Thursday, July 20, 2006

Winter Lovin, that's the best kind of lovin

Well, I'm not too sure about that, Mr Freedman. It's been bloody cold, even for someone like me who claims to enjoy cold weather more. Well, it was bloody freezing this morning at any rate. My sister had rowing at 6 am at the yarra (if it's not swimming it's rowing - when will she learn to choose a sport that's conducted at a civil hour!?) and I stupidly offered take mum to breakfast this morning. So at the highly improbably hour of 6am I found myself sitting in a freeeezing cold cafe at the Queen Vic Markets. I've never seen that place so empty. It was about 5 degrees this morning. Unbelievable. I was wearing a ridiculous amount of clothing and it didn't do all that much actually.

So I'm being a bit lazy tonight - so tired after being up so early. I was meant to go to a Something for Kate secret gig at the Evelyn (well it's not a secret now but it's on now, so it's not like I'm ruining it for anyone) but it's so cold and I'm so tired and I don't like them enough to bundle up and head out again. I only know a few of their singles anyway, so this prevents me from feeling guilty about passing up such an opportunity. Trust me if it were a secret gig for Jebediah or something I'd be the first one there.

So anyway there has been new music this week, which will become a weekly thing. There's the Split Enz re-masters to buy so I'm buying one a week in chronological order (apart from True Colours, which I bought first because it was really cheap). This week I bought the first album, Mental Notes, recorded in 1975.

I don't have a lot of un-remastered tracks to compare to the remasters, as my only other Split Enz album is a best of, but from what I do have off Mental Notes (Titus and Time For A Change)the sound quality is markedly different. At first I thought Eddie Rayner (Enz keyboardist and now producer) would just tweak the mix, but he's gone back and used different takes, and the result is very impressive. In terms of sound quality it's superbly clear, like the tracks were recorded yesterday, and the tracks now probably sound more like how the band wanted them to sound like in the first place. The first track, Walking Down A Road (and one of my favourites from the album) really shows off the superior sound quality, the drums and bass really clear and popping out. There's also two bonus live tracks on the end of the album, 129 (Matinee Idyll) and Lovey Dovey, which is my favourite Split Enz song at the moment, with a quirky little chorus and Eddie's *fantastic* piano, especially the bridge. In the live version the band calls out 'Come on Eddie, if you please, play that bridge on the ivories'. I cracked up when I heard that. Eddie is a seriously talented keyboardist/pianist and his use of synthesizers to add colour to the songs was really something too (I could write a whole lot more about this album and the band members' individual instrumental virtuosity but let's leave it at one lengthy pragraph).

I also bought 'She Will Have Her Way - The Songs of Tim and Neil Finn', which is a bunch of Aussie and New Zealand singer-songwriters covering Finn songs. It's kind of a mixed package with some good covers and some...well, crap ones. I personally believe if you're going to cover a song then you should give it your own flavour. Therefore Natalie Imbruglia's cover of Pineapple Head pisses me off because it sounds *exactly* the same as the original, but with a chick singing. I'm also not a huge fan of Renee Geyer's Into Temptation because it was a really cheesy sounding electronic drumbeat. Surpisingly I actually kinda like Kasey Chamber's Better Be Home Soon, very simple arrangement with just acoustic guitar and violin. And her backing vocalist sounds EXACTLY like Neil Finn (although the liner notes say it's someone else). My favourite cover on the album however is Sophie Koh's rousing version of Charley, a classic Split Enz song. The original is an almost mournful, heart-wrenching ballad but Sophie and Co (not pun intended) have upped the tempo to a stomping, feel-good indie pop gem that the disaffected 'yoof' in me loves. That's my idea of a cover right there.

My sister borrowed the new Muse album, Black Holes and Revelations, from a friend today but I haven't listened to all of it yet, so a review on that next time. I like Muse but haven't really taken the time to hear all their stuff. My siblings adore them, so it looks like we're all going to the Big Day Out to see them next year. I have to say I really dig Supermassive Black Hole. It's so damn funky and so unlike their other stuff. So stay posted for that one.

Anyway an early night for me. I have to be at my sister's school tomorrow at 9am to accompany her on Missy Higgin's Nightminds. Geez, am I her slave much? Haha. She'd better sing it well.


PS I'm really excited about buying the second Enz album, Second Thoughts, next week, even though it is kinda like Mental Notes Mach II as there are a few duplicated tracks. But it has Matinee Idyll, Sweet Dreams, Lovey Dovey and Late Last Night, which I all *love* and can't wait to hear the remastered versions of. So expect a lengthy review about that one!


Anonymous said...

How come I don't get a mention in your blog? Why not "Something For Kate or a night out on Chaps? Just a question.

Brendan said...

Last comment was from me.

R said...

*sigh* I get so excited about someone commenting on my blog and it's just a complaint. It makes me sad.

OK not really. Sorry Brendan, I was already falling asleep at the computer when I wrote this.

Brendan said...

I'll forgive that, then. Been there.