Listening Log: February 19th 2010

Polydor 1980


Album of the Day: The Jam Sound Affects

I bought this record on vinyl at Love Garden a couple months ago, and it remained on my turntable for about three weeks straight after that purchase. It is the first Jam record that has really reached out and grabbed me. I know they have a lot of great records—I really like “All Mod Cons” and “This Is the Modern World”, as each album is peppered with obvious classics. But as albums, they are not as cohesive and consistent as “Sound Affects”. “Start!”, “Pretty Green”, and “Monday” are an excellent example of the perfect set of opening songs. And the last two—“Boy About Town” and “Scrape Away”—are two of The Jam’s best songs ever. Lastly, the last song on side one, “That’s Entertainment!”, really hits home with me. It’s more or less about the entertainment industry and the amoral world within it. “They’ll kick you in the balls—I tell ya, that’s entertainment” sings Paul Weller. Isn’t it, though? I know you all watch Jackass!

Decca 1967

Albums to Revisit: The Rolling Stones Between the Buttons

I want to like this record more so terribly bad, but I always have trouble. It just doesn’t have the best Rolling Stones songs on it, and when you are dealing with a band like the Rolling Stones, this is pretty noticeable. I mean, they have SO MANY songs, and SO MANY good ones, so when you listen to a Stones album and there are SO MANY songs that don’t hit the mark, it can be pretty unforgiveable. Now, this is the UK version of “Buttons” we are dealing with here, so there is no “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and no “Ruby Tuesday”. Kinda lame, I know. But, it’s interesting to hear how different the intended record was—these guys were really pushing for something, and fans and critics were resisting hardcore. Their next album, “Their Satanic Majesties Request”, was kind of a bomb with critics too, but that album rules! Anyway, some great songs on this record, but some that just seem weird for weird’s sake and really don’t have much going on. It’s probably a record I will continue to give chances, though—there’s a kind of mystique about it I can’t seem to escape.

The Casket Lottery “Moving Mountains” ****
Red House Painters “Songs for a Blue Guitar” ****
Red House Painters “Old Ramon” ***1/2
The Rolling Stones “Between the Buttons” ***
Julian Casablancas “Phrazes for the Young” ****
The Jayhawks “Hollywood Town Hall” ***1/2
The Kinks “Something Else by The Kinks” ****1/2
The Jam “Sound Affects” ****1/2
The Higher Burning Fire “In Plain Song” ***
Hum “You’d Prefer an Astronaut” ***

Total Albums Heard=10

***** Classic
**** Amazing
*** Good
** So-So
* Nope

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