Quick Spins

The Dream Syndicate The Complete Live at Raji’s (Ryko) Precariously
walks the fence between brilliance and mediocrity, then suddenly trips over
the blandest version of “All Along the Watchtower” ever committed
to tape and falls headlong into the compost heap. Mr. Plow It’s Plow or
Never (Crusty) Childish acoustic wank for warehouse drones and guys who think
taking a shit is hilarious dinner conversation. Pre)thing 22nd Century
Lifestyle (V2) What a bummer! You grind it out for 15 years, finally get
signed, record a high-profile album and then suffer a massive coronary and
die face down in the muck. Good bye Mr. Rust Epique, we hardly knew ya!
Sadly, under all the critical eulogizing there lies a fairly solid (albeit
conventional) rock record. Blondie The Curse of Blondie (Sanctuary) Hearing
Deborah Harry sing about “what you got hiding in your body
cavity” is as sexy as helping grandma with her suppositories. But
despite the crippling imagery in the first track, Blondie (thankfully)
returns to ’80s form for the remainder of the disc. Orgy Punk Static
Paranoia (Astro America/D1) Listening to this disc is a lot like what I
imagine watching a real-life orgy would be like—people taking
themselves way too seriously, awkward dialogue and a general sense of
embarrassment all around. WEEKLY CAGE MATCH In a match-up of Biblical
proportions we have one of Liverpool’s favourite sons taking on the son
of God. In this corner we have Jesus “Saviour of Your Soul”
Christ fronting a divine group of artists that includes Hank Williams,
Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. In the other corner we have the
“funny” Beatle and his “All-Starr” Band, featuring
Colin Hay, John Waite and Sheila E. Ouch. While I have to question the whole
“inspired by the film” bit (I believe Mr. Williams passed on a
while ago…), The Passion is still a quality listen. On the other hand, Mr.
Starr and his All-Starrs can barely hide the stink of desperation that
pervades Live 2003 from the get-go. Each of Ringo’s friends gets a
chance to sing their one big hit before the inevitable group rendition of
“With a Little Help From My Friends” ties things up in a big
pat-each-other-on-the-back Kumbaya kind of way. Bigger than Jesus, my ass.
Son of God in a landslide.

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