2017 was a blizzard of natural and man-made disasters. Not the least of which being the white collar looting and out-and-out lies of our newly (unpopular) elected president of the United States. We will be digging out from his self serving crimes, hate and bad decisions for generations to come. For that reason, I’m closing out the year with this, today’s Runner. If you listen all the way to the end, Nick Lowe will pose the musical question, What’s so Funny about Peace, Love and Understanding? Happy New Year all…let’s hope it’s not our last.
My birthday came early this year with the April release of PJ Harvey’s 11th album The Hope Six Demolition Project. Once again, Polly Jean removes the frills, glam and make-up and gets down in the dirt to tackle some fairly squalid subject matter. Harvey strikes uneasy chords combining avant-garde jazz saxophone wales with her signature guitar and drums on songs like Ministry of Defense and The Wheel. She also creates moving spiritual chants on songs like Chain of Keys and River Anacostia.Hope Six is raw, hard hitting filled with stark bitting lyrical imagery. It takes you to the abject poverty and destruction of the middle east, through the ruins of Kosovo and Afghanistan and then drops you right down Near the Memorials To Vietnam and Lincoln in the heart of our own decaying capital – Washington DC. This album is not just good, it is serious good, heavy stuff delivered with PJ Harvey style and tenacity.
“Wade in the water, God’s gonna trouble the water…”
If you prefer your alternative pop sweet and sugar coated, this is not for you. The Hope Six Demolition Project goes down like a stiff drink and it is by far my favorite album of 2016. It’s volatile cloth is cut very much in the same vein as Lou Reed’s New York. It will move you and open your eyes no matter how rose colored your glasses may be. Stream it for yourself and see. Enjoy!
Today’s post is a shout out to my surf brother. Not sure if you have had a chance to listen to the new one by Faith No More, so here you go ‘Superhero’. I ran to it this morning. Great Stuff! Reminds me of the times I use to pull out their second album, The Real Thing and put on Epic whenever I needed to clear out a bunch of nettlesome AE’s from my office back at Bozell.
“You want it all but you can’t have it. It’s in your face but you can’t grab it! What is this? I say what is this?”
Sol Inivictus is less rap-metal and more refined Angle Dust. Highlights here for me are the bombastic drums and guitar on Superhero, the grinding paranoia of Separation Anxiety, the simple dulpe meter of the title cut and of course Sunny Side Up.
Happy Birthday David – Enjoy!
Australian indie pop group San Cisco are back with their sophomore album Gracetown. The project has been in the works since the release of their self-titled debut album. San Cisco have been known for their bright, poppy sound and fun lyrics, but the single for this album “Run” showed that they would be trying a new direction. Or apparently a few; The new album released the 17th of March in North America feels like an entirely experimental mixed tape. Each song has a unique sound, seemingly inspired by numerous other artists. It shows the range that the group is capable of and really shows off their musical ability.
This collection of tracks shows a lot of maturity compared to their last album, and is an extraordinary growth for the band. The group really pulled out the stops and tried a ton of new concepts, putting their own personality into it, and it truly pays off. Jordi does majority of vocals on the album, but lovely drummer Scarlett Stevens gets the third track “Magic” all to herself, and Isabella Manfredi of The Preatures is featured in the track “Jealousy.”
The album contains slower, darker sounds similar to Portugal. The Man, and Glass Animals. There is also experimentation with heavier electronics in combination with back and forth lyrics in “Super Slow.” There are even hints of Daft Punk in the electronic minimalist sounds of “Just For A Minute.” That being said, there are still strong moments that remind us of the old fashioned San Cisco, but honestly, their experimental music is much more entertaining. This album confirms their keen writing and playing abilities, and leaves me wondering what their next album will sound like.
Enjoy The Music, David
San Cisco – Gracetown
2. Too much together time
5. Wash it all away
6. Bitter winter
8. Super slow
10. About you
12. Just for a minute