wretched girl seriously? – C-
All Disco – Elbow – Let’s consider the song name Guy’s little joke, and go with the white artiness and this song proves that Elbow can apparently manufacture the same gorgeous sound time in and time out. All the usual suspects: brooding music, soaring harmonies, dreaminess abounding – B+
Drinkin’ Too Much – Sam Hunt – The New York Times calls Sam the country Drake and here he pays for fame with heartache – B-
However, I received the new Ryan Adams album Prisoner the other day and I am not a huge Adams fan: he can irritate me beyond belief when I’m not in the mood and the last album (and tour: those draggy Carnegie Hall gigs) weren’t all that and all those PAX AM releases did nothing for me. I didn’t even like the single off this album. However, heard as a piece, this is Ryan’s first great work since 2008’s Cardinology -another break up album. I saw Ryan blow Oasis off stage (at Oasis final MSG performance) playing this album, and it is possible Prisoner is better. Neil Young Heart Of Gold-y singer songwriter confessional, all of a piece extremely sad songs. Ryan said if he hadn’t written these songs, it would have eaten him up alive. “I miss you so much I shiver and I shake” is the line of the year from the song of the year. Grade: A-