Thursday, August 19, 2010

Music - 08-19-2010

Welder by Elizabeth Cook

Whisky recommended Elizabeth Cook's Welder, and thus far our musical tastes align perhaps more than with anyone I've ever known, so on the list it went.

When it arrived, in the player it went.

Out of the speakers came the twangiest country pickin' I've ever heard, which was quickly joined by the thickest, backwater (American) southern accent I've encountered (outside of Paula Deen's cooking show) howling and yodeling away.

"[String of obscenities]," I thought to myself, half-reaching for the 'stop for the love of God' button, "What in the hell was Whisky thinking? Or drinking?"

But, I endured for a couple moments just to see. A minute in I decided I'd heard enough of that first song for the rest of my life.

To give it an honest try, I moved on the second song, and thank God I did. And then the next. I laughed all the way through a couple of them.

It's everything Whisky said it was and more. I have a new high-rotation selection for the collection.

Let me caveat the hell out of that statement though. If you don't like country, you won't like this. You'll hate hate hate it. You'll curse me or Whisky for suggesting that your precious eardrums be assaulted in such a manner. You have to have a taste for less-than-pretty vocal stylings, like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Mick Jagger, Lena Lovitch, and Marianne Faithfull. Now, Ms. Cook does have a pretty voice, but she wields it like a weapon, and the vocals suit the song rather than try to showcase the voice. Think the anti-Mariah Carey.

If none of that puts you off, or conversely intrigues you, give the woman a listen. Even that first song.

Something for Everybody by Devo

I was a luke-warm Devo fan back in the 80s when they were one of THE bands. They struck me as novelty group, kinda like Dave Seville and the Chipmunks or Weird Al Yankovic (both of whom I like), but I had no desire to put them on regular rotation. The waters grew more tepid after a long party weekend where the only two tapes anyone brought were Devo's Are We Not Men? and AC/DC's Back in Black, which were played back to back for 36 hours. I wasn't able to listen to either for a decade.

But, since then, the guys have been involved in a lot of projects, scoring movies and TV, and I've been impressed with their diversity and sheer talent.

I picked up the disc out of mild curiosity to see if that fecund period infused this new album. It did, and even more interesting and surprising to me, this sounds exactly like a Devo album. That may seem like a strange thing to say, but most artists who come back after that long a break don't always sound like they used to. Sometimes they're better, sometimes worse, but almost never could you put a new album next to one decades old and not hear any huge difference.

And it appears that Devo is more to my taste than they ever were. I like the album all the way through. It's only the fourth album this year that I made a complete copy for my car (original discs DON'T LEAVE THE HOUSE - you can ask any member of my family), that vast majority of those made for the car are mix CDs.

My favorite song is "Mind Games." I combed the credits to see if they credited "The Jetsons" theme for the opening midi sequence, but they didn't.

Given that Mothersbaugh is known for a meme regarding the Jetsons meets the Flintstones (a one-ah and a two-ah), it can't have been an oversight. Let's chalk it up to unconscious borrowing. Hope I don't cause a lawsuit.


Whisky Prajer said...

... heh-heeeeeeh! Although I daresay you might have returned the favor with your Devo recommend. I wore out my copy of New Traditionalists, back in the day, and figured I was probably done with them.

Getting back to Cook, I should probably stipulate that track one ("All The Time") probably wouldn't have pulled me in if it weren't for the sitar(?) hook. It's that "what the hell?" kind of thing that got me chortling the first time, too. I'm glad -- nay, relieved -- you like it.

Whisky Prajer said...

BTW, much as I still love both albums, your Are We Not Men?/Back In Black weekend sounds to me like Hell. *shudder*

Yahmdallah said...

I still have vivid, JFK-assassination-esque, memories of it due to the soundtrack.

Anonymous said...

I once had a long road trip with nothing but Bruce Springsteen's Greatest Hits and a disc of Japanese techno. Seriously. By the end of the trip we were playing the Japtech about twice as much as Bruce, though we were truly sick of both.

I still can't stand Bruce.


yahmdallah said...

I like Bruce, but only in limited amounts. And I only like what I like, and the song list of his hits would be hard to deal with a bunch of times. Thank God it wasn't "Nebraska" (even though I like that one).

Hey, been meaning to ask, is this you?: