I've got fuck all to do with myself this morning so I figure I will catch up on blogging. I'm about recovered from last night's Arab Strap show and the related festivities. It was a pretty good show, nothing mind blowing and they're actually a bit better on record than live, but it was still a good way to spend a Monday night. My only gripe was that they played "The Shy Retirer" with just an acoustic guitar and Aidan singing. I like it better the other way. Anyway I woke up with the slightest touch of a hangover that I knocked out with a strong cup of tea and "Gold", the new Franklin's Mint album. It's Phil Franklin's (from The Sunburned Hand Of The Man) new side project. It sounds nothing like Sunburned's frenzied, terrifying acid trip freak outs, it's more like the most soothing, laid back country/psych tinged folky rock you can imagine hearing. It's so good that a time machine should be invented so someone can go back in time and kill The Eagles when they first started and replace them with Franklin's Mint. It's seriously tied with Velvet Underground & Nico as my favorite album to hear after a rough night out. The acoustic guitars are tempered with organs, strings, a touch of fuzz, and just the right tempo drums to ease you into the day. It also comes in a beautifully silkscreened package in a limited edition pressing of 1,000, available at Eclipse Records .
On to the new Morrissey. Been listening to this one pretty much non-stop for the past week. I'm really not capable of giving a non-biased review of this as I'm pretty much queer for anything Smiths/Moz related. In short, I love it. After sort of a weak spell for awhile, "You Are The Quarry" found him back in top form, and the new "Ringleader Of The Tormentors" is even better. As is evident from the cover art (showing Steve The Nutter playing a violin, bedecked in a tux) there's a lot of strings on this album. He even got Ennio Morricone to write and arrange the string section on "Dear God Please Help Me", the song that probably has the most sexually explicit lyrics to appear in a Moz song. "Now I'm spreading your legs / with mine in between / dear God if I could, I would help you." However, still no mention on the gender of the leg spreadee, so the debate rages on.
One thing that I do have to bitch about politically (other than the requisite PETA plug in the liner notes) is the photo on the inner booklet of Steve sitting on a Vespa with the words SMASH BUSH spray painted on a wall behind him. The word BUSH seems suspiciously photoshopped, the wall behind it is considerably darker than the rest of the wall so the letters are a bit blurred, and the rearview mirror from the Vespa somewhat obscures the B so it's not easily read at first glance. If anything they should've photoshopped it to stand out more, to really get the point across. Maybe the label didn't want to alienate the Republican For Moz fanbase, but somehow I doubt that minority would care much. Don't underestimate the rabidness of the Morrissey disciples. Even the hardline right wing Morrissey fans (of which I'm sure there are, somewhere) are cheerily singing along to "If your God bestows protection upon you / and if the USA doesn't bomb you / I believe I will see you somewhere safe". It all comes down to the fact that underneath all the narcissism and militant neo-fascist vegetarianism, the dude is just a really great singer/lyricist and that transcends even the most mundane aspects of the baggage that comes along with it.
Here's a fun little game to play. Which of the following are real Morrissey song names, and which are phonies? see how many you can get right! e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) me and I'll send you a mix tape if you get them all right, and no fair cheating with search engines and what not. If anyone is even reading this.
1. The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
2. The Maitre d' Has Killed Any Chance I Had At True Happiness
3. Russian Hands, Roman Fingers
4. Pregnant For The Last Time
5. The Last Of The Famous International Playboys
6. I Will Lay My Dreams To Rest Next To You On A Bed Of Nails
7. Satan Rejected My Soul
8. No One Will Ever Fill Your Shoes
9. Won't Anyone Ever Take Me To Tea With The Queen?
10. Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice