MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #599.233!
SIZZLING SOUL PLATTER OF
THE WEEK: Phil Collins – Going Back (Atlantic) :: I know good music when I hear it and
on Going Back what I hear is Brother Phil skillfully interpreting a whole funky mess of Motown classics from “Jimmy
Mack” to “Papa Was A Rolling Stone.”
It’s a welcome change of pace from the days
when a scam artist like Mick Jagger could get away with hacking out inauthentic rubber soul covers like his mugging versions
of “Going To A Go-Go” and “Harlem Shuffle”—and don’t get me started on that leering
violation of “Dancing In The Streets” that he committed with David Jones. Compared to such base vulgarities, it’s
obvious that Brother Phil’s nuanced and righteously respectful vocals were just made for mature Motown material
such as “(Love Is Like A) Heatwave” and the reverse parenthetical “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).”
Granted, to the
untrained ear, some of these inner city songs may sound pretty white. But so is Brother Phil; what can I tell you?
Jones – “Daddy’s Song” (Head) :: Exactly!
Glass – At Swim Two Birds (Plant) :: This suavely smooth selection of synth-soaked songs
initially evokes dissipated memories of latter day Japan ennui and Roxy languor before phase shifting into a solid electro
barrage of modern day dance beats which sound like any day Telex whimsy. Bonus points for actually recording a song called
“Heavy Disco” in 2010.
Telex – “Moskow Diskow”
(Virgin) :: Exactly!
Katherine Wheatley – Landed (The Hoot Music
Company) :: Not since Sparks’ Indiscreet has there been such an amusing airplane crash album cover—landed,
geddit?—but the yucks stop there because this is one country record that’s no laughing matter. Inspirational verse:
“I’m not the murdering kind, but killing you is on my mind. I’d have made a very fine wife, I’m good
and ready to bury this knife.”
– “Wild Women With Steak Knifes” (Mute) :: Exactly!
– To Make It Make Sense (self released) :: I’m sure Ariana would never agree that her sensitive socially-conscious
acoustic music is of the neo-psychedelic ilk, but that’s exactly what it is—and to make sense of that,
all y’gotta do is listen to the first track “Blueberry Ocean” and then stick around for such additional
under-the-influence excursions as the Dylanary “Be A Man” and the watery Badalamentistic atmospheric reflections
of “Agent Orange.”
Jadea Kelly – Eastbound Platform
(self released) :: Jadea manages to whip up a good head of steam on the opening track “Never Coming Back” which
musically has all the verve ’n’ swerve of—I kid you not—a Zeppelin outtake circa 1969. Then she regretfully
reverts to type by inexplicably settling down for the remainder of the record, thereby derailing the disc for its duration.
Next time around, somebody oughtta tell her to play to her strengths and get the Led out.
– Steamboat Annie (Mushroom) :: Not that much Led.
OF THE WEEK: Marco Benevento – Between The Needles And Nightfall (Royal Potato Family)
:: Aided and more than ably abetted by Reed Mathis on bass and Andre Barr on percussion, quirky keyboardist Marco serves up
eleven excellent eclectically inventive electro acoustic instrumental essays which evoke aural ambient echoes of earlier like-minded
albums, none more so than Paul McCartney’s McCartney and Nash The Slash’s Bedside Companion.
Morgan – Alliterative Run On Sentences (Media Blackout) :: I am the greatest!
Clay – I Am The Greatest (Columbia) :: Exactly!
Cringe – The Cringe (Listen) :: Exceptionally intelligent power pop that oughtta be spinnin’
on your turntable right now if you’re half as smart as you think you are. The subtle glam rock underpinnings
only reinforce my feeling that this one sounds as if it originally came out on vinyl in the mid-’70s—and if it
had, I woulda worn out my copy in a week.
Meatdraw – fin du monophone
(self released) :: Bonus points for coming up with a cool cross of ’80s syntho Europop that gives lip-service to John
Foxx’s Ultravox and hip-service to the aforementioned U.S. Mael’s Sparks. Points deducted for having an album
title that’s not in English.
Caracol – L’arbre Aux Parfums
(Gross Maman) :: Doesn’t anyone speak English anymore?
– “Sverige” (EMI Sweden) :: I guess not.
David Lee Roth
– “Loco Del Calor!” (Warner Bros. Spain) :: Okay, you made your point.
Rolling Stones – “Con Le Mie Lacrime” (Decca Italy) :: Alright, enough
The Beatles – “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand”
(Parlophone Germany) :: Shut up!
Kraftwerk – “Die Mensch-Maschine”
(Kling Klang) :: Oh, I give up.
SIZZLING SUPERSIZED PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Matt Anderson
– Live From The Phoenix Theatre (Busted Flat) :: “What’s all this about me being the Orson Welles
of rock?” Meat Loaf once asked me, after I’d made the not-too-subtle suggestion to his songwriting foil Jim Steinman
that, well, Meat Loaf was the Orson Welles of rock.
“The great thing about Orson Welles
is the combination of power and brilliance,” said Steinman, which is exactly how I feel about Matt Anderson’s
musical largess—and, as it turns out, so does Mr. Anderson, what with him singing self-deprecating songs like “One
Size Never Fits” and having a website indelicately dubbed “Stubby Fingers.”
Now it’s no
secret Matt’s one hell of a barn-burnin’ guitarist, but I gotta tell ya that it’s his bravura vocals that
steal the show from start to finish. F’rinstance, his unearthly wails on “I Play The Fool For You” are so
utterly uncanny that he’ll have you giving your speakers a well-deserved double take. But whether he’s essaying
ballads or blues, Matt always sings ’em with a deep-seated soulfulness and bottomless depth of emotion that’s
always backed up by his good-natured personality.
That’s why, just like the man himself, Matt Anderson’s Live
From The Phoenix Theatre is larger than life and even harder to overlook. Now who you gonna believe: me or your own ears?
Kaye – The Ballad Of Cat Ballou (Capitol) :: Oh, what an episode!