I can't tell one from another.
The Arcade Fire - Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place) (Talking Heads Cover) (CBC Studio Session) - That may take the record for the most parenthetical statements in a song title I've posted here. Well, a few weeks ago, I said you wouldn't be getting a rare Arcade Fire bootleg. Well, you can have it now. Last week, the CBC recorded a studio session with the Arcade Fire of 5 songs, including, at last, a high quality recording of the bands cover of the Talking Heads' "Naive Melody". It's a change of pace for the Arcade Fire, with a number of new isntruments added to their (already formidable) arsenal specifically for the song - most notably steel drums and xylophones that give it a very tropical bent. But mostly, this is a chance for Win to show off his vocals and prove that he really does have that same sort of nervous energy that made David Byrne such a great and unique frontman. But where Byrne stuttered endearingly, Win howls and screams. Where Byrne would say as much with the silences of his clipped words as he would with his long notes, Butlers notes trail off into oblivion - not so much nervous as alternately enraptured and horrified. Have I mentioned recently how much I love the Arcade Fire?
[Listen to the whole session of the Arcade Fire on CBC Radio 3 Online, and read the great article. Bruce Springsteen couldn't get a copy of Funeral!]
[Buy Funeral From Amazon.com!]
Carissas Wierd - Die - They coulda been contenders. They coulda been huge. They were on the road to being legends. Such is the now eternal lament of the Carissa's Wierd fan. The band broke up about a year ago, after a legnthy farewell tour, and has just released a second posthumous album. (The first, Scrap Book was a collection of B-Sides and covers). And while I've always been a fan, it really has taken the post-breakup release of I Before E to make me one of the converted on the bands potential legend. More particularly, it took "Die". For the most part, I before E is a collection of live material. But the first 3 tracks are new songs that the band had been touring, and felt it was right to give studio versions of to the fans. One last parting gift. And what a gift Die is. The band is clearly more confident than ever, as vocals are pushed way to the front and multitracked into a layered call and response that I can only dream of having caught live on that farewell tour. Most notable though is the songs instrumental density. In the past Carissa's Wierd songs were mainly notable for being extremely sparse affairs - as desolate as their often spiteful subject matter. But "Die" is hate of a different color. Well fed and all grown up, this is what CW could've been. It's a huge loss.
[Buy I Before E from Amazon.com!]
The Kleptones - See - Continuing what began last week, I will be syndicating the entirety of A Night at the Hip Hopera, continuing with track 2, "See" takes Queens "One Vision" and mashes it with some old school hip-hop - most notably KRS-Ones Rap vs. Hip Hop's (B-Side to Sound of The Police) academic tone, and Grandmaster Flash's classic single "The Message," which is about as close as the genres come to Operas scope with it's true tale of Social Decay is the pessimistic dark mirror of Queens "One Vision" optimism. The song finishes out with some Kelis... it's only going up...
[Buy Krs-One's Return of the Boom-Bap from Amazon.com]
[ Buy Message from Beat Street: The Best of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five from Amazon.com]
[Buy Kelis's Tasty from Amazon.com]
[Buy Queen's A Kind of Magic From Amazon.com]