Post-punk time warp
While waiting for Jon Spencer to raise the roof at SadiesFest this weekend - before the Blue Rodeo boys made most of the other guests look like rank amateurs - I noticed a strange-looking LP with a hand-screened sleeve on sale at the merch desk. The limited-run LP on Blue Fog turned out to be a split tribute to Canuck song-poets, with the Unintended (the Sadies joined by Greg Keelor and Rick White ) toasting Gordon Lightfoot with covers of less obvious numbers Rosanna, Redwood Hills, The Way I Feel and Walls on one side, and the Constantines saluting Neil Young with intense updates of Don't Be Denied, Transformer Man, Don't Cry No Tears and Shots on the flip. A brilliant concept, particularly since both groups have been disappointingly deficient in the composition department. Grab it quick. There are only 1,000 numbered copies, and mine's number 247.
Being a Steeltown boy myself, I can't say Pittsburgh's drubbing of Seattle in this weekend's Super Bowl was a disappointment. Seeing Randal El's coffin-nailing touchdown pass to Hines Ward had me reaching for my copy of the Larry McGee Revolution 's 1976 disco-funk homage to the home of the new Super Bowl champs, The Burg. Coincidently, the highly sought-after club joint has just been reissued as a four-track 12-inch EP by the UK Licorice Soul label (www.licoricesoul.com), with Nick Faber 's stompin' extended mix of the far too short original version also included. You just know that DJs all over Pennsylvania will be wearing this out over the next couple of weeks.
The Reatards always seemed overrated, and the Lids never did that much for me either, but somehow when the former's drummer, Jay Lindsey , got together with the latter's screaming Libra, Alix Brown , in Atlanta - presto, magic happened, because the Angry Angles have got it goin' on. Their first two storming 7-inch EPs, Things Are Moving (Shattered) and Crowds (Ptrash), are loaded tight with snarly lo-fi punk charm rarely heard since the Clone Defects split. Check the MP3s at www.myspace.com/angryangles. Let's just say if you love the Urinals and figured the Lost Souls were getting too poppy, the Angry Angles could be your new favourite band. Find out when they tear up the Silver Dollar Tuesday (February 14).
Steve Reich and Philip Glass call him the father of minimalism, Janis Joplin, Igor Stravinsky and Charlie Parker called him their pal, while others crossed the street when they saw the bearded blind dude in a horned helmet slapping triangle-shaped drums on the streets of Manhattan. But whether you consider Louis "Moondog" Hardin a musical savant or a crazy freak, you can't deny the strangely captivating power of his unique music, which inhabits a twilight zone all its own somewhere between Brahms and Blackfoot tribal rituals. The Viking of Sixth Avenue (Honest Jon's) does a bang-up job as an introduction to Moondog's sonic world, sampling his Brunswick, Epic, Prestige and self-released recordings, which suggest both Sun Ra and Tom Waits were tuned in to what Hardin was putting down. Enjoyably out.