Thursday, March 31, 2011

Philadelphia Freedom

This was the first song that ever registered in my brain as something to like, to listen to again, to appreciate. I think I was about nine years old, living in Manchester, England. Before this song, my appreciation of music was somewhat disconnected, without much conviction or commitment or emotion. I don't know what it is about this song in particular. I'm sure it was serendipity more than anything else; it just happened to be on the radio at the right place at the right time. But I do know that what got me was the drums, something about the metronomic heavy down beat, that snare sound that was like being hit on the head. I distinctly remember trying to play-act being the drummer. Elton John, it seems, opened up a part of my brain that I never knew existed. After that, it was only a hop-skip-and-jump to the wonderful incredible world of music, music, and more music as an adolescent. Many years (decades) later, when I moved to Philadelphia, I thought about this song. But alas, it was no longer the seventies....

I should add that listening to it now, it's clear what a great pop song it was. It's structurally a complicated song with lots of different passages, an incredible hook, a fantastic chorus, and just a great example of white soul from the seventies. "Philadelphia Freedom" is also a great example of how sixties and seventies rock produced wonderful three-to-four minute long singles that were fantastic and could be enjoyed without any knowledge of the singer or the album, i.e., without any context. This song, in fact, wasn't even on an original album; it was just released as a stand-alone 45. I miss that.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Upcoming shows have tickets for:

Godspeed You! Black Emperor @ Church of St. Paul the Apostle (March 17)
Explosions In The Sky @ Radio City Music Hall (April 6)
PJ Harvey @ Terminal 5 (April 19)
Mogwai @ Webster Hall (April 22)

Hmm... except for Polly Jean, I detect a trend here: grand instrumental music designed to awe you into submission.

Now, if only Seefeel suddenly decided to tour the U.S., that would put me in heaven. And in fact, just as I was writing these words, a quick look at their website shows that they are indeed coming to the U.S., but at the very precise time when I am all but guaranteed to be elsewhere. Well, that sucks.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

OK, OK, I know it's unconscionable

I loved Fleetwood Mac as a child. I love them as an adult.
I will ALWAYS love Fleetwood Mac. FOREVER.
Can I just get that out of the way?

Inflatable Ferret

I have a couple of reviews of mine (of the new Mogwai and PJ Harvey records) published in the new issue of Inflatable Ferret. Check it out here. The whole set of issues is here. They have this whole thing where you can read the issue like a 'real' magazine or download a pdf. The whole operation is run by James Passarelli.