Wednesday, May 31, 2006

JIMMY SAFFRON, May 31, 2006

Heavy (Remix) – The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, from “X-tra Acme USA”

A tedious redo of an average track. I can’t recommend “X-tra Acme USA” more highly, though. It was all sidelined material from “Acme”, and on all fronts it blew that record away.

Lost & Found – Phoenix, from “It’s Never Been Like That”

The drums on this track, coupled with the singer’s voice, touch me in ways I won’t talk about at dinner parties. Unless it’s a party full of Europeans, where that kind of thing is encouraged.

Strung Out Again (Live) – Elliott Smith, Bootleg

This is from a recording of a concert at The Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, a show I attended. It was the second to last time I saw Elliott Smith before he killed himself, and it was an unqualified disaster. A good five minutes of incoherent mumbling precedes every song. Suffice to say, this song is quite heartbreaking to hear again. One of my favorites from that record, but hard to celebrate.

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart – Wilco, from “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”

I love Wilco, though to quote the man himself, I’ve got reservations. Tweedy strikes me a tad disingenuous in his romanticism, sometimes. A little calculated. Is he somehow acknowledging that with this song title? That he sets out to pain me?

Regardless, one of the great album openers. Some say Wilco’s “Stairway.” Every band has their “Stairway,” their epic. Which begs the question, which is Zeppelin’s “Stairway?”

Clearly, it’s “Kashmir.”

Hard Row – The Black Keys, from “Thickfreakness”

Great band, great track. A real humdinger. The Black Keys ought to patent this song, jar it, sell it on the street and call it “The Dick-Expander.”

Ball & Biscuit – The White Stripes, from “Elephant”

So, who has the easier job? Meg White, or the costumer on a porn shoot? Meg White, or an ice cream vendor in the Sahara?

Alright, you get it. Her job’s easy.

Windy Road – The Constantines, from “Tournament of Hearts”

This is the Constantines? It sounds like The Elected. Or something similarly wispy. The Constantines are supposed to be ferocious. Careful guys, this is the kind of thing that lands you a 6.5 out of10 from Pitchfork. Speaking of a 6.5/10 from Pitchfork, Matt LeMay’s review of the new Walkmen record is unconscionable.

Open Your Heart – Will Oldham, from “Joya”

Sweet song. Reid gave me this record. He may have even used those words when he gave it to me. Reid talks like a guru sometimes.

“Open your heart, Rob.”

“Cool, Reid. I will. Thanks for the CD.”

“Is it open yet?”

“Not yet, Reid. Gimme a second.”

“Don’t forget to let the snake in.”

“I won’t.”

“Good. Good.”

Far Away – Sleater-Kinney, from “One Beat”

This song is Corin Tucker’s remembrance of the morning of September 11th. It’s chilling, very real. A lot of people I know don’t like Sleater-Kinney. Is it because their music is earnest? If so, that’s too bad. This song is a powerhouse.

Sundown – Acetone, from “Cindy”

Nice. Big dirgy guitars, slinky drums, hushed vocals. Too bad about Acetone. These guys flirted with a great sound. They flirted, got in close, then when the moment came to kiss that sound, to slip it the tongue and possible feel up under its shirt, they got all nervous and twitchy, and the sound ended up accepting a ride home from Mark McAllister, that douchebag in the letterman’s jacket. Like I said, too bad.


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