Saturday, April 24, 2010

Warner Bros. "Words + Music" promo interview CDs: Paul Simon [Songs From The Capeman], Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks [Orange Crate Art]

Here are two approximately half-hour discs, interspersing album excerpts with comments from the respective artists. Songs from The Capeman and Orange Crate Art might not be their creators' best works ever, but there is certainly great stuff to be found in both albums, and these discussions of the process involved in their creation should be interesting for fans. For an additional entry in the "Words + Music" promo series, see my Elvis Costello Interview Trifecta post. Oh yeah, and I try and say "The Rare Stuff" towards the end of every post -- so there, I just did!  :^)  Enjoy!

Paul Simon:

Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Elvis Costello Trainspotter Gap-Plugger Stopgap (Vol. 1.9)

Hello Elvis Lovers, 

Sorry y'all have been waiting so very long for the next mega-batch of odd socks from Elvis Costello's copious back catalog. But I have been acquiring a few more items in order to make it as groovy and inclusive as possible. In fact, I spent a little bit of birthday cash on one last release that should arrive in the next few days, whereupon I will wrap it all up nice and it will be my present to you!

Meanwhile, in honor of my birthday (yesterday), and Record Store Day (today), here's a mini-post of remixes from EC's mid-'80s period, when seemingly every single had to be fed through an electronic blender to produce some sort of vaguely dance-y extended version, no matter how inappropriate or self-consciously "modern". Funny how the more up-to-date an artist tried to sound in the '80s, the more dated that work is today.

Of course, Elvis being Elvis, some of these are at least a bit more tasteful and cool than the above mini-rant might imply. But I know this isn't the juicy rare meat Costellians have been salivating for here, just a 12" plate of salad greens to whet your appetite. 

The tracks are:
Everyday I Write The Book (Extended Mix)
Everyday I Write The Book (Special Version)
Everyday I Write The Book (Instrumental)
Let Them All Talk (Extended Remix)
I Wanna Be Loved (Extended Smoochy 'n' Runny Version)
I Wanna Be Loved (Version Discotheque)
The Only Flame In Town (Version Discotheque)
Pump It Up (1984 Dance Mix)

... all credited to Elvis Costello & the Attractions. None of these tracks are available on an EC album release. Hope this tides you over for a few more days until The Rare Stuff can present the ECTSGPB (the "B" is for "Bonanza"!) Volume 2!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Michael Jackson: THIS IS IT LIVE: The REAL Soundtrack! (Music from the Film)

This Is It, the film made up of rehearsal footage from what would have been Michael Jackson's comeback tour, made it look like that tour would have been a great success and definitely answered the naysayers. It had some great moments but due to obvious circumstances was ultimately unsatisfying, building your anticipation like many "making-of" documentaries, but without the ultimate payoff that's the climax of such films. Plenty of foreplay, but no actual gettin' busy!

Even more unsatisfying, to put it mildly, was the "soundtrack" album released as a tie-in, which featured... not a minute of music from the actual film! It was just one more tired greatest-hits cash-in, with the title song tacked on. 

So when it comes to This Is It -- THIS is it!!! The ACTUAL soundtrack of the movie, boot-style, in pristine sound, all performances from the film itself. Some tracks here might not quite measure up to other versions, some (such as the medley of Jackson 5 songs) being just sketches, though they're all fascinating. But at least one track here, "Human Nature", is probably as good as any singing he's ever done, especially those keening "hey-yeahhh"s following the choruses -- and in the film you can see he wasn't even trying 100% in that particular rehearsal, but what he does while holding back is what other vocalists would work their entire lives to achieve! Don't let that long pause after the line "Reaching out..." fool ya, it's just for dramatic effect! The slow-burn intro to "The Way You Make Me Feel" is another highlight.

I found this on the excellent boot forums at Guitars 101. What a resource! But I can't find it elsewhere online. Thanks a million to the original ripper/poster. Not just this recording, but Michael's talent, qualifies as The Rare Stuff, so I'm pleased as punch to offer it to y'all here in lovely 320k. RIP MJ. Enjoy! And as always, I'd love to hear from you. :^)

Link dead. New one in comments. Why not leave one if you get it?