Sunday, December 18, 2011

Unbelievably, I Buy More Stuff! (Music Edition)

Lots of folks try to cover Led Zeppelin, some more successfully than others, but Zepparella is one of the best of the bunch. This all-woman band (based in San Francisco) tackles Zep's best with power and passion. You can check them out on YouTube and/or pick up their two concert CDs at the address below. Highly recommended!

I've also fallen in love with a Pink Floyd-ish blues ensemble, Blue Floyd. These guys perform powerful jam versions of (mostly) Floyd faves, and while a 20 minute blues improv of "Another Brick In The Wall" may sound a little hincky to some, we're talking master-class musicians (with pedigrees ranging from Govt Mule to the Allman Brothers) wailing away. Sadly one of BF's mainstays, Allen Woody, has passed away, but three of the bands hottest shows from 2000 are available from Amazon, as well as their studio CD.

Growing up in lovely Oregon I caught a few performances by Portland-based Johnny and the Distractions, a Springsteen-esque group that managed to snag a record deal back in the day (late/70's/early '80s). A remastered/rejiggered version of their first album was released some time ago, but band leader Jon Koonce has finally reissued the original homegrown records on a twofer CD. I much prefer the original sound to the later versions, which is probably just dumb nostalgia but that's okay. I found my copy at Music Millennium in Portland, the best record store on the West Coast (sorry, Amoeba!), but Jon himself is selling copies of the new/old release plus his current solo material at his website.

I also coughed up $206 (!) for Elvis Costello fancy-schmancy "Spinning Songbook" uber-deluxe edition. Costello himself has advised his fans not to buy this version (evidently he was as surprised by the price point as his fans), but I had a few bucks burning a hole in my pocket and attended one of the shows represented in the package, so...

Anyhow, it's a limited edition of 1500, with a signed EC bookplate, book, CD, DVD and 10" vinyl record. I like the music, the book is okay, the signed bookplate is cool and the working Spinning Songbook "spinner" is fun. Is it worth $206? Was dinner last night worth $60? I dunno. It's all relative. But I'm getting $206 worth of pleasure out of the music... I think... even though it appears the same music will be available in cheaper editions sometime next year... *sigh.*

However, as an investment, I appear to have done well. Amazon is sold out and the cheapest "other seller" edition is $260. Retirement, here I come!


Blogger Muldfeld said...

Lucky! totally screwed me by saying they had a hold on The Smiths Complete (deluxe) limited edition (only 3000 copies sold worldwide). I pre-ordered it and, as the date approached, it suddenly was backordered. Clearly, the pre-order wasn't taken seriously. It went from above $200 to now selling for $699 from other buyers. Kinda annoyed, but I've been reading some pissed off reviews about the package from and I'm not that big a Smiths fan; I'm much more into U2, The Cure, Radiohead, and Pulp.

By the way, I'm enjoying my The Cure "Bestival" concert double CD (all profits go to charity); I really miss the extra guitar of the excellent Porl Thompson, but hearing this more pared down (and with keyboards once again!) and groovy bass-heavy Cure puts the mostly hits-heavy (I love their pop songs, but they don't sound great live, compared to the awesome sound of the slow, sad songs or heavy ones!) setlist in a different light. I tried to listen to it while putting up the Christmas tree and my mom got annoyed 'cause she was trying to watch some cheesy TV movie, and I over-reacted and got pissed. So, I have to find a time when no one's watching TV. Ahh, holiday complications!

4:09 PM  
Blogger Mark Verheiden said...

Thank goodness I never fell in love with The Cure! I like way too much other (expensive) stuff already... man, if Springsteen ever starts releasing all his live shows in pricey editions, I'll need a second job!

9:56 PM  
Blogger Muldfeld said...

Not in love with The Cure? You're missing out! There's nothing like feeling the Christmas spirit when Robert Smith sings, at the beginning of "One Hundred Years", "It doesn't matter if we all die!"

Anyway, I don't think it was The Cure so much as any pop rock band; it was pretty loud, I must admit.

I remember you saying you loved William Shatner's "Common People", and, just in case you didn't know, that song is really by British band Pulp and it's not even their best song, but they're so unpopular in North America, their DVDs are only made for Region 2 and I had to buy a hackable DVD player to watch them.

I wish Radiohead were more commercial, in a sense, and released more live stuff. I'm not talking about the reissuing of stuff that's already been released on CD and DVD with no added value, which U2 exploitatively does, but I think we'd both agree the problem you're afraid of having with Springsteen releasing pricey live stuff is a nice dilemma to have! The more the merrier!

1:09 AM  

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