Tuesday, November 15th, 2005
License To Jive
Because it’s apparently been far too long since Pitchfork offended everyone, this week they’re running a piece on the worst album covers ever. You’d think that truly awful album art is the sort of thing that everyone could agree on, but as this Donewaiting reader shows, not so much. I’m by no means going to defend any of the selections, they’re all pretty gross, but I will express my appreciation that they haven’t used any of the albums in that other “worst album art ever” list that has been blogged and message board-ed ad nauseum. And I will agree that the cover of Jim O’Rourke’s Eureka is truly awful. I don’t mind the album at all, but I’m sort of embaressed to have it in my collection just for the cover.
And if they thought the cover art for that Corey Feldman album was bad, they should have seen his appearance on MuchMusic’s Electric Circus back in 1993. The video clip no longer works, tragically, but trust me – it was the greatest awful thing I’ve ever seen. If anyone at MuchMusic is reading this, I implore you – make that clip available again. The world needs to see this.
Why am I picking on Corey Feldman? I dunno. Why not?
For some GOOD album cover art, I direct you to galleries by Storm Thorgerson, Peter Saville, Vaughan Oliver (maybe he helped out on 4AD’s new website?), William Schaff, Jesse LeDoux… um, who’m I missing? I know these are some of the more obvious ones. If anyone has links to good portfolios from album cover artists, share s’il vous-plait.
And in another tribute to the physicality of records, Stylus has compiled a big long list of b-sides that are worthy of a-side attention. I’m enjoying reading this, as I’m a huge fan of the b-side. Nothing makes me happier than bands with a talent for the flipside compiling their non-album cuts in a single volume, if for no other reason than all those EPs and singles take up a hell of a lot of room on the old shelves. Hell, I’m getting antsy just seeing all these tracks from beloved bands that I’ve never heard. Is there any good online resource for digging up b-sides? I’ll pay for em.
Nellie McKay has realized that releasing her new album Pretty Little Head on December 27 is, well, dumb. So the new release date is a proper January 3 of next year. Billboard has details and the tracklist.
More magazine archive digging has uncovered a couple of pieces from recording mag TapeOp. Check out this piece with Bettie Serveert about recording Log 22 and this one in PDF form with Bob Mould about his recording methods.
Largehearted Birthday Boy asked me the other day what I thought of Mould’s Body Of Song, which I finally got a copy of. I’ve still only listened to it a few times, but I have to say that when people were saying early on that it was a return to the guitar rock of Sugar, that was more wishful thinking on their part. While it is definitely more guitar-y than, say, Modulate, it’s still considerably more measured and polished than his work from 14 years ago. Rather than revisit his past works, Mould has taken elements of that and brought them to his present and created what is probably a pretty accurate snapshot of where he is today, musically speaking. While I will echo the sentiments of those who wish Bob would lose the vocoder and I can’t say that in the long run, Body Of Song will get more spins than Copper Blue or New Day Rising, Body Of Song sounds like Bob is energized again with making music, and that can only be a good thing.
np – The Cardigans / Super Extra Gravity