Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Love That Album Episode 19 - Billy Joel - The Stranger

I have been heard to say that I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. You like what you like – end of story. As will be obvious from Episode 19 of Love That Album, I love Billy Joel’s album “The Stranger”. Nowadays in some people’s eyes (and for someone from this list you KNOW who you are), that is an admission tantamount to confessing to having an STD. The fact of the matter is that this album is full of well constructed songs – melodically rich, well arranged, mainly (though not completely) clever lyrically – and it should be held in high esteem. Now I’ll admit that beyond a point his albums started getting very dull (everything after The Nylon Curtain) and his fame for dating supermodels rather than as a musician was a put-off. None of that should get in the way of the fact that for a time, he had a real knack with a song and had a fantastic band to support his musical vision (including the great Liberty Devitto on drums).
Fellow “Stranger” fan, Michael Pursche (of the Sitting In A Bar in Adelaide podcast) and I discuss the songs sung and stories told on Joel’s breakthrough album. On this episode, we also discuss recent music news including the passing of some of pop music greats. Eric Reanimator returns with his thoughts on Mother Love Bone (and he now has his own intro).
Stream or download the episode from http://lovethatalbum.blogspot.com or download from iTunes searching for lovethatalbum (must be all one word). Join the Love That Album Facebook page and start a music conversation. Send feedback (letter or mp3) to rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Love That Album podcast Episode 18 - Chris Difford - Cashmere If You Can

From the mid 70s through to the late 90s, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook had a songwriting partnership that had the pundits comparing them to Lennon/McCartney. Don’t feel under any pressure, guys. As mainstays of the band Squeeze, Tilbrook’s music and Difford’s lyrics covered a multitude of subjects including spouse abuse, living under cramped conditions, infidelity, and wanking. They survived the new wave label and later on, the AOR label to just make great songs till Squeeze’s demise.
Both men have recorded great solo albums, and different to their Squeeze output. Difford’s lyrics have become very personal, and on his latest album “Cashmere If You Can”, he sounds like he’s been listening to a lot of Loudon Wainwright III records.
On episode 18 of Love That Album, I talk about “Cashmere If You Can” and how it sounds like a public type of therapy of Difford.
Download the show from either http://lovethatalbum.blogspot.com or by searching for “lovethatalbum” in the iTunes store. Send written or mp3 feedback to rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au

Monday, April 2, 2012

Love That Album Episode 17 - Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

On Episode 17 of Love That Album, we try something new and something old. For the first time, there are three of us discussing the album of the episode. In addition to LTA regular Geoff Smith, I’m joined from Sydney by Springsteen aficionado John Stirrat (not he of Wilco fame), to discuss Bruce’s latest long player, “Wrecking Ball”. The fact that we’re covering Bruce is the “something old”, since Jeff Jenkins and I went head-to-head way back in Episode 1 discussing Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” versus “Wild, Innocent & E Street Shuffle”.
So like many other artists of Bruce’s age and experience, is he treading water or is he trying something new? Can he lay claim to be the 21st century Woody Guthrie? How does this album stack up against another potential claimant of the title, Ry Cooder’s “Pull Up Some dust and Sit Down”? How does Bruce deal with the absence of “The Champion of the Universe”, Clarence Clemons? Geoff, John and I go into these questions and discuss the themes present on the album.  Most importantly, we ask the most basic question: Is “Wrecking Ball” any good. Listen to the show and find out.
Download the show from either http://lovethatalbum.blogspot.com or by searching for “lovethatalbum” in the iTunes store. Send written or mp3 feedback to rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au