Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Sweet Sound of The Sounds

The catchy pop of Swedish new wave revivalists, The Sounds, always finds a happy little corner in my central cortex. A little spot, with a whiff of nostalgia, that allows me to still enjoy Blondie and Missing Persons and move my ass to newer artists like Lykke Li.

After spending much of the summer opening for No Doubt, The Sounds are the now the headliners on a welcomed swing through South Florida. On Tuesday, September 29th, the band will be in Tampa performing at the Ritz Ybor. After the show, the party moves down the street to Gaspar's Grotto for a listening party for The Sounds' new album.

After Tampa, they will move on to The Revolution in Fort Lauderdale on the 30th and Rokbar in Miami Beach on October 1st. Joining the group through the Sunshine swing is the Cincinnati-based Foxy Shazam.

“No One Sleeps When I’m Awake” by The Sounds (mp3)(iTunes)(Amazon)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bruce @ 60

Bruce Springsteen turned 60 this week.

A marker of time noted by many including none other than Brian Williams on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News. Perhaps a fitting tribute for a man who was introduced to the world through dueling covers of Time and Newsweek. Still, Bruce is the only "Next Dylan" to have matched the hype.

I found Bruce in high school when I traded an LP of Queen's Jazz to a friend for an 8-track of Born to Run. (Best Trade Ever!) From the opening harp of "Thunder Road," lights flicked on where none had existed. My life had changed in a chord change. The next week I went out and bought his first two albums and signed up for the journey. Bruce didn't disappoint. It continues to be a great ride.

As an artist, he has always pushed himself to greater limits and musical exploration through the years. Not always successful. I still find Devils & Dust dreadful. However, Tunnel of Love and Lucky Town have grown to become beloved additions to my collection after an early dismissal.

His music is true. The shows, even now, are blissful 3-hour marathons testifying to the power of rock n' roll. I've had the pleasure of seeing Springsteen and the E Street Band perform several times and each time they deliver on the promise of rock and roll. The promise of passion, rebellion, freedom, faith and community - with a thundering beat. Just as when they started out along the Jersey Shore, Springsteen and friends remain the World's Greatest Party Band.

For your listening pleasure, Bruce explains how he chose rock as his profession during the legendary 1978 Agora Ballroom concert in Cleveland. It is a Big Smile.

Growin' Up (Live)” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (mp3)

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Great Album About Cricket - The Game - Seriously

For an ardent fan of wooden bats striking pitched balls, I've never understood the game of cricket one iota. With that in mind, listening to The Duckworth Lewis Method's self-titled release - an album symphonically devoted to the sport had all the trappings of a long slog.

What emerged is an engaging English pop gem that is, at times, captivating in its swings from Ziggy Stardust-style rock to chamber music with voiceovers and nearly everything in between. This collaboration of The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon and Pugwash's Thomas Walsh is named after a unfathomable cricket calculation that soars over my head like a steroid-pummeled baseball.

The album's best track, "The Age of Revolution," employs an infectious roots rock groove about the game's format change to promote a quicker match. Yes, it is a very serious cricket album.

For us non-fans of the game, don't focus on words - just enjoy a well crafted album of eccentric English pop.

“The Age of Revolution” by The Duckworth Lewis Method (mp3)(iTunes)(Amazon)