A collection of posts from my original weblog...or the inscrutable rantings of a madman...could be both...

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Happy Crimble to all! I'm excited...I finally get to open a few of my gifts from My Dearest tonight!!!! :) Speaking of Ms. Pixie ~ she has sent her Top Ten list back...drum roll please..............

My Top Ten

The best 10 CD's I acquired in 2003 (Pixie's rules)

1.) A Birthday Mix CD from my Fiance (Thanks sweetie :) ).
2.) Ed Harcourt ~ From Every Sphere Ed is brilliant! Go and buy all his work NOW.
3.) Ed Harcourt ~ Maplewood (See above)
4.) Untitled ~ by iBee*. A "calming" Mix CD from my French hippy "Dad"
5.) Keane ~ This is the last time. This is just a single - but Keane are excellent. I'm looking forward to hearing some more of their work
6.) Sparklehorse ~ Good Morning Spider. I can't remember whether I got it this year or last year. Whatever - it's still going on my list.
7.) The ***** Chronicles ~ Vols 1 & 2. 2 joint effort mixes. Half Indie/Half Prog. I'll leave you to decide which halves are the best.
8.) Elbow ~ Cast of thousands. Manc Cunts.
9.) Elliott Smith ~ No Name (A Collection of B-Sides and Live Tracks). RIP Elliott - you fucker
10.) Eureka ~ another mix (ok - this one's a tape but I did say I was following MY rules). This ones by Oh Allah* - he's going to be a famous artist one day - watch out for him.
11.) A Taste of Honey ~ another mix cd from the French hippy Dad. This one however is completely prog shit. I've been hanging around with my Fiance too much - it's starting to have an effect. Someone help me.
12.) The complete works of Lambchop. A special thanks to my very good friend Singingbear*. Take care.
*All three are members at The Flaming Lips message board

There ya have it, musos--read an' reckanize!!!!

Outstanding Re-Issues of 2003

Bob Dylan SACD re-issue series (Sony/Columbia Records) ~ Noticing the big returns on ABKCOs Rolling Stones SACD series from 2002, Sony steps up to the plate and finally delivers some decent Dylan CDs. I've got Bringing It All Back Home, Blonde On Blonde and Blood On The Tracks so far--and they sound pretty amazing! I haven't heard them on a "surround-sound" set-up..but at home and at work, I'm impressed with the re-mastering. The CDs come in cardboard "digi-paks", similar to the Stones' discs, with original artwork intact...in fact, a big improvement over the original Columbia 80s/early 90s CDs. My only complaint, similar to the ABCKO SACDs, is a lack of historical perspective on these records, particularly the mid 60s albums. No essays or "making-of" notes--well, I suppose if you've read any issue of Rolling Stone (as I haven't) this past year--I'm sure one of the boomer-fogies on the writing staff have waxed rhapsodic about the series, including all sorts of technical details. Still, it's nice to see ol' Bobby Zee get the CD treatment that *some* of these records deserve.

Arthur Brown/Kingdom Come (Sanctuary Records) ~ I only became aware of these just a month ago--the complete catalogue, just three albums (Galactic Zoo Dossier (1971), Kingdom Come (1972) and Journey (1973)) from the wild & wacky Arthur Brown. He assembled this band after the dissolution of The Crazy World, his operatic pop-psych band ("Fire"), in 1969. They did the hippie thing of "getting their heads together in the country, man", dropped a lot of acid and rehearsed some new tunes. "Galactic Zoo Dossier" was the result of these sessions..and it's a trippy affair all the way through. A bit harder-rockin' than the Crazy World, but Brown continues being willfully weird--even for 1971. "Kingdom Come" continues in that vein--but gets closer to more traditional "rock". After some usual band antics (the drummer stealing the bass-player's wife away---or something like that)..they were short a member (namely, a drummer) for "Journey", used a primitive drum machine--and stumbled upon a sound that was also beginnning to happen in Germany at the same time. They split after "Journey"..and Brown faded into obscurity--occasionally surfacing as a backing vocalist..or when he was mentioned in psych documentaries. Check these out, if you're a fan of early-70s psych/hard psych--they were doing some genuinely strange things in the "hangover of the 60s"

Barclay James Harvest re-issues (Harvest/EMI Records) ~ Yeah, yeah--technically, these are from 2002, but I only became aware of them this year. EMI re-issued the albums of their first signing to their "progressive" label (hence the name)...and filled them chock full of bonus tracks and with excellent booklets. The CD booklet cover art appears to be a desk from the 1800s with whichever B.J.H. record is represented on the disc--very very retro groovy!! I don't own any of them yet--but I plan on buying the first two B.J.H. records very soon.