Obtuse Observer

February 14, 2011

Shooter Jennings: Black Ribbons

Filed under: Music Review — Tags: — Obtuse Observer @ 1:07 pm

This record is an important record.  It borrows, mixes and combines the best fruit of many vineyards.  It is derivative.  Derivative in the sense that Quentin Tarantino’s movies are.  They pick and choose amongst genres to find the best fit for their current vision.  One may consider it a form of sampling by proxy I suppose but I think I’m then giving too much credit to the simpler notion that they acknowledge what works and they imitate it for their own purposes.  Such is the way with great art traditions.  IMO, this record falls into that category.  Having said that I will surprise that ultimately I must give the project a thumbs down; as if that matters.  Black Ribbons will become a multi-platinum, genre-blending, exquisitely produced, concept album. 

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Production quality:  I popped the CD in my car as I began an assignment for the wife.  We needed cheese dammit and neither wind nor rain nor dark of night should impede my mission.  Upon listening I was not simply impressed by the production work.  I was moved to fits of Parkinson’s like twitching trying to decide with whom I needed to share this amazing sound.  So I resorted to punishing a friend by texting repeatedly and in rapid succession about what I was hearing while hoping to rouse his passion for Shooter and piss him off at the same time by waxing ecstatic about the fact that I got the record before him, it is amazing and he has to hear about it from me first.  Women will not understand that.  That is because they are a breed apart and make no sense.  As such we should make no attempt to try to understand them. 

The high end fidelity and rejection of convention in order to capture the right sound for the right moment provides experience after experience for those who listen with an ear for winks and nods to other artists; the list here being too long, broad and deep to offer without failing by inadvertent omission.  Just believe me.  On my assignment with little time to spare I missed my exit because I couldn’t stop trying to gather in everything I was hearing.  This was around song two.  It got better from my perspective in terms of enjoyment but worse in terms of violating my temporal mandate.  The overall tone and feel reminded me of Welcome to the Machine in so many ways which would require ham fisted description that’ll decline and hope you get it instead.  This record is one kid on another’s soulders staring though greasy, smokey, translucent windows heated and barely tolerable into a dystopian world and reporting to us what he sees Napoleon telling Squeeler to do.  This record is not the result of a trifling effort but rather a restive mind.  There much here to learn from and to be admired.  

Coming soon to a theater near you; remarks touching upon………… 


Song Writing



December 6, 2010

Justin Townes Earle

Here’s the first track off his new record.  It came out September 13 and he went back into rehab September 16.  A quite interesting review made the crack about how “I loved their stuff until they got sober” which I am certainly guilty of making.  The reviewer laments that this record is too safe and falls into the other dumbass comment that usually pairs up with the sober comment, “I loved their old stuff.”  Sometimes one wonders if such reviews don’t tell us more about the reviewer than the guy who put the tracks on vinyl. 

And for the record; Yes, he’s Steve Earle’s kid and yes he’s named after Townes Van Zandt.  While digging around for links and what not I found a few other gems I thought I’d include here. 


September 8, 2010

Robert Plant has a new band… and it doesn’t suck


the Zep at O2 - click to enlarge

After the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin (and Bonzo’s son on drums) reunited to play a tribute show at London’s O2 in December of 2007 for Ahmet Ertegun my optimism for a tour of Led Zeppelin as Led Zeppelin was high.     

JPJones and Jimmy Page - click to enlarge

Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones seemed to have patched up their feud, whatever it was – surely he parked the car well, and they announced that they wanted to tour.        


Click to enlarge

But Robert wouldn’t play ball.  Now, I’ve seen Plant before in a small room (Gypsy Tea Room, Dallas, TX) and was impressed that he still had it.  Boots from O2 seemed to back it up and the record he released with Alison Krauss deserved the Grammy it won.    

But Robert, for the love of all things holy…. why would you so disappoint me and refuse to tour?  I would give up Packer Superbowl Tickets to see you and the Zep play and I would be willing to sell one of my neighbor’s children for those Packer tickets!     


click to enlarge

So, John Paul Jones joined up with a bunch of neophyte upstarts in order to lend their project Them Crooked Vultures some name recognition (yes, that was sarcasm).     


click to enlarge

Mr. Page, he’s probably off reading some of Mr. Crowley’s old books hoping to find the spell that’ll get Robert focused on projects of much more significance.    

And now… now I hear Plant has a new band.  Or a new old band.  Or whatever one wants to call his new Band of Joy.  I so much wanted to check it out and discover that they sucked.  Disappointed again.  All that is left is for me is to find Mr. Page and offer my assistance in bring Mr. Plant into the fold.  For this I should think a very wonderful show in my back yard would be a reasonable payment.  So, those of you who wish to be on the guest list, I accept cash and kind donations.    

Here’s their cover of Angel Dance by Los Lobos  





August 4, 2010

Kraftwerk wow

Filed under: Music Review — Tags: , , — Obtuse Observer @ 10:30 am

KraftWork from seeper on Vimeo.

more videos like this one

nicked from here

More eye candy from “more videos like this one” linky

Battle of Branchage from seeper on Vimeo.

What I really want to know is – Where the hell are the singing cats?!

July 17, 2010

The Orbans

Filed under: Music Review — Tags: — Obtuse Observer @ 6:13 am

These guys released When We Were Wild June 15th.


I was only able to find it available online. Listen, learn, love… buy it.


I sure don’t have a crystal ball but I’d be shocked if this Fort Worth band didn’t break large and fast.

The Orbans Facebook page

June 29, 2010

The Chemical Brothers: Further

Filed under: Music Review — Tags: , — Obtuse Observer @ 6:36 am


Who would think anyone could produce music for nearly twenty years and remain relevant?


The Chemical Brothers latest release could well be the best record they’ve ever made.  If it don’t make your booty move, your booty must be dead.











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