Youth Anthem Gets Reissue or Supergrass – I Should Coco Twentieth Anniversary Edition (coming soon)

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Give three teenagers a bit of cash to make a record and what do they do? If they’re Gaz Coombes, Mick Quinn and Danny Goffey they record Parlophone’s biggest selling debut record since the frickin’ Beatles released Please Please Me. Now, twenty years after that monumental moment, Parlophone and Rhino records are releasing an anniversary edition of the Supergrass debut I Should Coco.

Supergrass originally appeared in 1994, as a part of the Brit-Pop scene, with a sound that differentiated them from other acts by following a collection of influences. While Oasis and Blur were mining a vein of Beatles inspired melodies, Coombes & co. threw a concoction of ingredients into a blender that included the Buzzcocks, The Jam and Kinks. The result was a band that rocked louder and looser than their peers.

Their collective ages played a large part in the success of I Should Coco. Without even trying, the band created a great collection of songs that spoke to the teenage experience. “Caught By The Fuzz” was about Coombes’ bust for pot possession at age 15 and “Alright” with its opening “We are young, we run green” has continued to be a youth anthem long since the band were youths themselves. The album itself is a touchstone of the 90’s alt-rock movement and this reissue is definitely overdue.

With that in mind, both the CD and vinyl twentieth anniversary editions include some great things for fans.

The 12” re-master will be pressed on 180 gram black vinyl with cover art that has been re-photographed in high resolution from the original artwork created by The Moody Painters. It will also include a bonus 7” of the bands’ cover of Jimi Hendrix’s classic “Stone Free” which had initially been released only with the first 40,000 copies of I Should Coco. The 7” will be printed on red vinyl with a vintage reworking of the classic Parlophone red/yellow 45 label.

Alternatively, the 3 CD set will be jam packed with extras. The first disc will have the re-mastered I Should Coco. The second will contain all the b-sides that were released with their debut singles; while the third CD will include live material. Also included will be a 20 page booklet featuring one very enthusiastic live review from a 1995 Glasgow show, unpublished photos of the band and all the cover art from the singles.

To summarize, it is going to be one very cool set that fans will be eagerly waiting to get their hands on.

The 20th Anniversary Edition of I Should Coco will be released on Sept 4.

The Best Album of 1993 or Liz Phair – Exile In Guyville

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Some records are great sounding and personal. Some records are great sounding and important. Then there was Exile In Guyville which was all that and so much more. 1993 was an awesome year for music seeing releases by Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Breeders, U2, Belly, Porno For Pyros, Sloan, The Cranberries, Blur, Counting Crows, PJ Harvey and so many more. All those records and yet Spin and the influential Village Voice both picked Guyville as the number one record of the year.

It wasn’t just that Phair was writing about sex as bluntly or as graphically as any ‘guy’ had before her. It wasn’t just that a so-called feminist view hadn’t been placed in music to the extent that she now had. It was that Exile In Guyville had seventeen kick-ass songs that talked about the female experience without having to make proclamations. This wasn’t Helen Reddy singing “I Am Woman” or Courtney Love warning you that “someday you will ache like I ache.” Instead Phair’s vocals are so matter of fact you feel that anger and sarcasm would be out of place. These are the stories of women in love, lust, distress and having sex told in a style where shock seems both out of place yet warranted.

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Spin recently ranked the Top 300 albums since 1985 and Exile In Guyville ranked #7. The only albums to rank Higher were:

Radiohead – OK Computer

The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead

Daft Punk – Discovery

Prince – Sign O’ The Times

Wu Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang

Nirvana – Nevermind

Quite the company eh!

So when I talk about wanting to have not only albums I love, but also essential albums in my vinyl collection – Guyville fits both bills.

Strangely, Exile In Guyville has only two vinyl options. The original 1993 Matador release came with two basic black vinyl discs and an insert detailing the album info. You can find used copies on the internet for about $50.00.

In 2008, ATO Records released a 15th anniversary edition that was re-mastered and placed on two 180 gram vinyl pieces. With them also came a bonus 7” of unreleased B-sides and a copy of the re-mastered CD. Oddly, the reseller markets are asking over $60.00 for the 2008 reissue. It is still available at local record stores and online retailers for much less.

If you haven’t heard it – listen here. Then BUY IT!

Fog covered Neon or Blur – The Magic Whip

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Blur had one of the most anti-climatic breakups in recent history. I’m not even sure it really was a break-up… more a trial separation between the lead guitarist (Graham Coxon) and vocalist (Damon Albarn). Coxon may not have been on the last Blur record, but neither was my attention. Think Tank to me is kind of what the Hindu Love Gods were to REM – a side project with three quarters of a band. I mean it was interesting as an exploration of a different style, but it wasn’t really Blur.

So the real gift to gift to music fans wasn’t the reunion of Blur but rather the fact that they started to record again as a “full band.” Spurred on by years of gigs here and there, we get The Magic Whip, which is more than a return to form, but not quite the monumental achievement die-hard fans were looking for. Let’s face facts, the bar is set very high and fans want something they can point to and say “see – they’re still the greatest!”

That doesn’t mean this isn’t a “really damn fine” record, because it is. All the elements that put them on top of the Brit-pop Mountain are still there, but perhaps their new relaxed attitude has taken them to those ‘shoegaze’ roots where a good riff is meant to be taken for a rather long joyride. At very least that is how the record opens up as “Lonesome Street” slips into the subconscious as a wry testament of urban existence. It’s all sarcastic and poppy with a sense of foreboding that plays out as the needle continues to spin. That of course is Blur’s general modus operandi, pop-rock/brit-pop sounds set to observational lyrics and discourse about dreary times and places. All the neon coloured streets of their Asian inspired surroundings can’t hide the descending British fog. Even a song titled “Ice Cream Man” comes off with malaise and desolation. It isn’t until late in the album that some feelings of hope brighten the skies with Coxon’s best jangly guitar work on “Ong Ong.” Still, that is more a respite in an otherwise dark venture.

The Magic Whip is not an easy listen filled with hum along songs and a sing along chorus; instead it is an exploration in the contradictions of a seedy city living with no hope emanating from the bright coloured neon. If you were looking for the Blur of the 1990’s, The Magic Whip isn’t it; they’ve grown older, wiser and far more jaded to be that band ever again. What you have now is a Blur that can explore the depths of humanity and create an incredibly brilliant story. It might not “RAWK”, but it certainly entertains on a far more daring level than anything they’ve done before. Hence, I’m paying attention now.

You can find The Magic Whip at all your better record retailers and it has a double 180 gram vinyl release for all you people who like your music to spin.

The Nature of Withdrawal or April 26/15 Playlist

“Beneath The City Of Dreams” – Calexico

I missed out on their advance release when I wasn’t paying attention. Still, a great record I’ll probably talk about soon. Maybe even in the next few hours. They just create such great imagery.

“Don’t Wanna Fight” – Alabama Shakes

Reviewed this on Tuesday and it’s just so damn hard to listen to anything else. It is such an awesome piece of work I’m going to need copies for all my relevant locations.

“Bobby Jean” – Bruce Springsteen

Looked back at this earlier in the week, than I got word that a childhood friend had died; suddenly this song started making me cry. Just the idea that we never really say goodbye before people leave us, and we never have a clue what they meant until that door is forever closed.

“Just Like Anyone” – Aimee Mann

Another song about loss, except this one… well it speaks for itself.

“Don’t Look Back In Anger” – Oasis

Not sure what it is about this song, how it works as both depressing and up lifting at the same time. It pulled me out of a darker mood.

“The Rescue Blues (Live)” – Ryan Adams

Officially the most freakin’ expensive vinyl I own after shipping and duty charges. I wish someone would tell me how much duty I’d have to pay before I finish my order, as good as this record is I had to pay an extra frickin’ charge when UPS showed up at my door!

“I Don’t Want Control Of You” – The New Mendicants

Joe Pernice and Norman Blake were playing in town yesterday, unfortunately I wasn’t able to go, so I drowned my sorrows in their music.

“It Don’t Come Easy” – Ringo Starr

Back in university a friend and I wrote a movie script that featured this song in a very prominent position. It would have been hilarious…

“I Don’t Mind” – Sebadoh

Sebadoh just announced a show and the release of a new single… a cover of a famous Canadian single just because they love us. You can order here.

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“Real Wild Child” – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

The first song off her RSD 15 offering Flashback… which rocks in case you were wondering.

“The Witch” – The Sonics

I’ll cover this song and album soon, but wow, I wish I had known about them when I was a teen.

“Ong Ong” – Blur

Off the new Blur album, I’ll have a review for ya by Tuesday.

“Blue Orchid” – The White Stripes

Posted about this album… holy cash grab, and I’m not talking about the record company or artist. Just look for Get Behind Me Satan on e-bay and you’ll understand.

“Limelight” – Rush

The original song before the Sebadoh cover arrives in May.

“Gold” – John Stewart

Sad storytelling at its AM radio best! Took me a while to find as all I had remembered was a couple lines and that Stevie Nicks was doing background vocals.

“Raspberry Beret” – Hindu Love Gods

You’ll understand why they’re included when I put the Blur review out. Besides, it’s a great cover of a great song.

“Spectacular” – Graham Coxon

Graham Coxon takes a most rockin’ riff and turns it into a sing along anthem.

“Black Nite Crash” – Ride

Think I’ll write about this album next week, so it gave me an excuse to add this song.

“Sophisticated Gentleman” – Gabby Glaser

My son used to ‘rock out’ in the backseat as we drove around and this song was playing. I actually sent a quick message to her about it and she wrote back thanking me. Seems odd getting thanks from the person who provided my son and I with the soundtrack to happy memories! Oh yeah Luscious Jackson got back together and have a kids record out, you should check it out here.

“Happy Kid” – Nada Surf

Just a damn good song by a damn good band! After the past week I needed something that would make me smile?

Last weeks Playlist! March 1/ 2015

Of course I love vinyl more than any other form of music listening, but sharing music is also fun… so… if you’re doing that Spotify thing, each week I plan to publish a playlist with some tunes I’ve been playing around the house. I’ll be updating this with a bit of info as this post is a bit of a test to see how the playlist looks on the blog. Or you can friend DS Barrett on Facebook where the playlist will show up first. Anyway, here it goes – March 1/15 Playlist Hope you enjoy!

  1. “Cherry Bomb” – The Runaways

Was listening to a lot of Joan Jett this past week as I got her Greatest Hits on (cherry bomb red) vinyl a few days ago. I decided to put the Runaways version on simply because I really wish I had it on vinyl. Maybe some day… Still can’t believe that a sixteen year old kid (Cherie Currie) could pull off that much power and venom.

  1. “In The Street” – Big Star

What was it that Westerberg sang about Alex Chilton – “I never travel far without a little Big Star”. This is an alternate version of the song taken from the documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me.  By the way, loving this song has nothing to do with That 70’s Show, but then again, it doesn’t hurt it either.

  1. “Stutter” – Elastica

I love the female perspective on this song. Probably because every girl I ever dated had to pretty much smack me in the head to get me to figure out they were interested. “What… you’re actually talking to me (gasp, gulp) um… nice weather.”

  1. “Substitute” – The Ramones

Awesome rendition of the Who classic from their covers record Acid Eaters. I got it as a Christmas gift from my birth mother, which makes me love it all the more.

  1. “Stone Cold Crazy” – Queen

For some reason more people seem to be familiar with the Metallica version, which is funny because I thought Motley Crue had covered it… anyway – this is the original from Sheer Heart Attack, which I picked up used a few weeks back.

  1. “Kindergarten” – Zeus

The song that turned me on to this band. Frickin love these guys.

  1. “Bleed A Little While Tonight” – The Lowest Of The Low

Pretty much said it all when I wrote about them a little while back.

  1. “déjà vu” – Mo Kenney

My wife and I were talking one night and we had the TV satellite playing music for us when this came on. I think I might have actually ‘shssh-ed’ her while I scrambled for a pen and paper. Mo Kenney was a staple around the house for a few months after that.

  1. “Milwaukee” – The Both

Love Aimee Mann and Ted Leo and this song brings out the best in both. The music video is pretty funny as well.

  1. “I Am The Cosmos” – The Posies

Wish I could find the Beck cover of this song. I know he did it during the “Sound & Vision” session back in 2013. Anyway, this Posies cover of Chris Bell is quite awesome.

  1. “Daddy’s Gone” – Sparklehorse & Danger Mouse

Have tried writing about this song and album a few times. 2009-2010 was the worst year of my life. I spent a lot of time driving the two hours between my parent’s house and my home when both fell ill in 2009. Dark Night of the Soul was keeping me company a whole lot during those trips and “Daddy’s Gone” had me thinking about where I wasn’t.

  1. “Can’t Cry Hard Enough” – Victoria Williams

Funny story. I was at the concert when this was recorded. I yelled out a request for “This Moment”. After explaining that she had never played it live before – she did it anyway. The album it’s taken from is (drum roll) This Moment: Live In Toronto.

  1. “Hummingbird” – Imaginary Cities

In March of 2010 I went to see the Pixies at Massey Hall in Toronto. Imaginary Cities opened the show. They were phenomenal. I’m sure I’ll be writing about them soon.

  1. “All The Young Dudes” – David Bowie

It isn’t that the Mott The Hoople and Bowie versions are all that different… I just like how Bowie seems to perform songs rather than simply sing them… discuss if you must.

  1. “Nausea” – Beck

Some songs just make me and my kids rock out as we drive from point A to B. Beck has quite a few songs that get us doing the Wayne’s World head nod thing.

  1. “Bull in the Heather” – Sonic Youth

With Kim Gordon doing the publicity thing for her new book Girl In A Band, I’ve found myself pining for the 90’s version of Sonic Youth. Oddly enough, I always preferred her songs.

  1. “Pumping On Your Stereo” – Supergrass

Please don’t tell anyone, but I kinda liked Brit-Pop… and I really got into Supergrass for a while.

  1. “Spectacular” – Graham Coxon

Speaking of Brit-Pop… another song about a boy fantasizing over a picture in a magazine. Makes me yell at my stereo – “Dude – your lead guitarist for fuckin’ Blur… as if you couldn’t get her number and ask her out for coffee!”

  1. “Wave of Mutilation (Peel Sessions) – Pixies

Sooner or later I’ll get around to writing about Doolittle 25. This was the tour I caught back in 2010 and Kim Deal was still in the band. Not sure it would be a true Pixies concert without her.

  1. “Limitless” – Dust Galaxy

Heard this on a magazine compilation a few years ago, then I had to spend a few weeks tracking down the who, what, where and why and order the damn CD online. Dark and sinister rock…