Tag Archives: imelda marcos

Take Five

Finds of the Week

  • All week, I’ve been enamored with the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim project “Here Lies Love.” Enamored may not be a strong enough word. Maybe a bit obsessed. The story is compelling, the songs are well crafted and the sheer quality of the talent involved in the project is staggering. Byrne does a great job of capturing the flavor of the 1970s-80s club anthems that Marcos reveled in, especially in the title track sung by Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine), and he never sacrifices narrative. In fact, the whole thing hinges on narrative, which may be which I am so captivated by the project. Usually, I’m not a big liner notes person unless the lyrics are involved, but in this case, they are a must-read. You can appreciate the album without the historical baclground, but that’s like listening to it in mono.My favorite song (of the moment) may be Steve Earle’s contribution, “A Perfect Hand,” which is kind of cheesy but I think that’s why I love it so much. It’s also just a great pop song. “It’s a winning combination / if a lady understands / that the king and the queen of hearts / could be a perfect hand.”
  • I admit it. I hadn’t paid much attention to Jakob Dylan since the 1990s heyday of the Wallflowers, despite my abiding appreciation for “Bringing Down the Horse.” When I saw that his new album, “Women and Country,” featured the vocal talents of Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, I was mildly intrigued. But it took Dave pointing out their NPR Tiny Desk concert for me to understand what I was missing. Now, “Women and Country” is very much on my list.
  • I snagged Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms” for $7 used at Newbury Comics, and it did not disappoint. I think I’ve sated my DS urges for the time being, but it’s probably just a matter of time before I start digging into Mark Knopfler’s solo catalog. So it goes.

Live Music

Last Friday, as promised, I caught Freelance Whales’ live in-store at Newbury Comics. I got there a hair before 5PM and was able to snag a spot right up front. It turned out that Newbury was having some problems with their PA, so the band ended up playing acoustic. They were unfazed by the technical difficulties and proceeded to deliver a fun half-hour set. “Weathervanes” is a great album, full of friendly pop and delightful instrumentation. Sure, they are cute and guileless, but also quite talented. A fun way to kick off the weekend early.

Being the nerd that I am, I shot some grainy video of “Generator^First Floor” with my Blackberry. Check out the lead singer Judah Dadone’s remarkable resemblance to Mark Ruffalo in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

New Releases

I learned from KEXP that Cloud Cult is releasing a new EP, “Running With Wolves,” on (fittingly) Earth Day. Lucky for me, it’s available for download right now. Four songs for $2.99 is not a bad deal at all, especially when the EP includes their awesome cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man,” long only available via one of KEXP’s live in studio compilations.

In the News

I’ve spoken a lot about the amazing music I’ve discovered through WERS. Well, this week is one of their biannual pledge weeks. If you support awesome music, pledge some cash to WERS by Apr. 18. You can also tune in and hear some great live performances, to boot.

Looking Ahead

On Saturday, I’ll be heading back to Newbury Comics for Record Store Day. In addition to hopefully snagging some fun promos, I am also looking forward to seeing the New Collisions and the Morning Benders perform live. (Find out if there is a Record Store Day event near you!) Also, at the Independent in Somerville next Tuesday, Brad from Bradley’s Almanac will be hosting a listening party for the upcoming New Pornographers release, “Together.”

Speaking of Cloud Cult, theyapparently have a new full-length, “Light Chasers,” coming out Aug. 17. On top of the new Futureheads album I just found out about (“The Chaos,” coming out June 1, download the track “Struck Dumb” here), this music year keeps getting better and better.


Take Five

Finds of the Week

A co-worker gave me a card good for 50 free MP3s from eMusic. The last time I had wandered through eMusic’s virtual aisles, They Might Be Giants were still their marquee act and the shelves were otherwise fairly sparse. While I have heard many friends — like the DP — talk highly of eMusic in recent years, I had yet to see for myself. And sure enough, they’ve got a ton of stuff. I’m trying to be a bit thrifty as of late, so I did an eMusic dine-and-dash — grabbing albums by Shearwater, Sea Wolf, BellX1, Chris Bell and Dire Straits, as well as a couple of random tracks, then unsubscribing. I felt bad, but when I have some more cash to throw around, I am definitely considering becoming a subscriber. I see them as a more timely, digital version of YourMusic, which I also love.

Here’s one of the random tracks I grabbed — and one of my favorite videos from the ’80s:

And speaking of YourMusic, this week they sent me Steve Winwood‘s “Chronicles” — and it is awesome. That is all.


This week, I came across some solid recommendations for Kingsley Flood, a local Americana/roots band. Of course, these came too late to catch their sold out CD release show at the Middle East (catch some of Brad’s pics), but I did download a couple tracks and was immediately captivated. Luckily for me, they’re playing the Rosebud Diner in Somerville on May 15. I don’t really care for the Rosebud as a venue, but it is really easy for me to get to, so…  (Relatedly, Freedy Johnston – !!! – is playing there in June. Go figure.)

In The News

The New Orleans Times-Picayune had a great article about Alex Chilton‘s quiet, laid-back life in New Orleans, where he loved restoring his rambling old house, rode out Hurricane Katrina and modestly helped or played with local musicians. An enlightening, detailed piece. A sad fact the article reveals, however: Chilton had experienced symptoms in the week leading up to his fatal heart attack, but he didn’t pursue medical care — because he had no health insurance.

Looking Ahead

Today, I am planning to go to Newbury Comics for a free performance by Freelance Whales. I am absolutely in love with their album “Weathervanes” — if it counts as a 2010 release, it would likely go in my top 10 — and going with the theme of thriftiness, a free show can’t be beat.

While there, I’m looking forward to picking up the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim collaboration “Here Lies Love,” a two-disc examination of the life of Imelda Marcos. With guest vocalists such as Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright and Cyndi Lauper, it promises to be an intriguing collection. I’ll report back next week. (Another report to give: I was generously hooked up with the Bird and the Bee‘s new Hall and Oates‘ cover album, “Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1.” Oh, oh, here she comes!)

Somewhat related to the world of music, if you like the ’80s, stop by Middlesex Lounge next Wednesday night for the monthly residency by Rogue Burlesque (disclaimer: my friend is in the troupe, and I built their website). The theme? ROGUE THE CASBAH!

Second Thoughts

While hanging out with some friends last weekend, I realized that for all my love of Eels, I had severely underlistened to the “Shootennany!” album. I remedied that this week. What a great, great disc. Classic Eels.

Also, I had the idea of renaming this column (since really, that’s what it’s become — a weekly music column) from “Take Five” to “Bargain Bin.” Thoughts?