How Superstitious Are You? Playlist April 5/15

  1. “Slipin’ & Slidin’” – Little Richard

I read somewhere once that Here’s Little Richard is one of the most ‘essential’ records of all time. After listening a few dozen times in recent weeks, I believe that I agree. There is currently a special limited edition of it at Newbury Comics.

  1. “Livin’ For The City” – The Dirtbombs

Love this record and love this band. I highly recommend you give them a listen. You can order stuff from here.

  1. “Superstition” – Stevie Wonder

After reviewing The Dirtbombs, I couldn’t resist playing something from the legend himself. Wish he hadn’t lost his political edge for a bunch of wedding played syrup, but still, when he was at his creative peak, he couldn’t be touched.

  1. “Your Touch” – The Black Keys

Earlier Black Keys, they just frickin’ rock – no matter what Mr. White has to say.

  1. “Hold On” – Alabama Shakes

Something about this band just leaves me wanting more; looking forward to getting the new stuff.

  1. “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs

A good Neil Young cover is always welcome around here. Besides it gives me another excuse to play something from those great cover albums by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs.

  1. “Ballad of Big Nothing (Alternate Vocal)” – Elliot Smith

Another re-release from Newbury, … I love Smith’s music, I just wish it didn’t remind me of… well, less talk – more listen.

  1. “Punky’s Dilemma” – Simon & Garfunkel

Started writing a review that included a memory of this song; haven’t finished the review, but the song makes me smile all the same.

  1. “Blackbird” – Paul McCartney & Wings

Besides the recent re-master of Wings Over America, I actually have an old cassette copy I got back when I was about 15. Can’t believe this guy is still touring… can’t believe Kanye fans didn’t know who he was… actually…. I can believe that. Nevermind.

  1. “Magnet and Steel” – Walter Egan

Don’t own it on vinyl, but I really do love this song. For some reason I always thought this was a Buckingham – Nicks song and always pictured Lindsay & Stevie singing it together. For a billion years I’ve known the truth, but that image just never goes away.

  1. “Don’t Let Me Break Your Heart Again” – Turbo Fruits

Best Strokes sounding song not put out by the Strokes in a very long time; can’t wait to hear the whole record.

  1. “The Root” – Kim Deal & Morgan Nagler

Kim Deal is so frickin’ awesome it hurts. Don’t want to picture the Pixies without her – so I don’t. She has her own web store where she is selling her singles and posting videos. This video is pretty cool.

  1. “What Ever Happened?” – The Strokes

No, I’m not paid to promote Newbury! BUT – they do put out some cool collectible vinyl!

  1. “Disarm” – The Smashing Pumpkins

It is getting hard to find this edition of Siamese Dream that is 180 gram vinyl with a gatefold cover. Get it soon or wait for the next significant anniversary.

  1. “Positive Bleeding” – Urge Overkill

Yeah… I broke down and bought it! Probably use it as an example of how the poor exchange rate makes buying from south of the border a little on the expensive side.

  1. “Until The Sun Comes” – Rival Sons

Love this song, I’m just not sure about the band yet. I’ll let you know later.

  1. “If Only We Were Dogs” – Juliana Hatfield Three

Soon to be sold out from her web store, if you are thinking about it… you better get on it.

  1. “I Ain’t Superstitious” – The Jeff Beck Group

It just made it across the Atlantic, and it already seems hard to get. Good Luck!

  1. “Communication Breakdown” – Led Zeppelin

No problem finding this gem any and everywhere.

  1. “John, I’m Only Dancing (Sax Version, 2003)” – David Bowie

This record has become “My Precious” he says in his best Gollum voice. This is a great version of the classic “John, I’m Only Dancing.” Why do I love it so much – the answer is in the song.

Life is just Cooler with a little Matthew Sweet – On The Path To Vinyl Glory

Originally I was going to do a music memories take on Matthew Sweet and his always fantastic Girlfriend… I still might, but other things have popped up to make this a bit more informational for music fans in general.

matthew-sweet-1991-girlfriend1

First Girlfriend was released on vinyl back in November with a slightly altered track listing. While the CD version contains 15 songs, the vinyl is cut down to 12 for space reasons. It seems that rather than picking and choosing someone’s ridiculous idea of weaker songs, they just dropped the last three tunes from the original 1991 Zoo release. (“Does She Talk?”, “Holy War” and “Nothing Lasts.”) It’s unfortunate really, it may have been a better idea to split the record onto two vinyl discs and add a couple ‘bonus’ tracks rather than remove anything… but whatcha gonna do.

Now I couldn’t find out if this Plain Recordings vinyl was remastered for vinyl or if it is taken from the CD master, but the sound quality is outstanding regardless. Having it burst from turntable to speakers gave me the same energized feel I got back in ’91 when it blasted out of my Walkman on my way to class.

The next two pieces of info are a little bit ahead of the curve this time so, if you are a fan, this is great news.

Last June, Sweet’s Facebook page announced a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a new record. By mid July he had reached his goal and a new record should be showing up around April of this year. It was a pretty good campaign that included rewards such as downloads CD’s coloured vinyl and original artwork by Sweet himself.

kicksweet

Also, Blue Sky On Mars (1997) has been released on vinyl in Europe (by Music On Vinyl), and has just landed here. Amazon has it on a 3 – 5 week delivery, but one of my favorite retailers, Northern Volume, has it in stock now. It’s on 180 gram audiophile vinyl and has a gatefold cover with insert.

bluesky

http://www.northernvolume.com/matthew-sweet-blue-sky-on-mars-180g-audiophile-vinyl-lp-record-from-music-on-vinyl/

If you are unfamiliar with Blue Sky On Mars, it is the last in a string of four records (Girlfriend, Altered Beast, 100% Fun & BSOM) Sweet put out on Zoo, and remain arguably his most well known. On this record he adds elements of the 70’s Todd Rundgren produced Cars to his usual Big Star inspired power-pop for what I’ll call a bit more of a carnival ride atmosphere. It swings in such a way that during the albums heavier moments it reminds you of the blasting rhythms you hear playing from the classic “Polar Express” ride at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition). Sure, as always, critics have complained that Sweet’s music comes off a little too ‘syrupy’ to make for a lasting impression, but honestly, I’ve always found those complaints to be a bit short sighted. To my ears, he has always had one foot in the guitar driven tunes of the 70’s while the other is standing in the premier pop of Burt Bacharach and Harry Nillson. If anything, as demonstrated by his cover records with Susanna Hoffs, Sweet has a soft spot for the well produced and hooky in all genres.

Anyway, I’ll likely own the vinyl within the week and I highly encourage you to give it a listen.