“I’ve tried and I have failed lord,” 75-year-old Glen Campbell sings on A Better Place from the country legend’s final album (out Tuesday). The opening track on Ghost on the Canvas sets the tone for Campbell’s swan song. “Some days I’m so confused lord/ my past gets in my way,” Campbell sings, a reference to his recently diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease.
On that short, opening song, the voice is so mournful — so pained — that it echoes Johnny Cash performing Trent Reznor’s Hurt. There are obvious comparisons between Cash’s albums for Rick Rubin’s American Records and Campbell’s final release. In their waning days, both men try to exorcise demons or simply reflect on incredible lives. Cash performed songs by a number of contemporary artists like Reznor, Beck and U2. Tom Petty’s band backed Cash on one album.
In 2008, Campbell went a similar route on his release, Meet Glen Campbell, in which he also covered U2, Tom Petty, Green Day, etc. On Ghost, Campbell is backed by Billy Corgan, Dick Dale, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and others. Paul Westerberg wrote Ghost’s title track and Robert Pollard and Jakob Dylan also contributed songs.
The result is a slickly produced record, rollicking and somber. It works in most but not all places on the album and it’s deeply personal and moving. Campbell plans a final tour as well.
Back in the day:
Check out this accoustic versions of the new songs Tigers and No One.
This video for the ska-inspired song, I’m So Sorry is worth checking out.
Weekend made an excellent (and overlooked) album last year in Sports. Now the band has a new EP, Red, coming out September 20.
Check out Hazel, one of five songs off the new release.
Around these parts, a new Wilco album is a pretty big deal. The band’s new one, The Whole Love, is scheduled for a September 27 release.
Here’s a teaser/trailer video for the album.
The Other Shoe, the second video from Fucked Up’s David Comes to Life, was just released.
Fucked Up is still one of the hardest of the big indie bands (even if it did just make a concept album).
Speaking of Fucked Up, the band will appear on a six-song EP to be released by Wavves next month.
Just as I discover Queensland, Australia-based The Middle East, I also learn that the band is breaking up.
The Middle East put out an album, I Want That You Are Always Happy, just last month. The band also held a contest to make a video for a pop gem single off the album, Jesus Came to My Birthday Party.
Hailing from Spain, Guadalupe Plata belts out a raw, dirty sound that draws heavily on blues and rockabilly. It’s a swampy style of blues and boogie that should appeal to fans of Thee Oh Sees, White Stripes and the Black Keys.
Check out the video and download for Polo Podrio (from the band’s self-titled release earlier this year).
It’s too big, very expensive and full of douchebags. But this year’s sold-out Lollapalooza also includes a great mix of shows over three days. Here’s the ATYP guide to recommended sets.
Girl Talk, Friday. This will be a big party thrown by the mashup master. The throngs will be either at one of the big stages to see Coldplay or Muse. But this show will be more fun.
Death from Above 1979, Saturday. This late afternoon show features the reunited duo. Expect a loud, hyperkinetic set.
The Cars, Sunday. The Cars married new wave with classic ’70s rock. The first two albums made in the late ’70s were far better than the band’s ’80s hits. Hopefully, the band has some gas left in the tank (rimshot).
Foo Fighters, Sunday. For all the lameness in recent years, Dave Grohl still puts on a good show. Two hours, though?
Arctic Monkeys, Sunday. Still a very good, exciting band.
Big Audio Dynamite, Saturday. Between the Cars and Big Audio Dynamite, let’s hope for something as entertaining as the Devo reunion last year. Ex-Clash guitarist Mick Jones fronts BAD. So that alone should make it worth seeing.
Titus Andronicus, Sunday. It’s way early in the day (12:45 p.m.) but, hey, these guys give it their all no matter what time they play.
Black Lips, Saturday. Great garage rock band.
The Joy Formidable, Sunday. The set overlaps a little with Titus Andronicus. Big, epic songs. Sounds like ’90s alternative bands like the Breeders.
One of my favorite Chicago music stores, Hard Boiled Records, is shutting its doors after 15 years in business. Owner Mark Ferguson says he’s moving to Austin, Texas. He hopes to start an online business there. Hard Boiled’s last day is this Sunday, August 7. If you’re at the Retro on Roscoe street fest this weekend, stop by. Everything in the store — records, 45s, CDs, DVDs, VHS, comic books — is marked way down.
Mark introduced me to some amazing music over the years but he also is responsible for my taste in action movies. The guy is an encyclopedia on certain movie genres, including Hong Kong action, martial arts, samurai and vintage kung fu. Years ago, he used to rent movies, including tons of cult and obscure offerings. The store is named after John Woo’s classic movie, arguably one of the best action films ever made.
We’ll miss you Mark. I’m told Deadwax Records, which recently closed its nearby Lincoln Avenue store (just north of Grace) will be taking the Hard Boiled spot.