I can't believe they never bothered to Move On...
William Shatner & Joe Jackson - Common People (Pulp Cover) - yes kids, you heard that right... Shat's back! (No, not that Shat, though from the singing talent...) I didn't want to like this song. Not one bit. But, I honestly can't stop listening to it. Say what you will of Shatner, he has never pretended to be a musician - his deadpan drawl is designed not to present songs as works of music, but rather as texts, to be read aloud, and y'know what? I can't think of a single song more suited for that treatment than "Common People". It sounds like a narrative set to music - a less talented, American Streets kinda vibe... If anything desecrates pulp, it's not Shatner, who delivers the song's final lines with all the appropriate venom, gained over years of hammy acting, but Joe Jacksons HIDEOUS guitar work, and terrible attempt at singing the songs chorus near the end, which is just utterly cringeworthy. Of course, production by Ben Folds isn't helping matters there, but when has it?
Hot Hot Heat - Move On - Hot Hot Heat were busting this song, the B-Side to the Bandages single, pretty regularly on their last few laps of the world, before heading into the studio to work on album #2 (or 3 if you count Scenes), and with good reason. It's all the jangley poppiness of their debut EP (and still their peak todate IMHO, mixed up with the stuttery freneticness of Breakdown. Whent he song breaks into a 3 part harmony about a minute and a half in, we begin to see HHH's new drection - but it only lasts a minute. This may not be Fiery Furnaces level jampacked with ideas, but it suggests at least a half dozen new directions for Hot Hot Heat to head for their new album, and all of them are good ones. And am I the only one who sees this song as fitting, not just with the name, but also the mission of a certain political group that is much in the limelight?
[Buy Hot Hot Heat albums from Amazon.com]
Other news: Saw Radio 4 and Ted Leo on LonGuysland last night. Ted leo was fantastic as always. The new material is GREAT, and he's touring with a stripped down band now (Just Bass and Drums + Him. No key's or violin or second guitar, as he was when supporting Hearts of Oak. This seems to suit the new material best.) And he PLAYED HEARTS OF OAK! Finally, after 5 times seeing Ted, and never hearing it, I finally got to see him play his "Radio 4 Song" when playing with Radio 4.
R4 were incredible. They've moved so far beyond what they were when last I saw them. The new material is FANTASTIC live, as all the new songs pick up healthy doses of the "Congas and Shakers and Shit" that make Radio 4, Radio 4. Not to mention, Ted came out and did a mean Cowbell Solo on Struggle. The band was REALLY in a good mood, what with playing at the center of all their respective hometowns around Long Island (the guitarist introduced each band member between songs, and noted what high school they went to. Classic LI - even a decade removed, the only way to register where someone is from is their High School.) And just a generally fantastic set. "The Death of American Radio" is GREAT live, and "Transmission," a song that, on record, seemed buried under it's production to me, becomes a complete fucking anthem live. Dominated the whole set when they finished with it.