On Friday night I had the special experience of watching Prince thrust maniacally on the (very) large screen out under heavy-laden rainy skies at Red Rocks. As part of their wonderfully conceived summer Film On The Rocks series, myself and hundreds of other vocally enthusiastic moviegoers got to bask in the glow of the tiny one’s sweaty brow, glistening chest hair, ruffled poet shirts, blindfolds, fancy studded purple jackets and wispy moustache in none other than (yes) Purple Rain. From the opening echoey benediction of “dearly beloved,” to the completely nonsensical plot and downright giggle-inducing sex scenes, to the triumphant final performance of the title song . . . wow, that was awesome. I needed a cigarette or something after all that. And I don’t even smoke.
Tunes for this week:
Oh, delicious mystery. As previously mentioned on Fuel/Friends, our beloved favorite sloppy punk drunk Paul Westerberg recently released a new continuous single-mp3 album on Amazon called 49:00 for 49 cents. Problem is, when you downloaded it you found a somewhat baffling total length of 43:55. This led ‘Mats nerds everywhere to freak out quietly, wondering where the other 5:05 ran off to. A few days ago, the rest of that audio surfaced for purchase on TuneCore without much explanation. After an extended 45-second intro that sounds for all the world like Cartman, that trademark Westerberg strum and yowl begins and I’m happy (even as the song closes with the yelling of profanities — as it should be). If you haven’t already downloaded 49:00, well . . . I can’t help you with that either since it looks like the download link has been pulled, after solidly positive reviews on sites like Aquarium Drunkard and Pitchfork. Go figure.
Tu Es Ma Came
Why won’t anyone take Carla Bruni seriously? Oh, that. It’s hard having been a model in a former incarnation, dating rock stars and ultimately running off with the president of France. Yes, sultry songstress Carla Bruni is now married to Nicolas Sarkozy, and I’m gonna go out on a limb here and wager that her music is the most lovely, sexy, smoky music ever made by someone who was the first lady of anything. Following her surprisingly good 2002 album Quelqu’un M’a Dit, much of which she wrote herself, Bruni is back with a new album Comme Si de Rien N’Etait (out now on Downtown Recordings/US). This tune is a bluesy, intimate bedroom song that sounds like Bruni strumming her guitar on the corner of the comforter as she unwinds that bewitching alto.
Two Silver Trees
While I was watching Prince gyrate on Friday, the classy people were in Boulder at the night festivities of the AAA Records and Radio Summit that I left earlier, watching eclectic Tucson foursome Calexico at the Fox Theatre. After being beamed into space as a wake-up song (in what sounds like an oddly fitting move), and recording those great contributions for the 2007 I’m Not There soundtrack, Calexico is finally releasing an anticipated new album Carried To Dust on 9/9 (Touch and Go Records). There are touches of Latin American influences all over this new album, after the band was finally able to do some long-desired exploring of Chile and Argentina in the past year. “Our last record was more political,” says vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns, “but this record reads more like a travel journal.” Sam Beam from Iron & Wine is also featured, following their gorgeous recent collabs.
So you totally remember that song “Possum Kingdom” from Fort Worth, Texas alt-rock band of 1994 Toadies, don’t you? Listen. You do. That aggressive riff still gets under my skin a little bit in a good way, and makes me feel instantly fifteen. Toadies are preparing to release their first album in 7 years, and this song is dirty and growly, reminding me of someone like Nick Cave or Jon Spencer. They’re out on tour, hitting Denver’s Gothic Theatre on September 24th, and No Deliverance is out August 19th on Kirtland Records. And I’m still not gonna lie, I won’t be a gentleman, behind the boathouse.
Song For The Magpie
Thanks to some dodgy anonymous tipster (it’s the Feds!) this new song from Los Angeles indie artist Sea Wolf popped into my inbox recently, as featured in Augusten Burroughs‘ new audio book A Wolf At The Table. The work is a collaborative effort between Alex Church of Sea Wolf, Patti Smith, Ingrid Michaelson (who I just saw Friday), and Tegan Quin (of Tegan and Sara). The musicians each read the book and came up with an original song for use in the audio version; a very cool intersection of reading and music (like this ole podcast). Sea Wolf’s contribution is a nuanced orchestral dirge that spreads like warm alcohol through my chest, with hints of Rufus Wainwright in the elegant and elastic waver of the verses.