Music Review

Chapter & Terse

The Fall - New Facts Emerge (Cherry Red)

For a band that has existed around the spiteful and brooding presence of Mark E. Smith for over thirty albums and forty years another release shouldn't pack many surprises but it does. Many have served under his difficult demands, being in The Fall almost a rite of passage, an induction by fire for many a Mancunian musician. Some never fully recuperate from the experience.

Tom Petty for President

I became a fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers several years ago by a chance encounter with a friend's iPod. I became obsessed and ended up going through what I thought was his whole catalogue. I classified him as a classic rock artist who was underappreciated, no longer relevant, and patted myself on the back for "getting it." So when I heard that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were coming to Seattle on August 19, I grabbed my credit card and headed to my laptop, ready to buy a general admission ticket to Neumos or the Showbox…maybe the Moore Theater. After all, if the bands that I listened to in high school were playing those venues when they came to town, that's where I'd find Tom Petty.

Joe Martino's Promise: A Fable Of Lost Folk

The Children of Rain - Red Corduroy (Bad Pressings)

This is a tale with two beginnings that merge revealingly. One is more than half a century old, the other only began at the start of the year. They meld on the account of a single name, or rather the mis-accounting of it, and the fact that it seemed beguiling to this writer on a late at night, nothing better to do trawl for "quality obscure" on auction sites. You are unlikely to have heard of The Children Of Rain. They released one single on Dot Records in 1966, but someone at the label sent the wrong credits to the pressing plant. Although they were the first to get their hands on "Get Together," their rendition tanked, not because it was in any way inferior to the later version by The Youngbloods which became a counter-culture anthem for that turbulent decade of hope and change, and sold! sold! sold! Such is the mysticism and capriciousness of fate, and the fact the song was demoted to the flip-side of their sole release "Dawn To Dusk." It might have had a better run at success had their name been at all visible on the disc, rendered an afterthought after the their lead singer's Pam Meacham, which had been randomly elevated and wrongly spelt in the process. Hence the black hole on search engines. How it appeared was never how it was supposed to but it stands as a portent laden indication of future calamities. Having taken a chance on their eight song acetate I realized I may be buying an expensive relic of little actual worth, but I coughed up the $200 and hoped that my instincts might have unearthed a wonderful curio, and not a batch of best forgotten musings.

Bass of Bizarre

Primus
Marymoor Park, Redmond, OR
August 15, 2017

Over 25 years after setting sail on the Seas of Cheese, Primus continues to navigate uncharted, musical waters, over running so many younger vessels in a music scene progressively stagnating in the doldrums. This is an act that continues to play music because they love to and it shows.

Video of the Week: Liam Gallagher - "For What It's Worth"

Some music acts deserve our full attention because of the legacy that spawned them. And so it goes that former Oasis lead vocalist Liam Gallagher delivers his much anticipated solo long player As You Were (Warner Brothers) on October 6th followed by short tour in selecti cities in North America in November. The songs -- "For What It's Worth," "Chinatown," and "Wall of Glass" (12 million streams!) -- are deservedly getting fantastic press from journalists and public alike. When the Manchaster-based anthem rock band disbanded, the Brothers Gallagher seemed destined for the scrap heap. Could the parts equal the power of the collective? Well, yes and no. Neither brother has released a solo album to rival either Definitely Maybe or (What's The Story) Morning Glory?. I certainly prefer Liam's sneering vocals over Noel's comfortable vocals and Noel's songwriting chops over his younger brother's tunes. Yes, together they were a force of nature. Apart...? I liked Beady Eye songs, but didn't love either of their albums. And to be fair, I've not given Noel's solo albums my full attention.

Single of the Week: Glen Campbell - "I'm Not Gonna Miss You"

"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" is one of the last songs Glen recorded in the studio before being forced to retire from the music business due to his well-documented slide into alzheimer's. The lyrics reflect all of the pain and suffering so many feel when dealing with this brutal disease. Written specifically for his documentary I'll Be Me -- see it; you will not easily forget it or Glen's much-deserved legacy as one of the giants of the music industry, country or otherwise. This video features some of the moments from the film which captures his unforgettable farewell tour with his family and friends in tow -- both on stage and off. RIP, Glen! You were one talented man.

Band of the Week: Darlingside

Some acts are neglected only because the sheer crush of music that overwhelms us every single day makes it virtually impossible to hear/see/experience transcendent music. That some acts languish in obscurity remains a cruel twist of fate. Or that they're never praised by hipsters on every culture blog in our ever-expanding universe is sometimes just luck of the draw. Or rather, the lack of drawing such a lucky card. This will not happen to the extraordinarily talented Darlingside, a band that I caught live a few short years ago at Rockwood Music Hall in New York. Not sure if I would have "discovered" them had I not been there that night to see some other act. Happy accident or destiny? Regardless, this four-person indie folk band hails from Cambridge, MA. The band consists of Don Mitchell, Auyon Mukharji, Harris Paseltiner, and David Senft. They make and perform beautiful noise. And they deserve your full attention.

Album of the Week: Desertshore - Arc of an Arrow Blind

From the family tree of Red House Painters/Mark Kozelek -- one of my favorite artists -- comes the fifth Desertshore album, Arc of an Arrow Blind (Darkan Records). This is a wonderfully engaging instrumental album of sublime depth and beauty. Think of a more textured Red House Painters or Sun Kil Moon with arpeggiated guitars and piano/keyboard riffs with the bass and drums anchoring the proceedings in various rhythmic rock, jazz and even hypnotic world beat patterns. (Check out "Descend Like The Sun.")