Recorded in just a few days. Full of lots of raw energy and classic Costello anger. One of his best in many years. He still has it.
Posted via web from majikwah’s posterous
Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl. February, 2009. Van Morrison.
These songs are 40 years old. Van is 63 years old.
A few months back I rediscovered Astral Weeks. I think Julie was the one who found it at a thrift store in some cheap CD bin. She probably paid $2.00 for it. I gave it a listen. I hadn’t heard it in years and it took me back. To college and the army. I traveled around Stuttgart for three years with this cassette close by and usually always on my Walkman.
But Hey-Zues de Christo! This album will give you absolute shivers up your spine. After all these years, this album sounds brand new. And the 22-year-old voice from the original album is present so many years later. The band is superb. The sound is amazing. I don’t think there has been any after show tweaking. This is not the product of some protools monkey-around-mess. This is a live recording and mixed live.
Do I dare say Van seems really happy playing this album? Do I detect a smile as he vamps and scats his way through Cyprus Avenue and Ballerina?
I saw Van when he hit Red Rocks in Morrison, CO a few years back. And it was a great show – but man, oh man – to have been in LA in November 2008 when this was recorded – that would have been show for the ages.
Weeks ago I blogged about Bruce Springsteen and his new album. I declared it the end of music. I pledged to replace all my mp3s in my Zen with non fiction ebooks, focusing on physics and accounting.
Bruce has said that Astral Weeks was one of his most inspirational records and credits Van and the album for much of the Springsteen sound of his early recordings.
But here, in 2009, Van has transcended. He has put the purity back in music and I can go on again and listen to music.
Buy this album. Listen to this music. It will win many awards this year – and deservedly so.
I have already spoken about the pure magic of Media Monkey. But listen here you cheapskates – go get it, download it. Pony up the $19.95 for the lifetime upgrade license and start really enjoying and managing that mp3 collection.
What’s that? You don’t like listening to your mp3s on your computer, you prefer your portable mp3 player?
Well, that is because you haven’t installed Izotope Ozone. It is a nerdy little Win Amp plugin that filters and processes your mp3s to have a more natural analog sound. It transforms the digital music era to more simpler time. A return to the world of tubes and circuits, vinyl and record needles.
The tiny application installs as a Winamp plug in for Media Monkey and also works with Windows Media Player.
Bring on the reverb!!!
The free version works pretty well and will give you a decent idea of what you are getting. Spend the $30.00 and you will have rebuilt that little crappy laptop soundboard into a sound machine, with really rich, really layered and deep sound. This plugin goes beyond a mere equalizer – it recreates the music in layers taking you into a cacophony-rich soundscape like no other.
I would talk about this more, but the Allman Brothers are in the middle of a jam – I can hear the pick coming off the strings of the guitar, I can hear the foot pedal coming off the bass drum skin. It is too distracting . . .
Stumbling around on a John Prine search across the internet, I found some pre-press news on a new collaborative album by Robert Plant (yes, that Robert Plant of the declarative Rock and Roll yodel) and Allison Krauss( of Union Station and Bluegrass). Produced by T. Bone Burnett, the news seemed positive. On a lark I downloaded the album and last night on first listen I was moved to to tears – a joyous new sound from a trio of seasoned veterans.
Raising Sand is a compilation of cover songs, mostly country and folk covers, with some blues and an old Robert Plant tune thrown in. But the magic comes from Burnett’s raw, crafted sound intertwined with subtle Plant lyrics and Krauss’s distinct harmonies.
The album has a very Chris Isaak feel to it on first listen (think of the mood and place where Isaak’s “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing” and expand that world to a full album.). As well as the many layered sound of Willie Nelson’s Teatro – Daniel Lanois’ many drummed and multi layered country masterpiece.
Listen deeply and you hear in the background Krauss’s violin, fiddling away, accompanied by a simple drum. You hear a subtle but powerful yell and scream from Plant – reminding you of your performers past. The beauty is the understated simplicity and the balance of the dubbed vocals, the many layered production and the distinct soundscape that Burnett captures. T. Bone is as much a star of this album as the gut wrenching beauty of the Plant/Krauss harmonies.
I mentioned Prine. John Prine’s super sad and tender ballad – “Killing the Blues” is rendered here. A sad version as Plant takes you to a very sad place amid very beautiful music.
Find the album, buy the album. Get your ears around this. It will be a familiar part of your music rotation.
Music Match just sucks. I have been using Music Match Jukebox for years and years and I am generally brand loyal, but lately my little mp3 playing application on my computer has become so bloated and such a memory hog that it is nearly impossible to play any decent tunes from it any longer.
I switched to Media Monkey and this is why . . .
What kind of user are you?
Grabbing the trusty laptop and a cup of coffee I retired to Google to find a better music player. And I found it with Media Monkey. A free application that has the capablility for upgrades and extra funcationality for a low price ($34 for a lifetime license) I haven’t upgraded yet because I am still trying it out, but right now I am quite smitten.
This application is everything you want to your media player to be. It quickly reads your library and using a shell kernal of code based on MS Access, it can quickly sort, tag, move and edit your library, regardless of size! I have a huge library, consisting of years of downloading, plus all of my cds and all of my sister’s cds ripped to various hard drives in the house.
Using the amazing world of wireless internet, I have shared those files in a simple and stable server environment, then told my laptop, equipped with media monkey to simply go find them.
It did and in minutes (I expected hours ! ) all the songs were in its little library ready to be enjoyed wirelessly.
This application is quite slick. It supports CD burning, ample and flexible playlist generation and managment and works very well with my Creative Zen Vision M Mp3 player. It also works great with Ipods, according to many user’s comments.
It is fast, doesn’t take all day to load and uses many Winamp plugins if you want to add functionality.
I am enclosing a few user forum notes to let you get the feel of what others think as well.
Now go out there, download it and ditch Music Match for good. Yahoo ruined MM and Media Monkey is it’s suitable replacement.