Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the rambling reflects

The Horse's Ha - Of The Cathmawr Yards (myspace) new group from James Elkington of The Zincs and Janet Beveridge Bean of Freakwater, both great bands that languish in their unfair share of obscurity. They originally started by working up a set of cover tunes to play at pricey Chicago wine bars and it evolved into this much better version of that and more. One of those rare albums I get in off the publicity wire that actually gets better with each listen.
Daniel Johnston - At Home Live (lala and his own website) This is all the rage today, and worth the rage. I'm a committed fan of Daniel's songs and have written about him for Oxford American and I'll say this is Daniel neither at his best nor at his worst, but impassioned and direct and not focused on Daniel unraveling before you, so it gets my endorsement. Particularly, "Tuesday's Waltz"

This is my favorite facet of Johnston's songwriting, when he opens his song up to encompass the fullness of his longing. They aren't as tight and sharp as his great songs like "True Love Will Find You in the End" or "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grievances" but the rambling reflects how love really is as opposed how it is when you frame it.
Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - Global a-Go-Go (lala) Poor old Joe Strummer. His hit-to-miss ration solo was almost as good as that of the Clash (great when they were good and cringy when they weren't), but who could escape the shadow of the only band that matters. "Johnny Appleseed" that opens this album was used as the theme for the genius but short-lived HBO series John from Cincinatti, which was a little too weird to survive following The Sopranos. Maybe the same can be said of Strummer's solo material.

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