I'm still here. Turn this up.
Soundgarden - Been Away Too Long - https://youtu.be/NeBjhpw_Ee0
Billy Bragg has a new album called "Shine A Light". The songs are those of the American railroad. A couple of listens in and I'm thinking it's a bit sedate but it may yet grow on me. The concept is good and the songs well chosen so maybe it just needs a little time. They couldn't top this effort though....
Emmylou Harris - Hobo's Lullaby - https://youtu.be/SL9Z2p7mPyk
Hellsingland Underground are a Swedish rock band I know absolutely nothing about other than I heard one song and had to hear more. If you like The Black Crowes, Little Feat or Lynyrd Skynyrd then this is worth a listen. Great guitars. What IS going on in Sweden??
Hellsingland Underground - As Dreams Go By - https://youtu.be/3cdU_UGzRPo
Unlike the UK we'll stay in Europe for a few minutes longer. In Denmark to be precise where we find a rather fine band by the name of Volbeat. Their music mixes up classic rock, metal, rockabilly and probably some Elvis as well. From what I've read it seems that their music has become slightly more commercial as they've developed. I'm jumping in with the latest album and therefore no emotional baggage related to their previous releases. I like it because the singer can really sing, the beat is good and the guitars are crunchier than a Granola suite. From an album with the great title "Seal the deal and let's boogie"...
Volbeat - The Bliss - https://youtu.be/xv11vZj4Z0g
Why not pause here for a quick trip back to Sweden and one of the greatest cover versions I've ever heard. Here's Ghost (or Ghost BC depending on where you live) from their brand new EP, "Popestar" with a spooky version of a Eurythmics classic. This was released just over a week ago and is simply brilliant. Someone who knows how music actually works will be able to explain how they've used minor keys and what I imagine are flatted 5ths to make this sound evil and spooky. I've probably got that wrong but I heard Kerry King from Slayer talking about it once.
Ghost BC - Missionary Man - https://youtu.be/3yuZGo6AP5U
Last week we had The Beatles. This week it's Elvis. I've been listening to the recently released CD set, "Way Down In The Jungle Room". This is two CDs worth of material recorded by The King at his home. There are a range of outtakes, demos and fully fledged tracks and it's quite diverse. I noticed today in the record shop that the Elvis Presley estate has been busy with legacy releases. More for me to check out. Long live The King!
Elvis Presley - Way Down (take 2) - https://youtu.be/ihdjK-Dry6k
I saw Iggy Pop's latest album, "Post Pop Depression" selling for only $10 today in the store. In my opinion this is a really strong album and the band he has behind him is basically Queens of The Stone Age. I guess they were either overstocked or the rest of the music buying public doesn't agree with me. I now realise that I didn't go back and pick it up after I was finished looking for other stuff (that I couldn't find). I really need a better record store. The independent one I usually frequent has stopped answering emails so I can't be bothered with them if they are lazy. I can get my fix via eBay and Spotify but flicking through racks of CDs and records is a lot of fun.
Roxette are a great band. I've seen them live and it remains one of the best shows I've ever been too. Per Gessle has a million classic guitars and he can play them to boot. One of his signature sounds involves a shimmering, slightly overdriven guitar and that's one of the reasons I love my tremolo pedal. Here's an alternate version of a song that should've got a lot more radio play.
Roxette - Cinnamon Street - https://youtu.be/ZZ_6QbE6q70
Lastly this week, something that shocked me. It's rare that I hear an album for the first time and find myself completely blown away. I can list the records that have had that effect on me on just one hand. If you're interested then here they are linked to a track from each one:
The album that seriously turned my head this week is the 1988 self-titled debut release from Danzig. Singer (and songwriter) Glenn Danzig was in the horror punk band The Misfits. Although they are well regarded and an important group in the story of music in general, they never really caught my ear. As a result I suppose I let Danzig (the band) just go through to the goalkeeper without so much as a second thought. Even when Metallica covered a few Misfits tunes quite well I still wasn't interested. Last week the great musical oracle called Spotify that keeps insisting that I should listen to Phil Collins (not happening) popped Danzig up on the "Discovery" playlist. Not even realising what was playing I found my toes tapping and my head nodding. To be quite honest, I thought I was listening to an outtake from The Cult's "Electric" album. When I found out that the track was from Danzig I cued up the entire set and the rest is history. It's no coincidence that "Danzig" the album is produced by Rick Rubin. So is "Electric" and the Johnny Cash LP referenced above. This one has the dry AC/DC guitar/drum sound which, when coupled with Glenn Danzig's vocal delivery style (Morrison meets Presley meets Astbury) and a rhythm section that understands the middle ground between Sabbath and bluesy swagger rock, is simply a rock and roll treat.
Danzig - Twist of Cain - https://youtu.be/XomMTY3NJII
How's that for a week of music? Thanks for the few 'welcome back' notes that were sent through; I really do appreciate them. Tune in next time for more ramblings and hopefully a tune that'll make you sit up and take notice.
I like songs about real life. Like this.