The Joup Friday Album: PIL – Public Image: First Issue

Public Image, LTDWhat do you get when you remove the one member of the Sex Pistols that didn’t buy into the hype? You get the death of the band, whether or not Jonesy, Cook and Mclauren knew it or not. Ronnie Biggs? Come on…

Meanwhile, Mr. Lydon found himself some interesting people to work with when starting his subsequent project, the aptly titled Public Image, Ltd. Jah Wobble is one of the legendary musicians that not only helped catalyze what has colloquially become known as “Post Punk”, but also inspired the first outcroppings of Industrial music, specifically the Chicago sound (a personal modern favorite of Wobble’s that sets him in with some of the Chicago folks he influenced is the criminally short-lived band The Damage Manual). Then there’s Keith Levine and Jim Walker, both of whom I know far less about but turn in fantastic performances on this record.

New Music Enthusiast’s Club: Tomás Doncker Band

Big Apple Blues CD CoverTomás Doncker Band – Big Apple Blues

Just like getting pummeled in the face by a barrage of instruments, a cacophony of cymbals, distorted harmonica, and sound, a weathered and guttural old voice coming from the deepest, darkest pit of defeated and downtrodden old bluesmen, the opening title track from legendary performer Tomás Doncker’s new album, Big Apple Blues, comes out kicking and scratching before settling into a familiar and comfortable flow. Pairing up with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, the record moves, dealing in blues, jazz, rock and roll, and world flavors, a kind of “global soul” music for the masses. It’s classic. It’s immediate. It’s timeless. It’s an ode to the big city.

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.

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