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Posts Tagged ‘Death Cab for Cutie

Music Marathon 2009 – Part 4 (Dark Was the Night – John Doe and the Sadies)

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Various Artists – Dark Was the Night:  A Red Hot Compilation
Charity compilation albums seldom yield much of longstanding worth.  They can be well-meaning, a boon (or burden) to completists, and fun, but it’s quite unusual that any offer an artist’s best work, usually relying on b-sides, leftovers, poorly conceived covers, and live versions of previously released material.  Red Hot’s No Alternative was something of an oddity in the early 90s, offering what seemed to be otherwise unavailable essential tracks at the time, like Bob Mould’s “Can’t Fight It,” Smashing Pumpkins’ “Glynis,” Pavement’s “Unseen Power of the Picket Fence,” and, perhaps most of all (to some folks, at least), Nirvana’s “Verse Chorus Verse.”  In retrospect, it’s a bit more of a mix – it still has those throwaway live versions (delivered by the Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, and the Breeders), quirky covers (Soul Asylum does Marvin Gaye, Goo Goo Dolls do the Stones, Uncle Tupelo does CCR – okay, that last one’s pretty essential), and b-side level stuff (hi, Soundgarden). Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Dave

December 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Music Marathon 2008, Part 3 (The Constantines – The Decemberists)

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It’s probably too early to make bold predictions, but I may actually finish this in a somewhat timely manner this year.

The Constantines – Kensington Heights
Being a fan of the Constantines’ last two albums, Shine a Light and Tournament of Hearts, I have a pretty good idea of what to expect from them, barring any major innovations.  They’ve carved out a fairly unusual niche that embraces, with equal fervor, Springsteenian working man anthemics and quirky rhythms and noisy guitars that owe more to Fugazi or Jawbox.  There’s not much new to detail on Kensington Heights. The band continues the trend it began on Tournament by leaning more heavily on their roots-rock influences on tracks like “New King,” but they always keep one foot on the distortion pedal. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave

December 14, 2008 at 10:04 pm