Monday, March 30, 2009

i'm hatching some plot, scheming some scheme

Got out of bed this morning expressly to buy a ticket to U2's Chicago show. I tried for ten minutes, but could not get any GA tickets. However, I did manage to get a pretty decent seat in section 128, so I'm good. It was of course more than I wanted to pay, and Ticketmaster's fees were insulting, but I'm just fucking stoked I'm finally going to see U2.

After hearing that Giants Stadium in NY sold out in 8 minutes, well, I was pretty happy to get a decent seat at the Chicago show. I'm willing to bet that more GA tickets come up for sale 'magically' about a week before the show, and if that's the case, I'll try to get one of those.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

recent gets


U2- The Unforgettable Fire- I'm trying to finish up my U2 discography. One very essential step for that to happen, and now I'm really just left with the first three albums yet to get now. And Pop. But I'm not buying Pop.

Tom Waits- Used Songs- A wonderful compilation of his work from 1973-1980. Somebody unloaded like, his entire catalog at my local used music peddler, so I picked up this one. It's good. Really good. Waits is the poet that my life's been missing.


U2 Popmart- Live in Mexico City- holy shit. I wish I could have seen U2 on this tour and the previous Zoo TV tour. It must have been amazing, much more than a mere video can show. Which reminds me, I get to get up early tomorrow and fight for a ticket to the big U2 show in Chicago this September. Man, I hope the same shit that befell the Springsteen shows on Ticketmaster is avoided here. I want to go so badly.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

expression of awe

Neil Young Archives, Vol. 1

It's finally being released. Awesome. He waited for Blu-Ray technology in order to do this properly, and I'm looking to order the plain ol' CD set. As much as I respect all the work Mr. Young has put into this, I don't plan on sitting at my TV listening to all that stuff, even if I did have a Blu-Ray player, I wouldn't spend $300 on this. That price is too prohibitive. I'd get the same kicks from the CDs and the film bought seperately. I wouldn't get that big book, but I'm fairly certain I'd get over it.

I'm just glad to see the Archives finally being released. Mr. Young has been at this for at least twenty years.

evil little goat

Picked up the Legacy Edition of the remixed Ten from Pearl Jam today. I figured it'll be a little stopgap until I can afford the Super Deluxe box set in a week or so, it was $12, and I can keep it in my car when I get the box set.

I've been digging on it for a while, and gone is all the reverb that the album had originally, which is the biggest difference. It allows more of the guitars and vocals to come through, Eddie Vedder's vocals particularly shining in comparison to the 1991 album.

There's extra tracks too! I was standing in the aisle before I bought it, and I said to myself "what, no 'Breath?'" Then I listened to the demo 'Breath and a Scream' and there it was. It lacks the punch of the studio version you can find on the 'Singles' soundtrack or the Rearviewmirror compilation, but it's different, and if there's something us PJ superfans love, it's demos of early stuff. You get six of them on the Redux CD, so that's keen. I just like having this version of 'Brother', which is the single from this album, and topped the Modern Rock charts last week, which is a sad commentary on Modern Rock if a song written in 1991 can top the charts in 2009.

As a bonus, included is the original mix of Ten on the first CD, in case you weren't one of the 12 million people who bought it already. I was thinking about this, and this is the fourth (!) edition of Ten that I own- CD, vinyl, cassette, and now this version. Yeah, I officially own more copies of this than anything else.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Classic Album Review: Kiss Alive!

The year is 1975. A struggling rock band from New York is on the brink of being dropped from their record label, which itself is about to fold. Their concerts sold out, but it didn't translate into album sales. What to do? Roll the dice on a double-live album.

It wasn't as predictable in 1975 as it is now. Live albums didn't do well, and double albums, even worse. But it was a necessary evil in order to get a full Kiss show recorded. And what a recording it is. I'm willing to gamble that a couple of things were overdubbed in the studio, but after seeing several live performances of Kiss either live or on video, it's pretty damn close.

This is the ultimate document of a band in their early days, when they craved stardom and all it brought and didn't have it. This is what a band sounds like that lives for their fans and rock n'roll, because that's all they have. Which is why it's a classic. You can hear Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley give it their all on stage, even if they're broke, starving and mold is growing in their leather boots.

I've listened to it countless times. I have it on vinyl, the remastered CD, and the Alive box set that came out a couple years ago. It's one of those albums I never get tired of, and sounds great cranked up wherever you are, pissing off your neighbors (you know what I say- "fuck 'em"). As much as I love Alive II, this is where it's at, before the success of this album brought them insane fortune and fame. I'll argue that the success did change them and their songwriting; how could it not? This is Kiss when they really were the world's most dangerous band, and all those religious zealots had every reason to be afraid of them. But that's neither here nor there. You owe it to yourself to own this one. You don't even have to like Kiss to like this album.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

this week's gets

Heavy Metal soundtrack- I found it, and it was in good condition. Why not?

AC/DC- High Voltage- bluh. You know this one.

Amon Amarth- Twilight of the Thunder God- the first time in a very long time I've bought an album just based on kick-ass cover art.

I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. Good ol' Swedish metal with Cookie Monster on vocals. Great song titles, awesome guitar work, and thundering, how-the-fuck-is-he-doing-that drums.

U2- No Line on the Horizon- I liked this a lot better than the last two albums they made. I don't understand the comparisons to Achtung Baby, other than the fact that the band is back to experimenting. I had a theory that U2 is like the banking industry- the music industry as a whole can't afford U2 to fail. They really are the last supergroup, the last cultural sensation we have that still exists, now that the interwebs and the access to more music than ever before have divided people's interests more. Nothing like U2 will ever be able to come along again, and it's not every day they have an album. So, the celebration over and album that doesn't give itself up easily.

Neko Case- Middle Cyclone- Well, it has a beautiful red-haired girl crouching on the hood of a Pontiac with a sword in her hand on the cover. I had heard of Neko Case, and for $10, I'd happily buy this awesomely-covered album. I've listened to it three times today alone, so I'm digging the hell out of it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

this week's gets

The Sword- Gods of the Earth- Holy fuck. Took me damn near forever to find this one, and I finally found it at Wal-Mart, of all places. I have not played an album this loud for a long time. It's ear-blasting monster riffage, kind of like Black Sabbath, only this band doesn't allow themselves mellow trips through the daises like Sabbath did with stuff like 'Laguna Sunrise'. The entire album demands to be heard, which is rare.

The Answer-Never Too Late EP- Look out, America- the Answer is coming, and they're going to totally own you with great, classic hooks. If you saw them with AC/DC this fall, I envy you.

AC/DC- Let There Be Rock- Another 'why not?' AC/DC purchase. Bon Scott-era stuff never lets me down.