To sum it up, we heard Fleetwood Mac. It was Rumours and Fleetwood Mac albums in a well presented offering – not track by track listing but a performance. We were front stage with camera and soon the floor in front of the stage was packed with the fans and fanatics – a very stylish crowd and a crazy element crowd – young and old-er.- drinking Labatt 50 and various shots – or even have the Labatt 50 bottle tip over and pour on the set list.
It was not a staged show or recreated musicians, it is about the music, the songs and the musicianship. Tommy Youngsteen brought the music to the forefront. Naturally the classic version of this band still requires the Christie McVie and the Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham vocalists and gutarists, and the John McVie bass with a whole range of musicians to cover the keyboards and Mick Fleetwood drum and percussion, and without spoiling things for future audiences, it is a night of Fleetwood Mac. The headline of the show is Tommy Young presents Fleetwood Mac Rumours. So would it be a track by track rendition of Rumours in the line of Classic Albums presents? A musician friend of mine tells me to play a part in the Classic Albums shows that are performed at Massey Hall or Roy Thomson Hall requires A grade musicians. With Tommy Youngsteen and friends probably not considering the rental of a Massey Hall this time around, the night turns out to be a rock concert of Fleetwood Mac Rumours.
Can you imagine a world where there were other such groups who would perform the music of bands, maybe even the Beatles or the Rolling Stones or Pink Floyd, or even King Crimson ? at a club or a polished venue ? and people would have a good time ? and would pay $30 for a ticket to hear the music ? Is this even possible ?
Can you conceive of a band that would play The Eagles ? How much would an audience pay ?
(Brief sojourn on our venture into the world of audiophile or higher resolution music formats) Experiencing Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East brings a smile to the face.This is sheer listening pleasure, especially as this SACD brings out all the nuances and details of the live act – the Fillmore East shows being hailed as the best concert recording. Fillmore East is also Duane Allman’s last album.
The Allman Brothers are a Southern country rock jamming band with all the blues and jazz structure as you can hear for yourself. The Japanese SHM-SACD includes the original seven tracks from the three nights of the spirited performances. The evening starts with Duane Allman on slide guitar on Statesboro’s Blues. Done Somebody Wrong is a rollicking blues with guitar lead and boogie bass. Stormy Monday is the sad blues. The long trademark jams are the band at its best, long but so good. Dickie Betts’s In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (from Idlewild South) with lead guitar trade-offs and the drum solo parts carry the album to the last and seventh track on the SACD. Whipping Post is a whopping 23 minutes and its tease on the fade out notes can only leave the fan or listener at home yearning more of what is to be delivered, Mountain Jam as heard in its entirety on Eat A Peach).
The Pretty Reckless Light Me Up Interscope Records – UICS-1227, DAS Label – UICS-1227 Japanese Blu-Spec CD 2 (BS CD 2) deluxe edition format
The Pretty Reckless is a hard rock compendium of talent sprouting from the vocals of former Gossip Girl actress Taylor Momsen.
Gossip Girl Jenny Humphrey is left behind, the good girl gone bad, breaking free from the programme so she could accomplish her rock and roll dream, Taylor dispels the image and goes to the other end of the spectrum, toughing it out a la Joan Jett. Light Me Up when I’m down is the message and title track of the band’s debut album produced by Kato Khandwala (who in the studio also does all the bass and plays guitars with Ben Philips) on Interscope Records.. The musicians behind Momsen’s which can go from whisper to a belt it out vocals definitely back her, they rock with crunchy guitars and hit the bass and drum so strikingly tight. The backup vocals on You Make Want To Die from guitarist Ben Philip are haunting. Nothing Left to Lose is a ballad paean of a couple and she losing the love of her life in the blink of an eye. But Light Me Up rocks and the album issues three hit singles: Make Me Wanna Die, Miss Nothing, and Just Tonight. Zombie, Make Me Wanna Die with the acoustic guitar and Far From Never are the three extra bonus tracks make the blu-spec cd2 collector’s edition worth getting. The production sound quality on this BS CD2 is hard and crunchy emphasizing the lead guitar with bass bottoming out very tightly with the vocals floating while the drums splash and cymbal are precise.
(The Pretty Reckless Light Me Up on compact disc as tested through an OPPO 103D and Audio-GD DAC.)
Simone. Kopmajer. An Austrian chanteuse with a cool style. She reaches the in-crowd that extends internationally from Europe to the UK to the United States to Japan and south east Asia including Thailand. Her SACD are on a Japanese label VENUS alongside other releases on CD on various labels. In her albums such as “My Favorite Songs” (which is her version of her hand picked greatest hits album) to “Christmas” (including Christmas time songs such as “Santa Baby” alongside carols sung in English and German), Simone sings in a boppy Marilyn manner with a Dionne Warwick tinge that would not be out of place alongside the canon of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. On other albums that cover the gamut of rock and popular, she has innovative approaches that can be quiet and intimate, bluesy or very swinging with the with it band. The talent on her discs are high calibre musicians that propel or indulge her as she engages with contemporary covers, classical songs and jazz standards with even a bit of Marvin Gaye. Her catalogue is worth the hunt as many of the titles are scarce or out of print.
(As we were provided by the artist/s with the highest resolution 24 bit/48 khz wav masters of the songs for Fight to the Death, we are playing them through the highest version of our upstairs home stereo system). The words that follow is merely our impressionistic interpretation of events)
Fight to the Death is a narrative in multiple voices of a planet trying to save itself
Sappho’s Fight to the Death harkens the cold metallic version of the BBC version of the days of future past meets now tale as opposed to a certain Tom Cruise manic run for your life and an annoying screaming Elle Fanning,
As one knows this is La La Land territory with song and dance threatening to break out any moment. This spacey soap opera entertainingly and with amusing lyrics covers so many dancey styles of music ranging from the get-go with techno dance tracks to South American jazz guitar samba leading to the finale rave on.all encompassed under Sappho’s soaring voice. Each stage of this space opera musical has its own backstory replete with music. We did say La La Land or the false nostalgia for the day the earth stood still one day?
After an overture of the Fight to the Death theme for the night, the chanteuse with a lively stratospheric voice spells out the chain of events. In the first song of sci-fi internet musical “Fight to the Death”, in which a lonely scientist seeks a connection to something greater, the scientist looks to the skies above for a sign of life out there in the West Side Story somewhere universe. Be careful of what you wish for!
a nightmarish extraterrestrial hears radio signals emanating from Earth, and begins their journey towards the unsuspecting planet
I got your distress call Might just be your downfall, baby
Distress Call in a musical role reversal where after the protagonist sends out the siren call signal and in counterpoint it is the receiver of message who interprets it as a distress call and relishes what is to come. The music instead of being filled with frenzy and panic is laidback, reflects the calm confidence and menace of the alien eyeing its target. Lizard Person has the hero eyeing those eyes – the truth is out there with a X-Files paranoia as they face the enemy among them taking over their world. By the countdown for the final showdown of the titular song, Fight to the Death has hero and foe as counterparts in a strummed guitar jazz samba duel duo off that would fit inside an Ennio Morricone score, one could imagine the crack of the whip.. The finale of the opera goes Out With A Bang. a fabulous techno rave ending. Yet the conclusion is nebulous, as to who wins with one left in a state of wonder or a Matrix dreamscape. We have met the enemy and all that jazz.
(The tale and more re-mixed tracks can be fully obtained via the sappho.music bandcamp site !)
Feel free to ignore the premise. Taylor Swift speaks in common language, she will use similes and metaphors her words tend to speak in the venacular (but I come back stronger than a 90s trend) or directly. You both speak in folklore or evermore with your stories are either more couched in vivid imagery or the clever and fun. Taylor is more concise whereas Skye Wallace conjures more poetic sophistication? Upfront and simplistic, veiled and sophisticated? speak in the vernacular or in classic dreamy imagory? Is your approach with lyricism in songwriting tailored to observational or the conjectural abstract?
This is my pre-ramble to the one question to Skye Wallace.
I have been playing Norah Jones Come Away with Me along with the likes of Getz / Gilberto (which gave the world The Girl From Ipanema and Corcovado Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars) and Frank Sinatra Songs for Swingin’ Lovers. Their lyricists which include themselves evoke more romanticism in a few phrases and Frank can pack more volume in a swinging line than Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran. Again with Taylor Swift, she self-admittedly is her own elephant in the room. She can bring in her own army of musical support along the lines of The National or Bon Iver. I have always been drawn to the adrenaline rush either live or on record or disc of earlier Skye’s songs on the first albums with that mystique of Blood Moon or MeanSong 2 or Dead Things. And you cannot ignore the literal wallop of Skye Wallace album on Swing Batter or Death of Me or There is a Wall or Body Lights the Way. So here comes the question.
(Once again feel free to ignore the premise of the question or the question.)
SKYE WALLACE: Good question. I think there’s a lot of merit to both ways of writing. My way of more veiled poeticism has been both something that people really love and something that I’ve received criticism about, especially with desires of entering into the radio world. I’ve had people tell me that songs on the radio these days just say what they mean and that I should be more literal, but the more I tried, the more I felt that I strayed from my own spirit of writing. I’m down to try new things and I even wrote a bunch of more literal songs that I love, but I do also think there’s absolutely a place for more poetic, less-literal lyricism. I think it’s impossible to align yourself with trends and “what’s on the radio” anyway; a losing battle. As soon as you emulate a trend, it will inevitably have changed. All you can do, in my opinion, is be yourself and do your thing in a way that you care about and the rest shines through.
1: TRAVELING BOY (Williams; Nichols) 2: DOWN IN THE WILLOW GARDEN (Monroe) 3: I SHALL SING (Van Morrison) 4: OLD MAN (Newman) 5: FEUILLES-OH (Trad) – DO SPACE MEN PASS DEAD SOULS ON THEIR WAY TO THE MOON? (J. S. Bach; Grossman) 6: ALL I KNOW (Webb) 7: MARY WAS AN ONLY CHILD (Hammond; Hazlewood; Milchberg) 8: WOYAYA (Amarfio; Osei; Tontoh; Bedeau; Richardson; Amao; Bailey) 9: BARBARA ALLEN (Trad) 10: ANOTHER LULLABY (Webb)
Art Garfunkel (vocals) Larry Knechtel, Michael Omartian (keyboards) Louie Shelton, Larry Carlton, Dean Parks (guitars) Joe Osborn (bass) Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon (drums)
Other musicians: J. J. Cale, Fred Carter, Jerry Garcia, Paul Simon (guitars) Carl Radle (bass) Tommy Tedesco (mandolin/bouzouki) Jules Broussard, Jack Schroer (saxophones) Jorge Milchberg (charango) Stuart Canin (violin) Milt Holland (percussion) Dorothy Morrison, Sally Stevens, Jackie Ward & St. Mary’s Choir (vocals)
Remastered from the original analogue tapes by Michael J. Dutton
The feel of the album is a voyage through time. Traveling Boy. Mary was an only child. Old Man from Randy Newman. The renaissance nature of Feuilles-on.
The calibre of musicians involved with the creation of this album is jaw-dropping. The names from the Wrecking Crew abound.
What drew me to acquiring this on SACD was the early foray into the SACD world and the modest price of the album. As a fan of Garfunkel with Paul Simon and owning a few of their albums along with solo recordings, I looked forward to hearing the voice of Garfunkel through SACD.
The most familiar track All I Know starts with a slow build and then absolutely soars. The moment did not let me down and for this makes the whole experience worthwhile.
J Geils Band The Morning After Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2206 Original Master Recording
1 I Don’t Need You No More 2:35
2 Whammer Jammer Written-By – Juke Joint Jimmy 2:34
3 So Sharp Written-By – Arlester Christian 3:09
4 The Usual Place Written-By – Don Covay, Leroy Randolph 2:44
5 Gotta Have Your Love 4:32
6 Looking For A Love Written-By – J.W. Alexander, Zelda Samuels 3:45
7 Gonna Find Me A New Love 3:23
8 Cry One More Time 3:21
9 Floyd’s Hotel 3:08
10 It Ain’t What You Do (It’s How You Do It!) Written-By – Juke Joint Jimmy 5:12
Limited to 2,000 copies. (c) 1971 & 2019 Atlantic Recording Corp. Made in U.S.A. Disc made in Austria. No. 000892 of 2000 from MoFi lands in the SACD collection.
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab is reknown for its high end audiophile mastering standards. Ultradisc UHR on vinyl has Eagles priced at $200. However, this J. Geils Band second album The Morning After is more reasonable even in limited quantity of 2000.
This album is a mix of the bluesy rock which even on SACD delivers the goods.