|By Andrew Raub||Thursday, 7 May 2009|
Record Store Day was just a few weekends ago. I was blessed with an opportunity to not only grab some vinyl at Lancaster’s several great record shops, I got to grab some in Philadelphia as well.
My Morning Jacket – Celebración De La Ciudad Natal
Spanish for “Celebration of the Native City”, this record is a live EP recorded in My Morning Jacket’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The tracks were performed either at ear X-tacy or Waterfront park. This EP was released with the full spirit of Record Store Day in mind, paying homage to the their own local seen and hoping that we can all appreciate what is directly around us, created by people around us, rather than what is provided to us by larger cultural entities like FYE or Virgin Megastore.
The track selection is varied across all of their records, much like the tremendous Okonokos. Starting with two tracks from 2008′s Evil Urges (“Evil Urges” and “Highly Suspicious”), this first side starts perhaps as expected and moves into a speech by Jim James himself. The other most notable tracks include a 14 minute long version of “Dondante”, and somewhat surprisingly, “Where to Begin” from the Elizabethtown soundtrack.
Overall it’s a nice little live EP. Once again, My Morning Jacket shows how they can adapt old songs to fit in with the feel of the new. The 2x 10″ LP is limited edition, but can be downloaded here.
Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti
Somehow over the years, this album has eluded my ears. When I saw a good looking vinyl copy for cheap, I couldn’t pass it up. I feel like I have years to make up by putting this off. This album basically encompasses all of Led Zeppelin’s style, from the heavy blues riffs to more toned down numbers, to the odd Eastern inspired songs.
There are plenty of familiar songs here. “Trampled Under Foot” is a slick rocker with plenty of guitar heroics. “Houses of the Holy” represents the more toned down style. And finally “Kashmir” hits epically with the Eastern inspiration.
There is a lot to this album in terms of each members’ performance. There are subtle additions to Jimmy Page’s guitar work not really present on previous Zeppelin albums, and John Paul Jones is more multi-instrumentalist than ever before.
Overall this is a tremendous album that all fans of rock and roll need. I feel like I’ve denied myself some great auditory pleasure by passing off this album for years. What a fool I have been.
Ten Years After – A Space in Time
Ten Years After is a British blues band featuring Alvin Lee. Leaning more towards the Eric Clapton and John Mayall side of British blues, rather than
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the Led Zeppelin side, it’s interesting that on this album Ten Years After moved toward a more acoustic and slightly more Led Zeppelin-like style. There are plenty of rockin’ blues tunes though, and overall it’s a nice mix.
The most notable song here is “I’d Love to Change the World”, which turned out to be the biggest hit for the band. This song is epic, thoughtful, and very much sounding like 1971. This song unapologetically looks at both sides of the political climate, and ultimately concludes “I don’t know what to do.”
“Everywhere is freaks and hairies / Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity / Tax the rich, feed the poor / Till there are no rich no more” This left looking verse sees nothing but crazies, preaching the ideal but acting in destructive ways. The next verse looks toward the right with a sort of hopeless acceptance: “Population keeps on breeding / Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy / Life is funny, skies are sunny / Bees make honey, who needs money, monopoly.” The final verse is just a summary of the world, and the sad state that it sometimes seems we are in: “World pollution, theres no solution / Institution, electrocution / Just black and white, rich or poor / Them and us, stop the war.”
But even though the problems are obvious, all Alvin Lee can muster is one final chorus. Id love to change the world, but I dont know what to do so Ill leave it up to you.