The Lonely Minotaur

Music & Concert Reviews

Wading Through Radiohead’s Public Library — March 11, 2020

Wading Through Radiohead’s Public Library

The start of January brought Radiohead fans a tremendous late holiday surprise, an extensive online resource containing videos, music, artwork, websites, full concerts, playlists, old merchandise, webcasts and other assorted ephemera. The band has named it the “Radiohead Public Library” (https://www.radiohead.com/library/) and you can even create your very own printable library card if you fancy it. No longer do you have to hunt down old videos on YouTube or buy rare items on eBay. The Radiohead Public Library is now the go to destination for all your Radiohead needs. The collection naturally begins in 1993 with debut album Pablo Honey and travels all the way up to 2016’s magnificent LP A Moon Shaped Pool. Everything in between is an odyssey like voyage with countless jumping off points to get lost in for hours upon hours. Not everyone has the time to explore everything the band has just gifted us. That could take weeks, maybe even months to properly unpack. If you are looking for some of the very best bits from this massive archive, I’ve constructed a list of library highlights. Sadly there is no MTV Beach House from 1993. I suspect this list will need to be updated as time passes and future discoveries are made. The band themselves have even added to the library two different times since its launch. I suspect this will remain the case, especially with the looming announcement of a 20th Anniversary boxset for Kid A this coming October. That day can’t come soon enough. The Kid A section is surprisingly………….skimpy. Wink wink. A treasure trove awaits folks.

Live at the Astoria
27 May 1994

https://www.radiohead.com/library/#bends/1994-05-27-live-at-the-astoria

A setlist featuring many throwback cuts that have been missing in action for decades at this point: “Bones”, “Ripcord”, “Blackstar”, “Maquiladora”, “Vegetable” and “Pop Is Dead”. The evening ends with a killer version of “Blow Out” with an absolute guitar shredding hurricane of fury by Thom, Jonny and Ed. A real highlight.

MTV’s Most Wanted
05 October 1994

https://www.radiohead.com/library/#ph/1994-10-05-mtv-s-most-wanted

Thom and Jonny performed stripped back versions of Pablo Honey’s “You” and the newly written “My Iron Lung” which would later appear on The Bends in 1995.

MTV’s Most Wanted
18 August 1995
Radiohead cover Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better” which was the James Bond theme from the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. Thom once proclaimed the Bond theme to be “Sexiest song that was ever written”. Also performed on the night was “Just”.
W.A.S.T.E. Newsletters Volumes 1-16

https://www.radiohead.com/library/#bends

A collection of hilarious band newsletters between 1993 and early 1997 with interesting antidotes from the road including a trip to Thailand’s red light district, Jonny DJing on Mexican FM radio, Ed and Colin appearing on KROQ’s radio show Lovelines, learning that Thom’s favorite film is My Cousin Vinny, Phil’s sugar addiction and music they were consuming while on tour: R.E.M., Black Grape, Tricky, Ennio Morricone, Beck and Teenage Fanclub.

Tibetan Freedom Concert

Radiohead take to the stage to play an 8 song setlist that would feature R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe joining the band to perform lead vocals during “Lucky”. It is also pretty clear the band were really into parachute pants during the summer of 1998. Strange days indeed.
Amateur Night II
One of Radiohead’s earliest innovative webcast streams. This one taking place during the recording of the band’s upcoming album Kid A. The real treat of this web show was an early demo of “There There” which features different lyrics from the version found on Hail To The Thief and rocks much much harder at almost 7 minutes in length. Hopefully more stuff like this appears on the pending Kid A boxset due out this October.
Radiohead would initially promote their newest album Kid A by performing a series of concerts with a carnival like atmosphere housed in a traveling Big Top tent complete with Victorian era ticketing. A very cool and unique idea. I also wish Radiohead would resurrect “Motion Picture Soundtrack” for future tours.
EMI & CANAL + present Kid A : Amnesiac In Paris
28 April 2001
A mashup TV appearance of tracks from both Kid A and Amnesiac. The night would conclude with a thrashing cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl”. Definitely a performance worth checking out. Despite taking a deep plunge into electronic music Radiohead still prove they are the mightiest guitar band in all the land when they want to be.
Later Presents… Radiohead
The calling card for this Jools Holland appearance is New Orleans jazz funeral tune “Life In A Glasshouse” which to my knowledge is the only time the band performed the track in a live setting. Radiohead are even backed by the Humphrey Lyttelton Band who performed the track on Amnesiac.
The Gorge, Washington
About 35 minutes into this Kid A/Amnesiac tour stop in the state of Washington fans are treated to a new unreleased song called “Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses”. This would later be known as the first incarnation of future In Rainbows track “Reckoner”.
Beacon Theatre, NYC
05 June 2003
Part of the now defunct MTV $2 Bill Concert Series, Radiohead would take to the stage to preview material from their new album Hail To The Thief. Best of the bunch would be the acoustic rendition of “True Love Waits” to end the show. It would still be another 13 years before an official studio version was released. I think I love every single version of this song.
A legendary concert performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.  I think this gig still holds the title for longest ever Radiohead concert at nearly 2 and a half hours and 28 songs. Radiohead spent most of that early summer road testing new material across North America that would eventually materialize on their 7th LP In Rainbows in October 2007. The band would play 6 unreleased songs on the night: “15 Step”, “Weird Fishes”, “Videotape”, “Nude”, “Bodysnatchers” and “House of Cards”. For my money the best ever version of “Videotape” (35 min mark) was performed at this show. The band would later strip back the tune to its most basic elements but prior to that it was a proper rock-rave up. Hopefully a future anniversary edition of In Rainbows will gift us a studio version of this incarnation of “Videotape”.
Another famous Radiohead webcast. The best part of this evening’s broadcast were the three awesome cover songs. The first being The Smiths’ “The Headmaster Ritual”, the second New Order’s “Ceremony” and lastly Bjork’s “Unravel”. Also played were “Bodysnatchers”, “Faust Arp”, “Reckoner” and “I Might Be Wrong”.
Radiohead would delight 200 fans at a small intimate club show that saw the band play their new album In Rainbows from top to bottom plus an encore of old faithfuls and a solo acoustic version of “Up On A Ladder”. This might be the smallest show the band has performed in over 20 years. Wish they would do more of this type of stuff. Granted scoring tickets would be next to impossible.
Possibly my favorite track from In Rainbows. This performance of “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” is outstanding. Not just from the band who is on point the entire time but also the way the director cut his cameras to show all the best aspects of the band at the right moments.
Radiohead did very little promotion for their 8th album The King of Limbs in 2011. Just a handful of stops ranging from Glastonbury, Saturday Night Live, Roseland Ballroom and The Colbert Report. This performance is an extended set from what was seen on the main broadcast that night (“Morning Mr. Magpie”). The band would also play “The Daily Mail”, “Bloom”, “Little By Little” and “The National Anthem”. As the From The Basement session from December 2011 would also prove, the material found on The King of Limbs really transcends to another level of excellence when performed live compared to the final studio versions.
This is the closest Radiohead came to giving the fans a From The Basement type release from A Moon Shaped Pool. It would be just Thom, Jonny and a drum machine sitting around a campfire in the Hollywood Hills while being directed by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. I kind of wish they did a third tune for this series with Paul Thomas Anderson like a “Desert Island Disk” or even “True Love Waits”. There are so many beautiful tracks off A Moon Shaped Pool. I want to see them all shine in different presentations.
Noel Gallagher’s Three E.P.’s — March 2, 2020

Noel Gallagher’s Three E.P.’s

Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds tried something new over the last 10 months as he attempted to spice up his artistic release patterns. He didn’t release a proper album to follow up 2017’s brilliant Who Built The Moon? but he did treat fans with three distinct sounding EPs that were dropped in June 2019 (Black Star Dancing), September 2019 (This Is The Place) and the last one in March 2020 (Blue Moon Rising). All together the three EPs featured 9 brand new tracks that covered a wide range of genres from acoustic based tunes to acid house infused guitar rock. Noel has said that these EPs were designed to flush out his back catalog of unused material, release more experimental tinged tracks and tide over fans until he begins work on his 4th solo album later this year once his new home studio is completed. No word yet on who will produce or what sonic direction he might go outside of Noel telling Zane Lowe in November “it could be a double album….with lots of eclectic stuff on it”. We shall see what comes to pass over the next year or so. Overall this EP campaign has been a rewarding experience for all Oasis and Noel Gallagher fans alike. 

Black Star Dancing EP

Black Star Dancing – The first single out of the gate keeps the vibes of Who Built The Moon? alive and well. A thumping bass Line and a ZZ Top style guitar solo keep this tune buzzing with fresh surprises. Noel has said this song was heavily influenced by his David Bowie obsession. Guitarist Nile Rodgers who dropped by the studio during recording sessions called the track “dope”. Good enough for me!

Rattling Rose – A more traditional sounding Noel effort that could have easily been on his debut album or Chasing Yesterday. Led by a bouncing acoustic strum and a shuffling beat, the most interesting aspect of this track is the The Left Banke style horn breakdown featured in the finale. In classic Noel fashion he described the song as “It manages to combine the influences of Chris Rea, Chris De Burgh, Mike and the Mechanics and Slipknot FFS!!! I may have eaten too many gummy bears recently.”

Sail On – A stunningly beautiful acoustic/banjo ballad about lost love and finding your place in the world. “Sail On” feels like a lost cousin of previous B-side “I’d Pick You Every Time” from 2011. Noel has said this track dates back to the Chasing Yesterday era and was only included at the persistence of the girls who work at his record label who adored it. Hats off to them!

This Is The Place EP

This Is The Place – For my ears this is the crown jewel of the EP project. A proper acid house banger with heavy echoes of New Order. Noel’s very own ode to Manchester’s legendary Hacienda nightclub. I hope Noel cooks up more babies like this moving forward.  It is also fantastic to hear live. 

A Dream Is All I Need To Get By – A gentle floating acoustic number that Noel has described as “To my ears it sounds like one of those iconic B-sides by The Smiths, only obviously not as good.”. This is the safest sounding song released from any of the EPs and is sure to please any fans of Noel’s previous work while in Oasis. 

Evil Flower – A dark hypnotic driving tune that sounds equal parts “(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady” and “Soldier On” from Oasis’ Dig Out Your Soul. Heavy electronic Spaghetti Western vibes are drenched all over this composition. In terms of being “experimental” this is the most challenging offering from Noel out of anything found on the three EPs. 

Blue Moon Rising EP

Blue Moon Rising – Each of Noel’s previous EPs started off with a heavy dance influenced rocker and this current offering is no different. You can really feel early 1980s New Order rubbing off on Noel immensely. I am very much looking forward to Noel traveling down this road further as I’ve been extremely pleased with the results of the tracks “Black Star Dancing”, “This Is The Place” and “Blue Moon Rising”. I suspect that if Noel continues to work with producer David Holmes I just might get my wish. Both fingers crossed! 

Wandering Star – A much anticipated release by the fan base all summer long with the belief it had the potential to be a “huge” throwback hit. What Noel ended up giving us was an unofficial Christmas holiday jingle packed to the brim with sleigh bells, church bells and cheerful horns. Noel even hired actor Stephen Graham to star in the music video as a shoplifting but good hearted Santa Claus. Terrific casting. Just put Stephen Graham in everything already!

Come On Outside – It took over 12 years for this legendary unfinished Oasis track to see the light of day. The origin of this song began during studio sessions for Oasis’ 7th album Dig Out Your Soul in the winter of 2007. At one point it was going to be the lead single off Dig Out Your Soul until Noel said the band “ran out of time” to record vocals for it as a result of his brother Liam abandoning the sessions to fly back to England unannounced to marry his girlfriend at the time Nicole Appleton. Oasis had been in Los Angeles with producer Dave Sardy mixing the album in early 2008 when this alleged incident went down. The song would not see the light of day (outside a demo leak in 2013) until last week. The end result is a bombastic groove filled rocker with supporting keyboards and a female backing choir. It’s very easy to imagine Liam singing this song. In an alternate timeline it was a smash single off Dig Out Your Soul. Instead it’s the last track in a series of EPs intended to bridge the gap between Noel Gallagher solo albums. Either way the song is ours now.

19 Songs For 2019 — December 29, 2019

19 Songs For 2019

Another year has come and gone. It seems like time is passing more quickly as we get older in life. Funny how that works. Luckily for us the music being made keeps getting better and better. I know it sounds awful to say but I find myself listening to more and more individual tracks than full fledge albums. Perhaps I am part of the problem feeding into the Spotify user ethos, any song at any time. It is almost too tempting to pass up. Sure there were plenty of albums I loved, Thom Yorke’s Anima, both Big Thief records and Strange Ranger’s Remembering The Rockets but not enough to merit a Top 10 or 20 rankings. At least by me anyways. Having that been said, this year was a particularly strong one for individual singles and album tracks. Here are 19 of my favorite songs of 2019. With some good fortune 2020 will grant us a similar listening experience.

Big Thief – Not

 

Thom Yorke – Dawn Chorus

 

Bon Iver – Naeem

 

Spoon – No Bullets Spent

 

Clairo – Bags

 

Wilco – Love Is Everywhere (Beware)

 

Better Oblivion Community Center – Dylan Thomas

 

The National – Where Is Her Head

 

Tame Impala – Patience

 

Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall

 

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – This Is The Place

 

Thom Yorke & Flea – Daily Battles

 

Mannequin Pussy – Drunk II

 

Coldplay – Arabesque

 

Haim – Summer Girl

 

Sharon Van Etten – Seventeen

 

EOB – Brasil

 

Liam Gallagher – Gone

 

Billie Eilish – When The Party’s Over

Big Thief Unleash “Not”, Ready New Album — August 25, 2019

Big Thief Unleash “Not”, Ready New Album

To the surprise of many Big Thief have dropped a new single titled “Not” and also announced a new album due out on October 11, 2019 called Two Hands. Big Thief are already coming off a banner year with rave reviews for their album U.F.O.F. with many people believing it is the album of the year for 2019. I really can’t argue with that. This band is on fire at the moment with a steady stream of great albums since 2016’s Masterpiece and 2017’s Capacity. Throw in lead singer Adrianne Lenker’s solo album abysskiss from last year and it is safe to say the group is sitting on a purple patch of creativity much to listeners delight.

Our first glimpse of Two Hands is the super charged, raw and emotional “Not”. It has made the rounds as a fan favorite live track over the last few years but until now has never seen the light of day studio wise. The song features a ferocious guitar solo that runs almost 3 minutes long and would almost certainly make Neil Young blush in admiration. This is easily the best song I’ve heard all year. It is not even close.

Two Hands is described by the band as the twin sister to U.F.O.F.  and is billed as “the celestial twin” with Two Hands as “the earth twin.” Big Thief recorded the album at Sonic Ranch in the border town of Tornillo, Texas and features very little overdubbing, with an emphasis on live takes.

As Adrianne Lenker states in the press release:

“Two Hands has the songs that I’m the most proud of; I can imagine myself singing them when I’m old. Musically and lyrically, you can’t break it down much further than this. It’s already bare-bones….While you listen, let your own two hands rest in front of your body with palms facing inward and see what power grows between them.”

Two Hands:

1 “Rock And Sing”
2 “Forgotten Eyes”
3 “The Toy”
4 “Two Hands”
5 “Those Girls”
6 “Shoulders”
7 “Not”
8 “Wolf”
9 “Replaced”
10 “Cut My Hair”

Pre-order the album here.

https://bigthief.ffm.to/twohands.opr

Can we talk about how awesome a year 2002 was for indie music? — February 16, 2019

Can we talk about how awesome a year 2002 was for indie music?

By the time of my senior year of high school, class of 2000, I was desperately pinning away for a back to basics rock revival. By 1999 grunge and Brit Pop, my two biggest genre obsessions, were basically extinct. Hip Hop, Boy bands and a rap/metal hybrid were dominating the charts, the airwaves and the television. Basically my worst musical nightmare. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I finally began to see a beacon of hope. That hope was The Strokes. Seems cliche to write but they really were transcendent without really being overly revolutionary in September 2001. They helped kick the door down and were at the front of the march towards the rock revival over the next handful of years. Sure other bands might have been technically more advanced and ambitious but nobody looked cooler as they played good old fashioned rock n roll with killer melodies and lyrics. Finally, after many years waiting, the tides were beginning to turn. My prayers were about to be answered. 

When the calendar flipped to 2002 a whole new era of bands were emerging, getting tons of press, played across radio and television and most importantly inspiring people to pickup the guitar again as an instrument of art. Being a rocker was cool again it seemed. I knew a vast purple patch of great music was starting to take hold across the globe, I just didn’t realize fully at the time how tremendous the overall year of 2002 was. It really was an incredible time of new bands bubbling up (The Walkmen, Interpol, The Coral) and more established bands (Wilco, Flaming Lips, Bright Eyes) hitting their artistic apex all at the same moment. If anyone really wants to get a feel for the excitement of these times I highly suggest buying Lizzy Goodman’s book “Meet Me In The Bathroom” which focuses on the rock revival in New York City between 2001 and 2011. 

So in honor of the year 2002, I’ve decided to rank my Top 20 albums of that year and provide a killer playlist of outstanding tunes. Enjoy. 

Top 20 Albums of 2002

  1. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 
  2. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood To The Head
  3. Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights
  4. Sigur Ros – ( )
  5. Doves – The Last Broadcast
  6. Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People
  7. The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi battles the pink robots part 1
  8. The Soundtrack of Our Lives – Behind The Music 
  9. The Walkmen – Everyone Who Pretended To Like Us Is Gone
  10. Bright Eyes – Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
  11. Beck – Sea Changes
  12. The Coral – The Coral
  13. Spoon – Kill The Moonlight
  14. Death In Vegas – Scorpio Rising
  15. The Notwist – Neon Golden
  16. Sonic Youth – Murray Street
  17. Iron & Wine – The Creek Drank the Cradle
  18. Blackalicious – Blazing Arrow
  19. Trail of Dead – …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
  20. DJ Shadow – The Private Press

 

The Playlist

The Walkmen – “Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone”

Wilco – “Heavy Metal Drummer”

Doves – “There Goes The Fear”

Coldplay – “The Scientist”

Pearl Jam – “Down”

Oasis – “Songbird”

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – “Nevermore”

Iron & Wine – “Faded From Winter”

DJ Shadow – “You Can’t Go Home Again”

The Coral – “Dreaming of You”

Interpol – “PDA”

The Flaming Lips – “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1”

Broken Social Scene – “Cause = Time”

Bright Eyes – “Lover I Don’t Have To Love”

The Hives – “Hate To Say I Told You So”

Beck – “Lost Cause”

The Notwist – “Consequence”

British Sea Power – “Childhood Memories”

Moby – “We Are All Made of Stars”

Spoon – “The Way We Get By”

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – “Relative Ways”

U2 – “Electrical Storm” (William Orbit Mix)

Death In Vegas – “Scorpio Rising”

Damon Albarn – “Sunset Coming On”

Sigur Ros – “Untitled 4”

Ekkehard Ehlers – “Plays John Cassavetes 2”

Boards of Canada – “Dawn Chorus”

Blackalicious – “Blazing Arrow”

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Bang”

Sonic Youth – “The Empty Page”

Badly Drawn Boy – “Silent Sigh”

LCD Soundsystem – “Losing My Edge”

Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Can’t Stop”

Bruce Springsteen – “The Fuse”

So This Was 2018…. — December 30, 2018

So This Was 2018….

I have to admit that with each passing year I find less and less albums that I truly love enough to listen to straight through on multiple occasions. I’m not sure if that is a reflection of the current state of the music industry or just my own personal listening habits. I still think there are tons and tons of fantastic tracks being made on a yearly basis. I’m just not finding a lot of them strung together on the same album release it seems. There are still rays of hope out there for the future of the album format. Rookie bands like Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever, Soccer Mommy and Foxwarren delivered the goods and have my complete attention moving forward.

Anyways, without further ado, here are 10 of my favorite albums of 2018 followed by 25 of my favorite songs from this calendar year. It is a pretty eclectic list that leans hard on indie rock but with a handful of hip hop jams sprinkled in. Also thank you to anyone who has read this site over the last few months. It is very much appreciated.

 

My Favorite 10 Albums

Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard

Soccer Mommy – Clean

The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt

KIDS SEE GHOSTS – KIDS SEE GHOSTS

Bill Ryder-Jones – Yawn

Low – Double Negative

 

My Favorite 25 Songs

Kurt Vile – “Loading Zones”

Spiritualized – “A Perfect Miracle”

Arctic Monkeys – “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”

Bill Ryder-Jones – “Don’t Be Scared, I Love You”

Bradley Cooper – “Maybe It’s Time”

Young Fathers – “In My View”

Childish Gambino – “This Is America”

Soccer Mommy – “Your Dog”

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Kite”

J Mascis – “See You At The Movies”

Interpol – “If You Really Love Nothing” (Reimagined by Petr Aleksander)

Thom Yorke – “Unmade”

Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever – “Talking Straight”

KIDS SEE GHOSTS – “Reborn”

Low – “Disarray”

Kanye West – “Ghost Town”

Conor Oberst – “No One Changes”

Foxwarren – “Lost On You”

The Coral – “Reaching Out For A Friend”

The 1975 – “Love It If We Made It”

Rostam – “In A River”

Parquet Courts – “Tenderness”

Iceage – “Pain Killer” featuring Sky Ferreira

Jonny Greenwood – Tree Synthesisers

Jeff Tweedy – “From Far Away”

 

 

 

Mark it….FAB! The Best of The White Album box set — November 24, 2018

Mark it….FAB! The Best of The White Album box set

The White Album turned the big 5-0 this week and much like last year’s 50th birthday celebration for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a grand rollout of goodies was included. Giles Martin, son of legendary Beatles producer George Martin, remixed the entire album for today’s millennial ears with some good and some getting use to results. The remix will of course take some time to adjust to, the White Album has sounded only one way since 1968 and not many ever called for it to be cleaned up or fiddled with in the first place. It’s a masterpiece through and through. Warts and all.

The highlight of this extravaganza is of course the Esher demos that were done at George Harrison’s bungalow in May of 1968. It features almost every song on the proper album plus songs like “Not Guilty”, “Junk”, “Child of Nature”, “Sour Milk Sea” and “Circles”. It’s basically The Beatles Unplugged and it makes me wonder why something like this wasn’t mined decades ago because the material is a fantastic listen. If you love The Beatles go out and buy it. You won’t be disappointed. It’s worth the price of admission alone. 

The rest of the deluxe box set includes a wealth of studio demos and outtakes. I’ve listed below what I feel are the true gems of the batch and offer new perspective on The Beatles creative process.

Revolution 1 (Take 18) – A 10 minute slow honky tonk attempt with plenty of messing around and jamming. The Beatles still unsure what direction to take John’s new protest anthem.

A Beginning (Take 4) / Don’t Pass Me By (Take 7) – Ringo’s debut Beatles composition begins with a lovely George Martin conducted orchestral arrangement (previously heard on Anthology 3) before a country hoedown takes over.

Good Night (Take 10 with a Guitar Part from Take 5) – A complete 180 from the lush strings laden version that caps off the studio album. Ringo is joined by John, George and Paul who sing supporting harmonies with finger picking guitars. Truly a breath taking moment for this box set. Who knew material of this caliber lay in the vaults?

Cry Baby Cry (Unumbered Rehearsal) – A stark contrast to the final acoustic rendition, this attempt at the song is led by heavy organ playing that reminds me of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” which was a huge influence on John Lennon back in 1966.

Helter Skelter (First Version / Take 2) – A slow burning 13 minute bluesy rocker with loads of guitar jamming and minimal drumming. A far cry from Paul trying to make the loudest rock song ever made in retaliation to Pete Townshend writing The Who classic “I Can See For Miles”.

Hey Jude (Take 1) – Simply one of the coolest cuts found in the entire box set. Paul warming up his vocal cords moments before uttering the iconic opening “Hey Jude…” makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The last 3 minutes or so is Paul just going completely mental improvising his lyrics and losing himself in the process. Fabulous stuff.

Not Guilty (Take 102) – Without question one of the best songs The Beatles never released and I’m not sure why. George’s tune fits the overall vibe and ascetic of The White Album. This version of the song features a dirtier sounding guitar compared to the one found on Anthology 3 and an extended jam outro.

Let It Be (Unumbered Rehearsal) – Really more of a song fragment compared to the cherished version found on the album of the same name. This “Let It Be” is a bluesy psychedelic run through. Not really sure how else to describe it. I only wish we had a full 3 to 4 minute version. So fascinating to listen to after all these years.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Third Version / Take 27) – The previous outtakes of this future Beatles masterpiece were of an acoustic approach. Take 27 is heavy, grittier, with sharp guitar licks as George and Eric Clapton hone in on the final definitive version.

Happiness Is a Warm Gun (Take 19) – It has often been said that “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” is basically the entire White Album condensed into a 3 minute version. I’ve always agreed with that take. This is one of the best songs John Lennon ever sang. Superior vocals. Listening to take 19 you realize that it took a lot of work to make this song rise to the level of perfection we are so use to.

Honey Pie (Instrumental Backing Track) – When you take off Paul’s vocal track, you begin to realize that “Honey Pie” sounds like some lost Vaudeville classic from the 1920s. I have to imagine George Martin had his paws all over this one as the final product is beautifully crafted.

Long, Long, Long (Take 44) – Always one of my favorite White Album contributions, this outtake has the ghostly and eerie atmosphere dialed back several notches. Driven by George’s acoustic strumming, this song feels less about God as George once claimed and more about lost love rediscovered. The fade out ad libbing by George is also a fun little treat.

I’m So Tired (Take 7) – I’m a sucker for John Lennon studio banter and this outtake features some great stuff at the front and back ends. Not to mention John playing and singing superbly as the final version of “I’m So Tired” is eventually realized.

Julia (Two Rehearsals) – One of John’s most personal songs. You can feel his pain and longing for his mother who was taken too soon from him. Not far removed from the proper studio version. This raw outtake sounds like you are sitting right next to him in studio two in Abbey Road.

The next question is what will Apple Records and Giles Martin turn their attention to next? The smart money is on the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road but I wouldn’t be too keen on that by its self. Abbey Road already sounds like a modern day produced album and most of those songs were born out of the Let It Be sessions from earlier in 1969. I wouldn’t be against Apple Records combining the celebration of Abbey Road to also include the full sessions of Let It Be. We know a treasure trove of material was recorded during that time period. Endless hours of  outtakes, band arguments and studio jams. That is how I would personally handle potential 50th anniversary specials in 2019.

Thom Yorke Announces “Suspiria” Soundtrack Album…. — September 4, 2018

Thom Yorke Announces “Suspiria” Soundtrack Album….

What has only been teased and hinted at over the last year has finally been confirmed today. Thom Yorke is indeed back with a brand new soundtrack album for the upcoming horror film Suspiria which is out stateside October 26. The album will feature 25 tracks ranging in scope from proper song structures, instrumental compositions and brief interludes that are heavily influenced by Berlin in the late 70s. Also of note is that this is one of the few Yorke projects in recent memory not to feature longtime producer and collaborator Nigel Godrich at the helm. This time Yorke is co-producing the record with Sam Petts-Davies.

To kick things off, a supportive single was released across various musical outlets titled “Suspirium”. It is a simple yet melodic piano ballad with a haunting Yorke vocal delivery. Hopefully a song like this will be performed on Yorke’s upcoming North American tour in November. One can only pray it will be along with other key tracks from the film. Yorke described the making of this soundtrack as “a form of making spells” and seeing what transpires in his home studio. As of now we have heard only “Suspirium” along with short instrumental pieces heard in the film’s two trailers that remind me of the work Philip Glass did for the Vietnam War classic Hamburger Hill.

 

Tracklist

  1. A Storm That Took Everything
  2. The Hooks
  3. Suspirium
  4. Belongings Thrown In A River
  5. Has Ended
  6. Klemperer Walks
  7. Open Again
  8. Sabbath Incantation
  9. The Inevitable Pull
  10. Olga’s Destruction (Volk tape)
  11. The Conjuring of Anke
  12. A Light Green
  13. Unmade
  14. The Jumps
  1. Volk
  2. The Universe is Indifferent
  3. The Balance of Things
  4. A Soft Hand Across Your Face
  5. Suspirium Finale
  6. A Choir of One
  7. Synthesizer Speaks
  8. The Room of Compartments
  9. An Audition
  10. Voiceless Terror
  11. The Epilogue

 

You can pre-order the album here:

https://store-us.wasteheadquarters.com/products/suspiria-music-for-the-luca-guadagnino-film

 

Bill Ryder-Jones returns with new single “Mither” — August 22, 2018

Bill Ryder-Jones returns with new single “Mither”

It has been almost three years since the release of West Kirby County Primary, an album rooted deeply in Slanted & Enchanted era Pavement, early Strokes and the gentle side of Lou Reed’s solo years. That record was an absolute pleasure to discover and devour track by track. New single “Mither” shares similar hallmarks to West Kirby, guitars turned all the way up to eleven, feedback buzzing and cellos swirling. I would not be shocked to learn that it was born out of those same sessions. Bill has completely nailed that mid 90s American alternative rock vibe. Few, if any, can do it better. The highlight of the song is the grandiose 3 minutes long guitar fadeout that sounds like Sonic Youth covering My Bloody Valentine. Bill’s brand new album Yawn is out November 2nd and features 10 songs.

You can pre-order it here: https://billryderjones.dominomart.com