THE SMITHS ‘COMPLETE’ – A BOXFUL OF BRILLIANCE

This piece was originally published June 18th, 2012.

2012 marks the 40th anniversary of nineteen year old John Maher (he changed it to Johnny Marr to avoid confusion with Buzzcocks drummer, John Maher at the time ) getting together with a twenty three year old unemployed writer named Steven Patrick Morrissey to forge what many have called not only the greatest independent alternative U.K. band of the ’80s, The Smiths, but perhaps the last truly important classic pop songwriting partnership that popular music history has seen.

 

Can you name another songwriting team that has come along since that tops them?

 

 

 

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Andy Rourke, Morrissey, Johnny Marr and Mike Joyce  as The Smiths

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With this anniversary, there have come remastered editions (overseen by Johnny Marr) of their entire catalog, including a limited edition super deluxe pricey vinyl LP box, and (reviewed here) a more easily purchased CD box set version entitled The Smiths Complete.

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Despite any claims by fans or critics of who was the best or greatest, one thing is undeniable, that once they secured the line-up of Marr, Morrissey, drummer Mike Joyce and bassist Andy Rourke, The Smiths of Manchester U.K. found an exquisite chemistry that rang of the sublime and the catchy.

They released unquestionably beautiful music for the ages. Continue reading, please click here…

HOWARD DEVOTO AND MAGAZINE: BACK ON THE STANDS!

This piece was originally published December 5th, 2011.

Magazine Post TemplateAs if thirty years had never even happened.

Howard Devoto and his band Magazine, reformed for live shows in 2009, and have just released their first new material since their last album in 1981.

Picking right up where things left off, Magazine have always been a band that sounded fresh, smart, relevant, and illustriously special.

Now with their new album No Thyself, the band has the ability to reinsert themselves into the current musical climate, which will hopefully garner them a new audience, new accolades, and acknowledgement that they are truly one of the great groups to come out of the U.K.

Magazine’s origins begin with the background of the legendary and starkly original vocalist/songwriter Howard Devoto.

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URGH! A MUSIC WAR

This piece was originally published Monday, April 12th, 2010.

Klaus Nomi Post IconFilmed in 1980 and released in 1981, the concert film, URGH! A Music War, was then and still is, a revelation.

Not only was it one of the few film examples at the time where you could actually experience 38 punk rock, “New Wave” and post punk acts performing in one 122 minute back to back smörgåsbord, but a large number of the acts at the time were operating at their peaks of creativity.


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ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN: An Intimate Evening At Great Scott

This piece was originally published October 26th, 2009

October 18, 2009.

Echo and The Bunneymen IconThings couldn’t have been more perfectly designed…seeing one of the legendary (and a favorite) post punk bands performing in Allston, MA at a tiny venue called Great Scott. Echo And The Bunnymen, in an extremely rare, intimate one-off return to playing a small room, not unlike their earliest days of performing in the clubs of Liverpool.

Little did I know that a freakish snow storm and terrifying driving experience would almost derail this grand opportunity.

Then again, it was also the perfect backdrop for seeing a band who has weathered the highs and lows of musical superstardom and continued to pilot their musical voyage through the “Seven Seas.”


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Mark E. Smith and The Fall: My Favorite Musical Acts I Will See Again and Again. Part 1.

This piece was originally published May 18, 2009

Don’t Give Up On Live Music!

I'm A Mummy IconI’ve been going to see live music for as long as I can remember loving music. Whether it was as a kid being brought somewhere to experience the new sensation of various summertime jazz performers in the park, or later on as I ventured out to nightspots and musical gatherings on my own. I have lived music, played music, gone to support fellow comrades in sound as they too formed bands, and later helped put together a massive 3-day music festival that was beyond an incredible experience.

No matter what your particular preferred genre of sound, simply put, there is little in life that can come close to the thrill of seeing and hearing a live concert. If the concert happens to be by an artist whose music you are already familiar with and own work by, that’s a plus. For myself, there are then the wonderful few who make a return touring visit extra special and rewarding.

This is the first column for what will end up being 13 columns spread out over this year, for which I have cherry picked favorite musical acts that I really get excited about going to see over and over again in concert.

My prerequisites:
1) They are still currently making music I like and are touring live.
2) I’ve seen each more than a few times.
3) All stand out with a unique sound, presence and charisma.

Perhaps there is a chance you will have heard and love a few, or perhaps have not heard of any. Hopefully, at least one will tickle your interest enough to check out a sample or read further about them via their web site.

Fan=fanatic and I guess you could say that for each of the musical acts I will be covering, I am a fanatic and will almost always buy whatever it is that they have to sell me.

Part 1)

The Fall

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