Tag Archives: Blunderbuss

ON 12/12/12 HERE IS MY TOP 12 OF 2012

digging-through-vinyl-records-lp

This is the first time I’m publishing a top list of my favorite albums of the year and I’m pretty stoked. Even though I’m passionate for music, for many years I adopted a vey comfy position in which there was someone doing the hard work of pre-listening and filtering new stuff on my behalf, thus only what  he enjoyed reached me. Yeah, I became lazy and detached from current musical updates at that time.

But here I am, posting my top 12 of this weird year, which has been excellent in terms of music, and disastrous in general. I must admit I’m proud for behaving as the good girl I really am, doing my musical homework and paying attention to new album releases.

Of course it’s impossible to cover all of them, especially when I take my time in analyzing the albums, going on them with the intensity required. And it’s a classic that, right after choosing my favorite albums, I discover a new one that blows my mind, but cannot be added to the list. Guess this is the greatness of music, you can enjoy it any time, no matter how much late you are. it will always be there.

Let’s get started, otherwise it will be the 13th and this top 12 won’t make sense anymore.

Most of the albums have been the album of the week at some point this year, or due to the expectations I had, commented as soon as they were available, as an exceptional event, and theres’s one in particular which had to be mentioned apart, because it doesn’t fit into what I usually consume.

I’m very pleased with the variety of styles and sounds in the list, once again confirming it doesn’t matter I’m growing old and relaxing, I can enjoy metal sounds same as folkie one, and I find that quite enriching for both mind, soul and ears.

BestRecords2012

Thus in no particular order I will refer to my top 12 of 2012. There we go!

ABANDON JALOPY – DEATH & JOY

What can I say at this point I haven’t told already? On week 12 I was telling you about my crush on Brad Smith’s project, and one month ago I was telling you my experience enjoying their half acoustic show, and how adorable Blind Melon’s bass player was.

I foresaw this album was being here, because not many albums make my heart pound in such way as Death & Joy does.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/27/album-of-week-12-death-joy/

CANCER BATS – DEAD SET ON LIVING

One of the greatest surprise of the year which started when I was assigned the review of this album. On a random Sunday afternoon, in hangover conditions, I receive a wake of punches right in my face in the shape of songs performed by this band. Raw, powerful and overwhelming.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/04/27/albums-of-week-16-1965-dead-set-on-living/

 

LUCERO – WOMEN & WORK

Several friends are devoted fans of this unknown band here in Spain, and I had been told about the charisma of the leader of the band, Ben Nichols. Songs about work, women, broken hearts and booze, and a catchy opening song, On My Way Downtown, which makes you feel the urge of having a beer at a bar.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/21/album-of-week-11-women-work/

MARK LANEGAN – BLUES FUNERAL

blues funeral billboard

 Wow! I ADORE this album. Straight to the top 5. Lanegan has gone beyond himself with this album.  I got obsessed about this album for 2 weeks or more, and I still listen to it compulsively. One of these albums that the more you listen the more you love them and discover tiny new elements with each listening. So fuckin’ great!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/02/13/album-of-weeks-5-6-blues-funeral/

JACK WHITE – BLUNDERBUSS

Finally the genius went solo, after delivering outstanding stuff with his different projects, and released this magnificent album I’ve been enjoying so much. It was the final proof to show the world he’s far from the hype and possesses a great deal of talent. Perfection would be mentioned here if the show he offered with the female band would have been more passionate rather than so “cool” looking.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/05/31/album-of-week-21-blunderbuss/

ORANGE GOBLIN – A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED

Allow me not to extend much in explanations and check my previous post. Solid, powerful, rockin’, this is the exact dose of music you need for headbanging to the max. Very glad this album has been praised by both critics and people, and proud my “guys” have reached so far. BRAVO

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/12/12/album-of-week-48-a-eulogy-for-the-damned/

THE HANGMEN – EAST OF WESTERN

EAST OF WESTERN

This is one of the exceptions as it hasn’t been included YET in the albums of the week. One of the reasons is because I was encouraged to listen to this album after purchasing Loteria on the record store day and recovering Metallic I.O.U. The truth is that the most New Yorker band in L.A, real street bad asses led by Bryan Small, have again delivered an intense album full of booze, drugs, filth and broken hearts, and Homesick Blues is damn awesome.

LANA DEL REY – BORN TO DIE

I know, this is close to be a dealbreaker, and coulf be named as the guilty pleasure of the year too. I made public I had surrendered to the hype, and I’m still hooked to Born To Die, something which scares me somehow, because I don’t think what Lana del Rey might offer us, can keep the same level.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/08/30/the-day-i-surrendered-to-the-hype/

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – HANDWRITTEN

 I wrote about this album when the band, days before the worldwide release, allowed the fans to listen to the album online. I literally devoured it and felt in love right away. The guys from New Brunswick are about to jump into the mainstream thanks to this wonderful album, which shows a noticeable evolution and improvement, and personally speaking, I love they are capable of gathering new and older generations at venues for attending the shows. They bring youth to the adults, and transmit old school values to the youngsters. Their story telling is sublime.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/07/18/i-knew-handwritten-wouldnt-fail-me/

CALEXICO – ALGIERS

Thanks to a friend who invited me to attend the show they offered in Barcelona one month ago I discovered a wonderful band which, wrongly following my name instincts, I had completely ignored. After 30 seconds of the opening song, I knew that, what I was about to discover was different and classy. Amazing album and excellent live performance.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/11/14/album-of-week-43-algiers-calexico-on-stage/

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE – PSYCHEDELIC PILL

Americana was a bunch of revisited covers after all, it was compulsory uncle Neil and his pals ended jamming eventually, because this is what Psychedelic Pill is about, a reunion of good old friends grabbing their instruments and recovering the spirit of Harvest playing in the barn. Two words must be pronounced which will sum up the concept of the album: RAMADA INN. Greatness!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/10/17/uncle-neil-and-crazy-horse-are-ready-to-conquer-the-world/

VAN HALEN – A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH

a different kind of truth

You just wouldn’t believe what just happened here. I’ve just changed my last album at the very last minute, finally choosing hard rock over power pop, and leaving Redd Kross out of the list.

This is a surprise, even to me, but this is how I feel at 22:52h. It took me ages to listen to this album, in fact I got it less than a month ago, no matter that many friends insisting I’d love it, I felt lazy thinking it wouldn’t be worth it. The insistence of Felix and my soul bro, together with Xavi aka the deal hunter, made me push the button and start moving my ass right away. If there’s a song which drives me crazy, reminding me of wild 1984, VH personal favorite, no doubt is Bullethead. The return of Van Halen with David Lee Roth is one of the greatest #dealmakers of the decade.

Once this list has been done, I have to mention those albums which are following very close and deserve my love, respect and credit. Here they are:

– Redd Kross – Researching the Sun

– Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Magic Door

– Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love

– The Avett Brothers – Carpenter

What a year friends! Rough and harsh in many aspects, thanks to the amazing releases I’ve been gifted with, I’ve managed to approach the end better than expected. At the end of the day, same thought comes to mind, and I sigh in relief glad to be aware that music, not only has saved my life, but also has given me the one I’m currently living, and I feel grateful and merry.

Keep on rockin’ dears!

THE WHITE STRIPES IN BARCELONA? NO, IT WAS JACK WHITE

Barely 9 hours after the end of Jack White’s show in Barcelona, here I am writing my impressions while still fresh and a bit in a hurry. I’m up earlier than usual because today I’m flying to Madrid for an interview appointed tomorrow, and have to arrange some things here, thus I want to have this finished ASAP.

I already told you my gradual crush on White, which took years for me to realize I like his stuff, although I’m not a huge fan of his previous band projects, thus I wasn’t too interested in recovering The White Stripes, The Raconteurs nor The Dead Weather’s songs. I just wanted a set list based mainly on his solo album, Blunderbuss.

The venue was full of people despite the expensive ticket, and worst of all, the commission fees. With the increase of 15% VAT on culture and entertainment shows applied from September the 1st, live music is in danger as the promoters won’t assume this costs themselves but will raise the ticket admissions, and we, the fans, the consumers, will have to think more than twice how to invest our money and become more selective at the time of choosing which shows to attend. Anyway, believe me when I tell you approx 50% of attendants were from overseas, perhaps even more.

White, an eccentric genius, has always something different in hands people can talk about. This time, for this tour he’s chosen to be accompanied by two bands, one featuring male musicians, and the other, women. Because he’s Jack White, everybody is babbling with this “brilliant” idea, however there’s a polemic here on the streets about the possibility of segregated education depending on genre. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna talk about that, but seems kind of funny the levels of tolerance depending on subjects and circumstances, that’s all. What the government says is offensive, what White says is cool, and so on.

The male band supported the artist during his performance in Madrid, and in Barcelona it was turn for the girls, The Peacocks. And here I DO have something to say.

I will start saying they were very skilled musicians, although I didn’t like the style of the drummer. No need to say I didn’t like Meg White’s either. There are two kinds of female drummers: Samantha Maloney or Sandy West, and others. Carla Azar, in my opinion, played quite fine but belonged to the others. Nice, well fashiondressed, but playing rough as if to make more noise, and worst of all, touching and placing her t-shirt all the time. I might sound super impertinent, but those mannerisms are non professional. Didn’t like the way she was holding sticks and sometimes when drum rolling, it was quite mayhem.

The band sounded fine, but I didn’t think of it as brilliant. I had seen videos with the male band and they played in a different league, they sounded wicked, and their stage attitude and performance was warmer and brighter. The Peacocks are a band of attractive and skilled musicians, cold and brutally ecstatic. And this is another question. If you are cold you’re dull and distant, if you play sexy and lively, you are labeled as a slut, thus the boundaries for women performing are tough. They chose to be boring, and didn’t transmit any emotion nor passion for what they were doing. I’m sorry, White, give me a classic band and forget about being genuine.

White seemed like an autistic guy, having his own party, alien to the audience’s reaction, which is a symptom of the genius in him. Who gives a fuck ad long and he plays and is enjoying doing what he does? He was fantastic singing, playing guitar and piano, and directing the band. I liked his passion and energy, and the display of his musical eclecticism reflected in the set list.

This is the part which disappointed me most. As already mentioned, I was attending a Jack White’s show introducing Blunderbuss to the audience. I expected 70% of the songs would belong to this album, however, the set list was featured songs from his previous projects, being The White Stripes stuff the most relevant part in the show, catching all the attention from most part of the audience.

People don’t assume the end of projects and the attempt by the artists to keep on solo. It happened with Rich Robinson too. When I was in Amsterdam some people yelled at him requesting The Black Crowes songs. I find it super inappropriate and even offensive. In White’s case, he’s already proved he has more talent to give beyond The White Stripes as to focus a set list in this band’s past time, but he did it anyway, finishing the show with the new Hooligan anthem, Seven Nation Army, and people chorusing like cattle. To me it was discouraging.

Thus the show was a bit irregular, and depending on those intros which took time to get going,  the wave of energy, the climax achieved thanks to certain songs, was lost. The intensity was coming and going and audience was getting more and more distracted, with the presence of the crowd noticed over the music, which was wrong, and people seemed kinda anxious, uncomfortable.

Do not think it was a bad show, probably those WS fans were delighted. I particularly enjoyed listening to Love Interruption, Freedom at 21 and Weep Themselves to Sleep. Thus, at the end I’m not complaining, I’m just saying I wanted a bit more of solo White.

ALBUM OF WEEK 21 – BLUNDERBUSS

Last week in Madrid was super intense and proactive, meeting friends, attending a live performance of a friend’s band, The Diesel Dogs, Sonisphere, vermouths, neighborhood fests…

Using subway in Madrid as the definite public transport is great for reading and listening to music, because the average journey  from one point to final destination is of half an hour minimum, same as in London. Can’t recall how many books I read in two years I was living there, but bringing them back to Spain was sweat and tears, and almost overweight expenses.

In the gaps I wasn’t listening to Soundgarden or The Afghan Whigs I chose Blunderbuss, the first solo album Jack White has just released, as the soundtrack of the week. And the verdict is already settled: thumbs up!

Those times I used to think he and his “sister” Meg were an absolute hype, and misjudged him without proper knowledge nor grounding, are long gone. Little by little, every single project Mr. White’s been involved in, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, eventually has received my  approval.

It’s taken many years to this mainstream rebel to finally release a full studio album on his own. Why such long time? I don’t think it’s a matter of lack of confidence, perhaps he’s tired of projects with other artists, although we all know he’s the outstanding figure of any of them with the exception of Meg White and her bewbz, right? Just joking!

Perhaps you might think I’m exaggerating when I compare Jack White to Ryan Adams, labeling both them as the ultimate musical genius: singers, songwriters, multi instrumentalists, able to cover different styles and sounds without blinking.

Blunderbuss is simply bewitching, with songs so different from each other, and this uniqueness it’s hardly to relate the album to any other band or artist. It’s just Jack White.

This album is actually a compilation of all the styles White is comfortable with, and such variety makes of this a histrionic and excessive work. Don’t misunderstand me, I love it. What I mean is that the opening Missing Pieces is far away from Trash Tongue Shaker.

First single chosen to promote the album is simply stunning, Love Interruption, featuring Ruby Amanfu on backing vocals. Check it out!

Nevertheless is Hypocritical Kiss the song that blew my mind last week. First time I listened to this song I could only think of one adjective to sum up the way I felt: Sonofabitch!

The fact is that, the more I listen to it, the more song I now love, which is great. Nowadays my new favorite is Weep Themselves to Sleep. I don’t think of any as a mere filler, the thirteen cuts have been carefully chosen to shock and make people finally adore Jack White. Brilliant!