The Joup Friday Album: Mercury Rev ‘See You On The Other Side’

Othersidemercuryrev ‘Empire State (Son House in Excelsis)’ transports me to a gold and frozen 70s New York Morning. Like the intro to some film that doesn’t exist, the staccato piano stabs and underlying atmospherics serve as a sun-dappled Hudson, before the drums, bulbous bass and fluttering flutes summon-up some 16mm Manhattan panorama, speeding up, slowing down, growing in stature as though to pencil-in the enormity of it all. Horns come blasting-in after the 4:15 mark in a staggering pantomime of car horns, dizzying buildings, swelling and spinning until everything accelerates into chaos like the throng of vehicular and human traffic on the streets below. ‘Young Man’s Stride’ bids a final farewell to the galloping jams that made up much of 93’s exhilarating ‘Boces’, while also reminding you of just how much of a dry run that album was for this one, but while ‘Boces’ sounds like an extraordinary rock record, ‘See You On The Other Side’ evolves into something transcendent – it’s texture more deftly crafted but with organic and otherworldly results; muted and drunken trumpets, lilting wind instruments, wailing soul singers, an idealised, pharmaceutically-enhanced vision of the world’s capital city.

Joup Friday Album: Doves – Lost Souls

Doves - Lost Souls (UK - Heavenly : US - Astralwerks)

Doves – Lost Souls (UK – Heavenly : US – Astralwerks)

Joup Movie Review: ‘Boyhood’ Richard Linklater, 2014

boyhood

I feel a Hipsterish cringe as Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ sounds out over the opening shot of a cloud strewn blue sky, before I remember that I secretly think this is a beautiful song. For a long time, I didn’t even hate Coldplay, I was above all that, they were just an Indie ‘In’ for those younger than me. Of course in recent years I’ve found their self important, remedial plinkety-plonking bombast grossly offensive, but that’s just an irrelevant by-product of experience and the slow creeping cynicism that heralds the beginning of the inevitable rendezvous with decrepitude. As Coldplay serenade the theater, you’ll have to forego a certain amount of cynicism. We’re looking down on 5 year old Mason, unfettered by such trivialities, lying on his back on serene grass musing on the incongruous blue above as it becomes clear that this musical cue is a signifier for this place in time, 2002.

The Joup Friday Album – CHROME ‘Half Machine Lip Moves’

110276-aThe drum kit is sentient and coated in tin foil, its human overseers gaunt and warped from light years of ST37 abuse. These two jumpsuited mutants go by the earth-names Damon Edge and Helios Creed and their clingfilm (Saran wrap) skin is pallid from sunlight estrangement. While Punk was pissing and whinging about the inequity of modern life, Chrome were taking the same musical aesthetics and shaping it into a future we were expecting after the promise of late 60s space exploration and the ensuing Universe of cautionary and allegorical Sci Fi, courtesy of some of the period’s drugs of choice.

Failure Live at House of Blues, or: How I Went to Houston for 24 Hours, Bought some Records, Hung out with some Old Friends, Drank Way Too Much Beer, and Saw one of My Favorite Bands of All Time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWednesday Morning

Traditionally (at least for the last few months), Wednesday has been my day off from a week’s worth of work drudgery, my day to spend with my son, going to the park, playing with the dog, watching horror movies, reading comic books, and napping.  It’s a wonderful day.  Last Wednesday, I didn’t get to do any of those things…well, the boy did take a 30-minute power nap on me before we left the house…but the day was wonderful nonetheless.  Just a different kind of wonderful.  The find-a-record-you’ve-been-looking-for, friend-seeing, beer-swilling, see-a-band-you-thought-you’d-never-ever-see road trip kind of wonderful.

Joup Friday Album: JD McPherson – Signs and Signifiers

JD McPherson - Signs and Signifiers

JD McPherson – Signs and Signifiers

Joup’s Friday Album: Lubos Fiser – “Valerie and Her Week of Wonders” OST

valerieostFor this week’s Friday Album, I’m veering off a little into leftfield, selecting the original score to the 1970 Czech film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders by composer Lubos Fiser.  I initially became aware of this wonderful album when it received its first proper release on Finders Keepers Records in 2007, a label whose entire output and catalog of discoveries and reissues I cannot recommend enough.  Upon first listen, I was completely in awe.

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