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J. A. Francis "twisted_flayme"

Page: 1
by Lee Ranaldo
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The shifting of light and shadows..., 27 Jun 2009
This review is from: JRNLS80S (Paperback)
Lee Ranaldo's journals from the 1980's span the entire decade, from his pre-SY band Plus Instruments, through Confusion is Sex to Daydream Nation, covering recording experiences, touring experiences, personal experiences and any other sort of experience you'd expect one of the guitarists from Sonic Youth to have had in the 80's.

All this would be of academic interest however if it wasn't for the style of Ranaldo's prose: as one would expect, it is fairly heavily indebted to the Beat poets, and some of the tales of booting it about the States in the back of a van, quite naturally, have an air of Kerouac about them. However, Ranaldo's style, though derived from and reminiscent of the Beats, is still most certainly his own: his writings never feel derivative, the style never seems forced.

The material that Ranaldo has picked from his seemingly extensive journals is well-selected: for every recording story there is a section such as, when in Holland, he insisted that everyone detoured to see Smithson's Broken Circle/Spiral Hill (which Ranaldo observers will recognise as the name of a 7" he later released), and his joy at seeing the epic piece in the flesh. There are bits of poetry, but again, the amount presented is good and the material itself is, whilst having a whiff of downtown NYC pretention about it, fairly strong; later on there is an excerpt from a short story. There are several tales about Lee falling in love in an instant, making eye contact with a girl, sharing something deep and eternal yet fleeting, then rollin' on to the next town (though one suspects the booze and the coke may have had a little something to do with that...).

Though it would be absurd to suggest that anyone other than a die-hard SY fan should investigate this book, for those of such a disposition it is unmissable, giving a frank, candid, lucid and surprisingly absorbing insight into one of our beloved Yoof when he was still young - VERY highly recommended!

Price: 15.98

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soundtrack to a lazy day in the back garden in the summer, 21 Oct 2004
This review is from: Mummer (Audio CD)
OK, so, before I begin this review, I must confess that I am not a big XTC fan - I am unable to tell you about how this album stands up to Skylarking or Enlgish Settlement, or how the mental breakdown suffered by Partridge during this album's recording is portrayed through the sound - I only know that Partridge actually had a breakdown at this time because I've read the other reviews of this album! So, what I AM able to do then, is review this album solely on it's own merits. And on it's own merits, it's a corker. More or less all of the songs on Mummer (apart from the closing Funk, Pop a Roll, which is really out of place and is a bit anti-climactic to be honest)are wonderful little pop nuggets that could have been accidently dug up when a farmer has been gathering in his crop of potatoes, they're THAT countryside-y. "Love on a farmboy's wages", which I think was a single but knowing XTC would've sold about twelve copies regardless, is a little ditty about the difficulties of settling down with your loved one when all you have the skill to do is be a farmhand, which naturally pays a pittance ("Shilling for the fellow who brings the sheep in, Shilling for the fellow who milks the herd" is half of the chorus). "Ladybird" is a song about a ladybird, simple as that. It's the sort of album that you stick on at 10 in the morning on a day in July when you have nothing planned and think "Hmm, what shall I do today?", then you hear a song like the aforementioned "Ladybird", and think "Sod it, I'll just have a read and a doze in the garden", and grin smugly to yourself because you know damn well that no one else around has heard the marvellous Mummer, and you grin smugly because you know that their lives are just a little less happy, and just a little less easy to bare than yours.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2013 8:50 PM GMT

Four Groundhogs Originals
Four Groundhogs Originals
Offered by sdiscs
Price: 80.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 17 Sep 2002
This collection is one of the best I have ever seen. Tony "T.S." McPhee's playing is ridiculous, as good as Hendrix, Clapton or any of his other blues contempories. All but one of the albums here are classics - "Scratching The Surface" is just really really good, a mere 4 stars on it's own merits.

The songs are structured very well, with outstanding lyrics, rolling drums, throbbing bass and eclectic guitar playing, and anyway, 4 albums this good is outstanding value, and will provide many, many hours of listening pleasure.

The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II & III
The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II & III
Offered by wmdservices
Price: 31.99

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible collection and incredible value!, 25 July 2002
This best of is outstanding!!! How many bands have enough world class material to have THREE greatest hits albums, and how many of them would sell all 3 for 15?
I have owned GH1 since I was 7 (I am now 16) and I picked up GH2 soon after. Any Queen newbie will be stunned by the sheer variety of tracks on offer here: from the song of the millenium, the operatic Bohemian Rhapsody, anthems such as We Will Rock You to touching songs such as These Are The Days Of Our Lives, Queen cover the whole rock spectrum.
As a nit-picking diehard fan though, I must say that my only complaint is at GH3 - some of the tracks are lacklustre, such as Elton John's The Show Must Go On, which I think is a very poor cover, and also some earlier tracks (primarily Spread Your Wings) could have been added, as they were excluded from the 2 earlier GH albums, but that said, 48ish stunning and timeless tracks out of 51 isn't too bad, and for the asking price, it's an irresistable offer which you can't refuse!

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