David Bowie: Live
Music

David Bowie: Live

The live album is a wild card.  Sometimes it’s fodder to fill a contract.  Sometimes it is more – a new vantage, say, on the artist or the songs featured.  In theory, a live album by one of my favorite artists is rife with potential: to hear something I like reworded, rearranged – renewed, even, by … Continue reading

Baby
Music

Baby

Co-written and produced by David Bowie, Iggy Pop’s “Baby” is a sketch.  It’s drum-less and tight — a model of almost James M. Cain-like restraint.  No less direct than the violent vamps for which the Stooges were infamous, this lover’s lament (a warning in mourning) is, lyrically and melodically, richer than anything the Ig had … Continue reading

Old Brown Shoe
Music

Old Brown Shoe

Would you call this a work of art? Far from the love-me-goo of the Beatles’ shtick, pre-’65, and quickly overdubbed in the twilight of their studio-bound seclusion, “Old Brown Shoe” is a song I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s about what it sounds like—a strident back-beat* that pushes a wall of sound (a … Continue reading

Hot Buttered Soul
Music

Hot Buttered Soul

To dig Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul is to buy it as something other than semi-funky lounge music.  I’m almost there. The record is rock-soul fusion.  But for the beautiful and amazing “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic,” it tests my patience.  Swinging and achieving a hypnotic power, “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic” is the album’s centerpiece.  However, with the possible exception of “One … Continue reading

Synchronicity
Music

Synchronicity

Perhaps this is snide, I don’t know: The Police are a puzzle to me.  The hits I can hum, but I don’t admire them.  With one notable exception (“Every Breath You Take” is a nasty ditty), the songs by Sting are polished, self-important affairs.  The trifles by the other members are cracked but — interesting. … Continue reading

Classic Yes
Music

Classic Yes

Culling one track from Going For the One (released in 1977, the year that punk said no to Yes, and the year before Rush “copied” Yes and put a man’s buttocks on the cover of their LP), one track from Close to the Edge (1972), four tracks from Fragile (1972), and three tracks from The … Continue reading