Archive for the ‘Peaches’ Category

SOUNDTRACKTHE HIDDEN CAMERAS-Live at Massey Hall (August 4, 2016).

I watched the Peaches concert before this one and so my first exposure to Joe Gibb, who is The Hidden Cameras, was as a guy dressed in bondage singing gruffly to Peaches.  I saw also that he music was described as “gay church folk music.”

Imagine my surprise when Joe Gibb came out on stage in a gold suit with a big old rockabilly guitar.

In the interview he explains that he has been working on this record for about ten years, but he always had other records that came first.  He was thrilled to finally put out this one out because it is “light compared to the dark previous albums.”

This album Home on Native Land was recorded over 10 years with guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright, Feist, Ron Sexsmith, Neil Tennant, Bahamas and Mary Margaret O’Hara including original compositions as well as covers of “Dark End Of The Street” and “Don’t Make Promises” by Tim Hardin and Canadian classic “Log Driver’s Waltz”

It opens with “Counting Stars” which is a catchy shuffling song about not getting into heaven.  There’s a wild piano solo followed by a wild guitar solo.

“Ode to an Ah” is but 2 minutes long and the lyrics are simple “Ah Ah ha Yea, oo ooh ooh yea.”  It’s a fun diversion before the cover of “The Dark End of the Street.”  It’s a nice version of the classic

Then he invites Leslie Feist to come and help sing “Log Driver’s Waltz,” nt a song you expert to hear Feist singing but she sounds great singing it.

He then says he’s “so excited for our next guest…Ron Sexsmith.”  Ron is tuxed up and sings two songs: “Twilight of the Season
and “Don’t Make Promises.”

After playing those new songs he goes back to a much earlier album for “Music is My Boyfriend,” a bouncy organ-fuelled dance rocker.

Then it’s to 2016’s Age for “Carpe Jugular’ A synthy bouncy dance number, which is a lot more what I assumed The Hidden Cameras sounded like.

He had spent some time in Berlin before returning to Toronto.  He says that now Berlin is less about learning but that he’s missing it, “I’ve been here for 7 months.”

The final song “I Believe in the Good of Life” goes all the way back to his brilliantly named album Mississauga Goddam.  It’s bouncy in the way the new songs are, and has some of that rockabilly /Elvis style.

For this show, the band is Asa Berezny, Stew Crookes, Steven Foster, Tania Gill, Sam Gleason, David, Meslin, Regina Thegentlelady, and Dorian Thornton

[READ: February 8, 2018]  “Adriana”

This is a strange little meta-story that works something like an autobiography of Coetzee (unless it’s all fictional and then it’s just a funny story that makes fun of the author, I guess).

It begins with an interviewer asking Senhora Nascimento, a Brazilian woman, how she came to spend so many years in South Africa.

She has a sad story, coming from Angola with her two children–her husband was killed, brutally, in a robbery attempt. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACKPEACHES-Live at Massey Hall (August 4, 2016).

Peaches is afraid of no one.  She bears it all, lyrically, visually, sexually (sample lyric: “Can’t talk right now this chick’s dick is in my mouth”).

She stands center stage, all by herself atop a small pyramid.  She programs some beats at the back of the pyramid and then begins singing the lyrics to “Rub.”  She demonstrates quite exaggeratedly where the rubbing out to take place

Tell on my pussy
Whistle blow my clit
Watch it open up
Cause it can’t keep a secret

What’s great about Peaches is that she was 49 at the time of this performance and she held nothing back–doing a very impressive split at the top of “Operate.”

She began the show with an oversized cape and what looks like a catcher’s chest protector with the outline of abs on it.  When she takes those off she reveals a body suit with hands all over it–grabbing her.

Next up is “Vaginoplasty.”  She introduces the song that it “is not about a big dick or big tits it’s about my big fucking vagina.”  Its at this point that her two dancers (Jess Daly and Agent Cleave) come out wearing gigantic vagina body suits.

In addition to being about her vagina though, she also addresses transgender issues

If you’re born as a man
But know you’re a woman
I understand
Gotta get it, get it girl

About this song she later said:

I think “Vaginoplasty” is about an important subject, but I also think it’s hilarious. The song is about a big vag, but then you have to think, Why does that gross me out?

Her voice is terrific on this song as well, she hits some really powerful notes.

“Mean Something” features a duet with “Feist.”  Feist sings the eerily compelling chorus.  It’s a great song without being explicit.

During an interview she talks about going to Berlin where she was appreciated before returning home to make her album.

After an onstage costume change, Peaches wears a fabulous outfit that’s a giant vagina and she walks out into the audience, walking across the backs of the chairs until she stops and says, “These are my parents!” (their reaction is..amusing).

“How You Like My Cut” is more of a rap–incredibly sparse with lyrics that are not terribly eloquent

How you like my cut
How you like my cut what
How you like my cut

But it seems more about the mood than the words.  Words are suitably important for “Fuck the Pain Away” (now that is something you did think you’d be singing at Massey Hall).  Both songs feature her dancers in minimal bondage gear.

The chorus that gets the crowd chanting is

S I S I U D, stay in school cause it’s the best

With repetition, the lines eventually sound like “SIS, stay in school cause it’s the best IUD.” Peaches thus ties the education of women directly to birth control and reproductive autonomy.

For the final two songs, she has one more outfit change (which leaves her topless, but with pasties on).  “Dumb Fuck” has an incredibly catchy chorus of “dumb fuck, you dumb fuck, you dumb fuck” which is certainly cathartic.

The final song is “Close Up” and is a duet with Joel Gibb from The Hidden Cameras.  They have a lot of fun with the song.

[READ: January 9, 2017] “The Bog Girl” 

Some stories are so weird that you have to keep reading.  And when they get even weirder and even more compelling, you sort of marvel at the way it unfolds.

This story was one of those.

Cillian is a fifteen year old boy working in the peatlands in an island off of Ireland on the archipelago known as the Four Horsemen.  He is working illegally, but his boss hired him because his house abutted the peatlands.

The story gives a brief history of peat–how it is created and used for fuel and explains that the lack of oxygen allows things to decompose there–so there are all kinds of dead animals in the peat.  But no one notices because it is now industrially harvested.

Then one day, as he is digging up the peat, Cillian sees a hand.  It proves to be the hand of a girl.  When she is exhumed, her body comes out intact.  She is cute with a sweet smile.  The police determine that she is not a recent murder, that she is probably 2,000 years old.  Well, Cillian is lucky that he lives on a remote island. (more…)

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elmer SOUNDTRACK: R.E.M.-Collapse into Now (2011).

R.E.M._-_Collapse_into_Now“Discoverer” opens this disc with ringing guitars–not exact R.E.M. replicants, but familiar.  And then Stipe comes in and the refresher course in R.E.M. begins.  Collapse Into Now proved to be R.E.M.’s final album, and while some of their latter albums weren’t great, Collapse seems to revisit everything that was great about R.E.M. and tries to spread it all over this album.

The blueprints for classic R.E.M. songs form the structure of a lot of these songs, with chiming guitars, and Stipe’s recognizable vocals.  “All the Best” sounds like classic R.E.M. (although Stipe’s delivery is more current sounding).  It also fits in well with the faster songs from Accelerate and is only 2:46.  But it’s “Überlin” that really sounds like a classic R.E.M. song.  That notable guitar style with Stipe’s very specific delivery style.  And then come Peter Buck’s harmonies.  It sounds like a good outtake from, say, Automatic for the People.

Stipe tends to do a lot of his sing-speaking on this album (and i think the one thing I don’t like that much about the album is that early R.E.M. seemed to obscure Stipe’s vocals and lyrics a little bit, giving them an air of mystery.  Whereas the newer records are all pretty well laid bare).  So “Oh My Heart” has Stipe almost speaking his poetry.  It’s got mandolin and Buck’s mildly annoying backing vocals (I’ve never thought that about his backing vocals before).

An Eddie Vedder cameo is utterly wasted on “It Happened Today,” you can barely hear him as all he does is backing crooning near the end of the song (and frankly the “hip hip hooray” chorus is lame).  “Every Day is Yours to Win” is a pretty slow song.  It doesn’t amount to much but the melody is really beautiful.  “Mine Smell Like Honey” is a crazy bad title, but it’s a great rocking song, really hearkening back to classic R.E.M.–ringing guitars and Stipe’s vaguely disguised voice.  “Walk it Back” is another slow ballady type song and is really pretty.  While “Alliagtor_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter” is a rocker with Peaches singing and speaking backing vocals.  “That Someone is You” follows up with another speedy track.

I tend to dislike the really slow R.E.M. songs, so “Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I” doesn’t do much for me.  The disc ender, “Blue” reminds me of Out of Time‘s “Country Feedback” (I keep waiting for him to say “I need this”).  And the Patti Smith backing vocals recall “E-Bow the Letter.”  “Blue” is meandering and unfocused but Buck’s atmospheric guitars are quite effective, even if the song itself is nothing special.  I don’t quite get the coda of tacking the opening chords of the album on to the end, but whatever.

So basically this album feels like some mostly great outtakes from earlier R.E.M. albums. And there’s really nothing wrong with that (well there would be if R.E.M. was still trying to release a lot of new music).  But since the band was ready to call it quits anyway, it’s a nice recap of their career.  True, I’d rather listen to their earlier records, but you could definitely throw most of these songs into a mix with the earlier ones and they would sound perfect.

[READ: October 25, 2014] Elmer

Elmer has a  chicken on the cover.  It also features this quote at the top of the book: “It’s the Great Filipino Novel, with chickens.”  What to expect from this book?  Well, chickens, obviously, but I never would have guessed what this book contained.  Indeed, this book is pretty mind-blowing (in a good way).

It has a simple premise, which seems comical but is actually taken very seriously: what if chickens became “aware” and learned to speak?  It sounds funny, right, but Alanguilan really explores this issue seriously–if a species of animal that we normally eat suddenly talked to us en masse, how quickly would we deal with this, and what would humanity’s reaction be?  It tackles issues of slavery and racism and pushes them further.  And while the “change” takes place in 1979, it addresses contemporary society with an inquisitive glare.

While there is some humor in it, this is a serious book.

Jake Gallo is a modern chicken (the book is set in 2003–two decades after chickens became “human”).  He has just been rejected for a job, and he pulls the race card (this would be the hilarious reveal that our main character is a chicken).  While he’s feeling sorry for himself, he gets word that his father, Elmer, is dying and he returns home to be with his mother and family.  On the way home he runs into Farmer Ben, the farmer who helped to raise Elmer’s family.  And he is genuinely glad to see Jake.  Jake seems somewhat put off by Farmer Ben and declines his offer of a ride. (more…)

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You’ve got to have balls to cover the most popular album of all time.  Everyone knows Dark Side of the Moon, according to Billboard charts everyone probably owns a copy of Dark Side of the Moon.  So, you’re taking on a pretty big task here.  But the Flaming Lips aren’t called The Fearless Freaks for nothing.

What delights me about this album is that it is utterly unfaithful to the original.  There’s nothing worse than a cover song that just apes the original version.  With that in mind, the Lips have put their bizarro stamp on the classic album, oftentimes rendering the songs almost unrecognizable–but more on that in a moment.

The two guest stars on the disc are Henry Rollins and Peaches.  Rollins recites all the spoken word bits from the original.  He actually makes a lot of those weird ramblings clear for me for the firs time.  The originals were spoken by a (presumably) high Englishman.  Rollins’ delivery is much more abrasive (but then so is the music).  It works pretty well, especially since Rollins’ laugh is maniacal, although if he sounded a bit more drunken I think it would work even better.  Peaches sings a few of the female vocal bits.  I’ve never been much of a fan of hers but, man, she does an awesome job in covering “The Great Gig in the Sky,” the track from the disc that features a wondrous diva singing and screaming her heart out.  Peaches really lets loose and showcases the power of her voice.

The Lips play on 7 songs and StarDeath play on 6.  They work together on 2 tracks.

StarDeath is fronted by Wayne Coyne’s nephew, Dennis.  I’d only heard one track from them before, and I liked it.  Dennis’ voice is a higher register, like Wayne, but he’s also a bit more subtle. Musically they are less noisy as well, and it’s a good counterpoint to the static of the Lips’ tracks.

So the opener, “Breathe” (Lips) is distinct right away, because the main focus of this version is a loud throbbing bassline. “On the Run” (Stardeath) is completely indistinguishable from the original.  You would never suspect it was a cover.  It’s a bass-propelled, very cool song, but there’s almost no similarity.

“Money” (Lips) stays fairly faithful to the original, except that the vocals are totally auto-tuned.  It makes the song sound really alien, as if coming, yes, from the other side of the moon.

“Time” (Stardeath) on the other hand, is a very delicate, acoustic track, (sounding somewhat like Mercury Rev, actually).  It is something of a counter to the rocking version on the original.

“Us and Them” (Lips) is probably the closest sounding to the original.  It has simple washes of sound and Wayne’s delicate voice.  But, once again, the louder sections of this song are left out.  “Any Colour You Like” (Stardeath) is a much closer instrumental to the original than “On the Run” was.  And “Brain Damage” (Stardeath) is really quite spot on (and may be even creepier than the original).

The ender, “Eclipse” is like a distorted indie rock version of the original.  It works pretty well.

There’s surprisingly little in the way of sound effects (which are all over the original).  I’d have thought they’d populate the disc with all kinds of fun things, but no, they actually play it pretty straight.

My one real complaint about the disc (and actually about Embryonic as well).  The Lips have always pushed the envelope of music.  But lately, they seem to be redlining  a lot of their sounds, making them distort and crackle.  Now, I love distortion when it’s used well, but this “too loud” distortion actually hurts my ears, even if the volume is low.  I find the sound to be unpleasant, and not in a good way.  And I think it’s a shame because the Lips write such great music, that I hate to have it obscured by clouds of noise.

So, yeah, this will never replace the original for anyone.  But it’s a fun experiment and actually sounds a bit like a rough demo for the final release.  In fact, in many ways it sounds like it’s coming from outer space and may be conceptually more accurate for the title.

I saw The Lips and Star Death on Jimmy Fallon.  They played “Breathe” and all eight (or more) guys were on stage.  It was a big wonderful mess.  And they sounded really good together.

[READ: May 11, 2010] ; or The Whale

In 2007, a book was published called Moby Dick in Half the Time.  And, as the title implies, it took Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; or The Whale and truncated it.  The editors basically kept in all of the “plot” and excised most of the “wandering” parts of the story.

So, in 2009, Damion Searls decided to print all of the excised material as a book itself.  This exercise was published in The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Summer 2009 | Vol. XXIX.  So, this “book” is Moby Dick without the “plot” or as the introduction puts it, “all Moby, no Dick.”

This book includes “every chapter, sentence, word, and punctuation mark that Anonymous removed to produce [Moby Dick in Half the Time]” (10).

And so what we get is a very surreal story indeed.  It comes across as a fascinating look into the mind of the (in this version) not named until Chapter 11 or so narrator (since we’ve obviously lost “Call me Ishmael”).  It also comes across in many sections as bizarre poetry.

; or the Whale’s opening line is:

“methodically.” (31). (more…)

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