Music life in lockdown week 34

This is a review of the albums that I have been listening to whilst working from home. Albums listened to for week 34 covers from 11 – 13 November.

After two weeks of listening to 100 albums which is documented on week 32 and 33. I took a two day break from the tunes and was ready to go ahead midweek. A much shorter one for three days.

Wednesday 11 November

Midweek and time to try something new and listen to some music that I have listened to in a long while. The six albums I have picked for today as all diverse and different so no particular theme to the days listening experience.

Girls Names are a local Belfast band and I got their album, Arms Around A Vision (2015). I picked up this CD after seeing them as support act. Can’t remember who it was who they were supporting those. The band produced a range of indie pop, to post punk and alt-rock. Would probably have fitted in the shoegazing scene too. Sadly the band are no more after 10 years.

Jenny Lewis was formally with Rilo Kiely before they disbanded in 2014. Acid Tongue (2008) was her second album which features musical styles ranging from indie rock to alternative country and Americana. The album got really good reviews. This one came to me as a recommendation from a friend. Might revisit this album again.

A real blast from the past, Aimee Mann. I haven’t listened to I’m With Stupid (1995) in a long while and this was one of my favourite albums that year. I got to see her live in Belfast when she did a really intimate gig at Church House in Belfast. After that I have totally forgotten all about her. A quick visit online and I have found she has made six other albums since then.

Glasvegas by the Scottish indie rock band Glasvegas (2008) was their debut album and it is a really good debut. It really did live up to the hype by NME but by their second album Euphoric Heartbreak (2011), I had gone off them a bit probably because after seeing them live at Mandela Hall in Belfast I was less than impressed. They capture the wall to wall sound of The Jesus and Mary Chain and sixties pop. Daddy’s Gone being the highlight single from the album.

I am big fan of Mark Lanegan and have been following his solo career since Screaming Trees broke up. He is known to  collaborate with a variety of artists and this album, Hawk (2010) which he done with Isobel Campbell, was their third album together. Even though they are performing as a duet, Lanegan dominates in the vocals. It is a great album and it follows from its predecessors. I am going to check out the first two albums now as I never had them, I went straight in at album no.3!

One of the biggest disappointments for me after getting into a new band was how quickly I went off Interpol. Turn on the Bright Lights (2002) was one of my favourite albums that year and you could tell how influenced that they were by the likes of Television and Joy Division, leading the new post-punk revival of the 2000s. Second album, Antics (2004) sees the band progress from their debut. This earned then support slots with the likes of U2 and The Cure that year. After listening to it again, I gave it a few more listens that day and the more I listened to it I enjoyed it.

Thursday 12 November

Love them or hate them, you just can’t ignore U2. All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000) was the bands 10th album and this year it is celebrating its 20th anniversary with various re-releases of it coming out. Looking back at the album I saw it was a return to form. I hated the album before that, Pop as I found it really hard to get into. Singles released from the album included Beautiful Day, Walk On, Elevation, and Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of were all successful. This was the only album that I never got to see the band on tour when they played Slane Castle twice in 2001.

The Best of 1990-2000 (2002) was the bands second greatest hits compilation. Even though I have nearly everything they have done, do I really need another best of album? Of course I do! It featured two new tracks Electrical Storm and The Hands That Built America from the soundtrack to Gangs of New York.

The album also featured new mixes of sounds (not sure if I could tell the difference!) and also the non album single from 1995, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me. My favourite song on the album was Miss Sarajevo which was originally credited to Passengers and also released as a single in 1995. I still have that single.

To get tickets for U2 gigs and I have been very successful in getting them since the Slane gig was by being a member of the fan club. Think it was about $40 to join and you get first chance to get tickets before everybody else which is less stressful. Another benefit of being in the fan club is you get CDs, like the ones I have here – Zoo TV Live (2007), U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle Ireland (2008) and Medium, Rare & Remastered (2009).

A two-disc set, Zoo TV Live was the fourth CD released by the U2 fan club. I got this as part of my subscription for 2007. The CDs simply contained the audio of the Zoo TV Live from Sydney DVD, which had been released in 2006. The set also included the audio of a bonus track from the DVD, a live recording of Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World from New York which felt a bit weird as it looked out of sequence with the Sydney gig.

U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle, Ireland was the fifth CD released by the U2 fan club in 2008 and I got bought the CD and the t-shirt edition. Kind of made up for not being there (not likely!)

The last CD Medium, Rare & Remastered was the sixth CD released by the U2 fan club. This two disc set caused a bit of problems with the fan club as these were readily available tracks, combined with the four-month wait for the CDs and the difficult issues with resubscription. Not much of an exclusive then!

Friday 13 November

Unlucky for some or maybe just a coincidence that these albums by Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Teenage Fan Club, Blur and A Perfect Circle all share the same name – Thirteen.

Black Sabbath13 (2013) was the bands nineteenth and final studio album. The original members of Black Sabbath were joined by Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave). It was the first ever Black Sabbath album I have bought. Amazing. Got to see the live twice before the farewell. Sadly Brad Wilk wasn’t on drumming duties for the tour.

Megadeth – Th1rt3en (2011) funny enough was their thirteenth album. It was their first album since 2001 and bassist and founding member David Ellefson rejoined the band.

A Perfect CircleThirteenth Step (2003) was the follow up to Mer de Noms  from 2000.

Teenage FanclubThirteen (1993) was their fourth and poorly received album at the time. Many believed they named the album after the Big Star song, Thirteen as the band are huge fans.

Blur13 (1999) was the bands sixth album and continued the trend of a shift away from the Britpop sound of their early career to exploring experimental, psychedelic and electronic music. The album produced three singles – Tender, Coffee & TV (great music video) and No Distance Left to Run.



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