Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Ryan Adams Nuclear
Then I started thinking what other songs would fit with the Energy Policy review?
REM It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)
Joanne Rand and the Little Big Band Radiation on My Windshield
Can you think of any more? Leave a comment.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
alludes to the names of 72 bands. For example, there is a guy smashing pumpkins on the ground. Get it? Well, below are the one's I've managed to spot so far. See how many you can do. What have I missed?
Alice in chains
Presidents of the United States of America
Red hot chilli peppers
nine inch nails
the manic street preachers
the rolling stones
the boombtown rats
they might be giants (?)
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Due for mid-January 2006 publication, Comes with a Smile's landmark twentieth issue looks likely to be our last.
Reluctant to be confined by genre and frankly oblivious to (and frequently appalled by) what constitutes "newsworthy" elsewhere in the media, Comes with a Smile's raison d'etre has always been to engage with our readership via conversations with and critiques of musicians and music that we deem 'important' (without the elitism that suggests), and the overriding impression from your response is that we have succeeded. 'So why stop now?' you ask. In short, we've become victims of our own success. Furthermore I'll admit it's been tough to sustain my various roles at the magazine without a salary and the Idea of entering a ninth year further in the red than at any time since our inception in 1997, seems a foolhardy 'career move' at best. To stop now feels less like turning my back on something and more like turning around to face the wolves who have sat patiently on my doorstep for too long.
I have truly never read a better publication. If there is only one issue left, then if for nothing else than posterity’s sake, I urge you to buy a copy. It’s available in Borders, but go to http://www.comeswithasmile.com email Matt the editor and ask him for a copy. If anyone has deep pockets perhaps we’ll see an issue #21 as well.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
The BBC profiles Christianity in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Lion, the Witch... is a book that took three months to knock out yet won the hearts and minds of millions.
'There can also be few children's books that contain so much theology as the Narnia stories. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is about atonement and resurrection, divine self-sacrifice and redemption. That might sound a bit much for a children's story, and something for parents rather than their audience to pick up on. But not necessarily.'
'The Narnia books then are an unusual blend of the Bible, pagan legend, fairy tale, medieval epic, myth and parable. Perhaps the only thing missing is a hobbit.'
Thursday, November 17, 2005
1. Sufjan Stevens
2. The Mountain Goats
3. Anthony and the Johnsons
4. The Fiery Furnaces
5. Bright Eyes
6. MF Doom
8. My Morning Jacket
10. John Vanderslice
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
The new live wilco album was awaiting my return to
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
ARTIST Ryan Adams
ALBUM Jacksonville City Nights
LABEL Lost Highway/Universal
Ok, I know this review is a little late. You’ve probably heard Jacksonville by now, but I’ve found it hard to make up my mind. In writing this I’m hoping to exorcise my indecision. I won’t throw the word prolific around but by the law of averages, due to sheer volume of songs Ryan releases, they won’t all be good. They were great on his first couple of solo releases, dipped a lot on Rock ‘n’ Roll, and returned to form on Love is Hell and most of Cold Roses. So is Jacksonville City Nights any good?
Yes and no. Everybody says it’s really country, its Adams trying to be Gram Parsons, and it is, but in a different way to Whiskeytown. And I like his country stuff, but some of this I can’t stomach. Norah Jones on Dear John misfires, I think he had to include it because she sang on it. Pa, and September return to the monanings and groanings of Love is Hell which seems a regression considering the heights of Cold Roses. But then some of the tracks are great which is where my problem lies. I love ‘the end’, ‘a kiss before I go’, ‘hardest part’ and similarly titled ‘hard way to fall’. The band feel is great, like a bar room, whiskey-soaked, honkey tonk piano and pedal steel group.
Lyrically the album treads now-familiar ground. There is lots of death, or suspicion of it (‘September’, ‘Pa’), the pains of love ‘the hardest part’ and missing a lover ‘kiss before I go’. Some tracks has Adams playing the rhyming game, trying to fit as many words as possible into the line. The UK version includes a wonderful version of ‘You were always on my mind’, Adams singing it as if it was written for his voice.
So I’m left if not sitting, if not on the fence, at least leaning against it. Jacksonville is a valuable addition to the Ryan Adams canon, but not the album I had hoped for. 29, his next release is meant to be 9 long sad songs, so perhaps Cold Roses was his best this year.
Do you agree? Leave a comment.
Monday, November 07, 2005
An incident at a restaurant
Other Josh news is a European tour with a date booked at The Village in Dublin on December 8th.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
This one is a live review in Tikkun,
and this one is a review in Pitchfork
Both deal with the dichotomy of being loved by critics, adored by fans, yet struggling to find a box to push him into because of his "christian" beliefs.
After a flurry of recent posting, things seem to have dried up somewhat. There will be a few more CD reviews coming, but what really has me salivating is the prospect of seeing Ireland's best band, The Frames in Belfast on 20 December at the Ulster Hall. Always a good gig. Rumour also has it that Mogwai are playing a showcase gig of new material at the Spring and Airbrake in January, that should be fun.
To whet your apetite for the Frames live throughout Europe in November and December check out a very recent recording from their chilled out American tour.
The Frames: 2005-10-22, Chicago [flac]