The weekend starts with Friday the 13th and ends on the Ides of March. Maybe all the superstitious types will shutter up and bunker down and the rest of us can get to our work, play, or workouts more freely.
This is the first of the thematic Pointcasts and I know it's a goofy theme, but what the hell... there's some bulletproof music here. Eleven songs originating from the land of Guinness and bloodshed. Below, the link to download the Pointcast. Below that, the notes. And below all that... the link you'll click to leave your comments and opinions.
Happy St. Patrick's Day.
01 Jailbreak - Thin Lizzy (Jailbreak): If I did more of these 'casts, I'd make sure you got your recommended daily allowance of Lizzy. All their stuff is in print, easy to find and rewarding. I know I don't need to detail the rise and fall of Phil Lynott, as we all know the story (or if not, can easily look it up). I have played the Jailbreak album so many times I can’t even give you a ballpark figure. Back in the span of time that I moved into eight new addresses in five years, I christened each new place with a full listen of Jailbreak. I have taken this album with me on trips and expeditions in some form since the late '80s. I would even play it first thing upon returning as I unpacked. It became a well-worn ritual, a comfort.
02 The Jug of Punch - The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem (The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem)
03 Snow - JJ72 (JJ72): Bonus fun - make up some clever possible meaning behind the band's name. I'll go first: Former New York Ranger Jaromír Jágr? Born in 1972!
04 The Sun Beats Down - The High Llamas (Cold and Bouncy): Diehard Brian Wilson/Pet Sounds/SMiLE fanpeople get pretty uppity when you suggest (simply suggest) head Llama Sean O'Hagan might presently be carrying the BW/PS/S baton. Sheesh!
05 Mandinka - Sinéad O'Connor (The Lion and the Cobra): It seemed that every single one of my friends went apeshit for this album. (And me too.) I was the host of a local cable program at the time (but who wasn't?... stop yawning!), and Lion and the Cobra took over that studio like an infection. Eighty-five percent of that production crew was "in possession."
I know I say this about a lot of records, but it's true again... when this came out near the end of 1987, it sounded like nothing else. And yet, it just fit. I'm not even going to write anything about ex-Ant Marco Pirroni's guitar sound.
06 Looking After No. 1 - The Boomtown Rats (The Boomtown Rats): I hope you're listening to the recording before you read these notes, because when you get to this paragraph and read who it is, you might get yourself all rankled. Yes - the Boomtown Rats. The sonic leaping-off point for Sir Bob and whatever that name evokes in your mind. But 1977-79 era Boomtown Rats was a factory of edgy pop melodies and twisted guitar lines.
07 Sueisfine - My Bloody Valentine (Isn't Anything): From their debut album. I don't play it all that often but when the mood hits, it's perfect. I've been to see them play a few times, but could never identify many of the songs through the layers of noise.
08 Funky Céili (Bridie's Song) - Black 47 (Fire of Freedom): "I'm two months late / It's not with the rent." Chose the upbeat number instead of tracks I like better. "40 Shades of Blue" and "New York, NY 10009" are heftier songs. Next time, I won't be a-scared; I'll give you what you're here for.
Before Black 47 was even a glint in frontman Larry Kirwan's eye, he was a member of New York City's Major Thinkers with friend and fellow Wexford émigré Pierce Turner. They had a song called "Avenue B" that had a real cool sound but was, unfortunately, one of those songs you'd hear on left-of-the-dial radio stations only about once every four months. I was pretty happy the day I finally bought the six-song 12". I finally had "Avenue B," AND I ended up liking the rest of the tracks, too. It's way out of print of course. As you can see, prices for that 12" are all over the map. It looks like sellers are actually charging premium prices ($35+) for homemade CDRs of it. Just check back here; I'll get all six songs up here as soon as I can and you can download / burn your own. In the meantime, the Major Thinkers myspace page has tracks to hear.
09 Sally MacLennane - The Pogues (Rum, Sodomy & the Lash) / Dirty Old Town - Shane MacGowan (from The Henry Rollins Show [IFC]): All the great Pogues stories to be told begin "We got there at 8:30 for a nine o'clock show, and then the band didn't go on until...." All the worst Pogues stories start that way, too. Shane MacGowan is a troubled genius poet and the inelegant rest of us will suffer gladly his wayward manners, because he's the real deal. You've heard the phrase "been there, done that." Shane's been there, done that, intoxicated, and bleeding profusely. If you don't own Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, I recommend you amend the heresy at once.
10 Roddy McCorley - The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem (The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem): I'm reluctant to write anything here about artists like these, about whom many other people could take me to school. What can I say here that's not just dipping a toe into the ocean? I bought a great three-disk box set in London years ago, on the Tradition label, and it has everything I can manage to get my head around for now.
11 N17 - Saw Doctors (If This is Rock and Roll, I Want My Old Job Back or Sing a Powerful Song): I haven't been to a Saw Doctors show in a couple years, and I can feel the hole in my life it's caused. I haven't kept up with their releases since Villains (2001), so my knowledge of the band had gotten a bit dusty, but I can tell you that the entire SD catalog up to that point could provide enough energy to fuel seven throat-shredding encores.
On the Pointcast, I forgot to mention that some of the artists I played are currently on tour. A few are in the NYC area this week. Here's some of that info:
Black 47 is at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT tonight; in Boston March 15 & 16; and at B.B. King's in New York on the 17th.
The Saw Doctors are one of the 5-10 best live acts I've ever seen, and (lucky us) they're at The Nokia Theatre Times Square tonight and tomorrow.
The Pogues are at Roseland Ballroom here tonight and tomorrow, and in D.C. at the 9:30 Club March 16-18.
Thin Lizzy have just released a hot-snot live CD, Still Dangerous, and announced a few European dates for later this year opening for some band called Metallica.
More Sticking Point / music-related goods and chattel:
[posted with ecto]