Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I've actually mentioned this one a few times in earlier posts. Somehow, the one-sided live Nightblooms album is one of the best hidden secrets this side of the weapons of mass destruction. Look to Allmusic and Trouser Press and...pretty much anywhere except for the Nightblooms' own home page...and you'd never know it exists. Given that the Nightblooms only released two albums, it seems obvious that their fans (of which I am one) would want every little scrap. And actually, the live stuff is pretty cool, showing off the band's rougher early sound. The first time I put this on, I listened to the first few seconds of the first song and thought, "God, they sound just like Swans." (Don't worry, the whole song doesn't sound like that.)

Bad things about this album are 1. it's only got one side 2. every single song ends with a locked groove, which is incredibly irritating. Note to every other band in the world: don't do this, even if it seemed cool when that guy from Sonic Youth did it. Anyway, here are four of the six songs, and it looks like this place still might have some copies as I write. (By the way, in the end she decides that he definitely looks like Brian Jones).

Leaving the weekly theme aside for a moment...I just got ahold of the forthcoming Graham Coxon album Happiness in Magazines. Before I say any more, my blur credentials are:

first album bought was Parklife -- love it
favorite album is 13 -- actually one of my favorite albums ever
enough of a fan that I bought the box set of singles
somewhat underwhelmed by Think Tank
haven't paid much attention to Graham, but not impressed by what I'd heard previously
American, and thus untouched by any class-related feelings about the band

[I think it's important with some bands to list your credentials. For example, Pavement people who came on board with Crooked Rain are a completely different species from those who started with Perfect Sound Forever.]

Ok, the album is neither brilliant nor awful, and it's really painfully clear that Graham and Damon complemented each other perfectly and that neither one is as good without the other: every song on this album would be improved with Damon singing. That said, I'm actually liking a bunch of tracks from this a lot. Lower your's not as good as blur, but there are about five pretty strong songs on the album, and nothing disastrous. Here's the very Pavement-esque No Good Time and here's the song that we'll hear over the spaceship loudspeakers when the inhabitants of Mark E. Smith's home planet come to retrieve him and destroy our world. It's called People of the Earth, and it made me laugh a few times. (Though it would probably be improved if it was about a minute shorter.)

There are actually two songs that are better than what I've posted, and one of them (not the single either) is good enough to have appeared on pretty much any blur album proper if Damon were singing instead of Graham (who goes painfully off-key a few times).

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