Is it weird to be in NYC today? For me, not especially (so far, anyway). I’m going out for a meal later, so I’ll get a chance to look around the streets a little more. But so far, the only thing that has been different about today was that I turned on the TV for 10 minutes in the morning (what was that string quartet/chamber orchestra doing there?) to watch some of the ceremony down at the WTC site. To me, Pataki comes across as so fake that he makes Bloomberg seem sincere. Anyway, although I couldn’t fail to notice some people crying (or looking as if they had been crying) on the subway, the rest of my day has been spent in air-conditioned confinement in my office. I wouldn’t say I haven’t been reflective, but then again, I doubt there has been a single day in the last year when I haven’t reflected on what happened. Overall, my impression is that people are sad rather than scared, and I guess that’s as it should be.
Compilation: 'Go Right' (CD; Jazzanova Compost; 1963-1975)
A great compilation that was totally rocking my world a couple of years ago. A great way to discover the Novi Singers, and a lot of other offbeat Polish jazz from the 60s and 70s.
David Bowie: 'Low' (CD; EMI; 1977)
This is still my favorite Bowie album. Apparently he toured recently playing the whole album. Not near me he didn't!.
Compilation - Pixies: 'Complete 'B' Sides' (CD; 4AD; 1988-1991)
This is notable for the utterly incredible, spine-tingling version of 'River Euphrates'.
Quarteto Em Cy: 'Quarteto Em Cy' (CD; Mercury; 1965)
Why can't I ever find any of this group's 60s records? Because they're brilliant and everybody wants them. This Japanese CD is great. I hope they release their US-issue 'Girls from Bahia' albums too.
Roy Budd: 'Diamonds' (CD; Castle; 1976)
An very nice soundtrack. Lush and percussive, with Budd's characteristic 'sharp' keyboard sound. The vocal version of the main theme, sung by the Three Degrees, is slightly shmaltzy, and is one of the few areas of the soundtrack that reveals its 1976 recording date. The sax solo (by UK budget LP 'best of the bossa novas' creator Duncan Lamont) is not to my taste, but the tune is still pretty strong. 'The thief' is a standout instrumental with some incredible beats.
Teardrop Explodes: 'Wilder' (CD; Mercury; 1981)
Wedding Present: 'Seamonsters' (CD; BMG; 1991)
When this album was released, I was 17 years old, and at the peak of my Wedding Present mania. Listening to it now, I'm not going to tell you I completely understand why I liked them so much, but it certainly takes me back...
Recorded with Steve Albini, in Pachyderm, this is a nice enough LP. Some of the songs sound like they were bashed out in 10 minutes, but they're catchy nevertheless, including 'lovenest' (an unsuccessful single) and 'octopussy'. Albini's production appeals to me most on tracks like 'Suck', where the scything guitar sound is rather gripping. The 3 minute quiet feedback at the end of 'Lovenest' is less enthralling.
My main disappointment about the album was always that the songs here don't live up to the amazing Peel session versions of a few of the tracks that were recorded earlier. In particular, 'Blonde' has lost much of the simple catchiness of its original (scarcely-known) version.
This disc includes all the contemporary B-sides, which is nice for an old fan like me. However, some of them are appalling, such as 'Fleshworld', on which the vocals seem to have been completely made up on the spot.
It's an interesting nostalgia trip for me to hear this record again. However, if I had known then what I know now, I doubt I ever would have been interested in this record at all.