Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Music For Morons 29: Long Solstice

00:00 The The - Electric Moonlight 
02:20 Walter Schnaffs - I Am Germany 
05:13 Sonic Youth - (She's In A) Bad Mood 
10:28 Black Dice - Pigs 
13:50 Amon Tobin - Lost & Found 
16:30 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime (Reprise) 
18:28 completion

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Morrissey Albums Rated & In Praise Of Southpaw Grammar

I surprised myself with how highly I rated Southpaw Grammar. I've always liked the album, but listening to it with a critical ear with the idea of attaching a number to it gave me a new appreciation for it. It excels as a complete piece, the only Morrissey album for which I'm tempted to break out the cliche "greater than the sum of its parts." All Moz albums have great moments, but a lot of them are terribly uneven. Southpaw Grammar also stands out in striking me as his least personal work. He barely uses the first person lyrically, and the subjects of the songs sound to me like fictional creations, fitting for a literary dude like Moz. I wish he'd do more "story" songs and fewer about his own pathos. Another unique element of Southpaw Grammar is the musicians being allowed to breath and flex their chops. Mozzaball has usually had enjoyable backing bands and composers, but the music is also generally secondary to Morrissey's personality, lyrics and vocals. Not so on Southpaw Grammar, on which music and voice work together as equal partners (sort of like they did in The Smiths). Taken in the context of his solo career, it's a very weird album. It's also a surprisingly great one.

(While listening to all this Morrissey, I put my favorite songs in this Spotify playlist.)