ebay youtube myspace facebook twitter  home    shopping cart    my account    wish list    gifts    help  
Search by:
Gift Certificates  |  Bargain Bin  |  Columns & Reviews  |  In-Stores  |  Links

Browse Music

Video & DVD


Win one of our ebay auctions? For faster service pay online!

  Listen Up! 4/11/03 Listen Up!

Friday, Apr. 11

Mahler, “Symphony No. 5: James Levine and the Philadelphia Orchestra,” RCA Records. Mahler continues to fascinate me. The last of the giant romantic symphony composers, he poured so much into the form it threatened to burst apart at the seams. This one has a lot of quiet bits, making it less than perfect for office listening, but it’s full of turbulence, brass assertions, and unsettled harmonies, enough to keep grabbing my ear.

Jackie Wilson, “Whispers,” Brunswick Records. Boy, did any major singer ever get worse arrangements from his record company than Jackie Wilson did? The guy could belt out a song like nobody’s business, but most of these arrangements are banal sub-Vegas treatments of material that doesn’t deserve his skills. The title track is a pretty good cut, and three or four other songs stand out. But, for the most part, Wilson sings loud and clear, yet detached, as if leaving his personality at the door was the only way to get through the pedestrian surroundings.

Thelonious Monk, “At Newport 1963 & 1965,” Columbia Records. This reissue of the Newport 63 album gets augmented by a previously unreleased set two years later. Today, I’m hearing the 63 stuff, which is sparse even by Monk standards, especially considering Pee Wee Russell sits in on clarinet on a couple cuts. The drums aren’t exactly recorded very well, which contributes to the open spaces of this music. But, things swing along nicely, and Monk’s angular melodies feel smoother than I’m used to hearing them. Give me a million versions of these songs, and I don’t think I’ll get tired of listening.

The Cramps, “Fiends of Dope Island,” Vengeance Records. You can’t beat a brand name, I always say. As long as Poison Ivy can crank out those luscious reverb-drenched guitar chords and trinkly leads, as long as Lux Interior can drop that phallic microphone in his mouth, as long as they can think up song titles like “She’s Got Balls” and “Big Black Witchcraft Rock” (not to mention “Elvis Fucking Christ!”), they can put out albums for another twenty or thirty years with a revolving cast of young rhythm section players. This one may actually be a little better than the last six or seven albums. Hard to tell, though, if I could really tell which year any of their songs was recorded after the first album.

Chris Kenner, “The Chris Kenner Collection: Land of 1000 Dances,” Fuel 2000 Records. Well, there are only 24 songs, so even if you figure some of them have multiple dance possibilities, it’s hard to get all the way up to 1000. But, you’ll have a good time trying, with this classic batch of early 60s New Orleans r’n’b. The grooves sizzle!

--Steve Pick

For more columns by Steve Pick click here



Search by:

© 2018 Vintage Vinyl Inc.  |  About Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Locations & Store Info  |  Contact Info