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  1. #1
    Toon Robber tentoze's Avatar
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    New Concrete Blonde, anyone?

    Has anyone heard Mojave yet? If so, any recommendations? COuple of reviews of it sounded interesting. (I admit to being ignorant of them, other than a stray cut here and there)
    ----Never Off Topic, Never Rude-----

  2. #2
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Oh Johnette! I used to really like Concrete Blonde. Kind of had a crush on Johnette, I think. Maybe I just liked the sound of her name. I remember seeing them a long time ago on Dave Letterman and he admitted to having some lust for her too. Maybe all Dave's dig her? Bloodletting is their best album. Maybe their most commercial as well. Had a big hit. Nice guitars. Really liked Mexican Moon too, but mostly for the title track. Got some other stuff I was gonna drop on you, happy to set you up with a couple demos. I doubt the new stuff is as good, but I haven't heard any of it. One of those bands that was just a bit out of time. Coulda woulda shoulda....

  3. #3
    Toon Robber tentoze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    Oh Johnette! I used to really like Concrete Blonde. Kind of had a crush on Johnette, I think. Maybe I just liked the sound of her name. I remember seeing them a long time ago on Dave Letterman and he admitted to having some lust for her too. Maybe all Dave's dig her? Bloodletting is their best album. Maybe their most commercial as well. Had a big hit. Nice guitars. Really liked Mexican Moon too, but mostly for the title track. Got some other stuff I was gonna drop on you, happy to set you up with a couple demos. I doubt the new stuff is as good, but I haven't heard any of it. One of those bands that was just a bit out of time. Coulda woulda shoulda....
    That'd be good...........

    ----Never Off Topic, Never Rude-----

  4. #4
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tentoze
    That'd be good...........

    Just thought I would post the comp I sent for reference - it doesn't go back all the way to the beginning, but close enough and is a pretty good overview

    Best of Concrete Blonde

    1. Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)
    2. The Sky is a Poisonous Garden
    3. Caroline
    4. Darkening of the Light
    5. Joey
    6. Tomorrow, Wendy
    7. Ghost of a Texas Ladies' Man
    8. Walking in London
    9. Les Coeurs Jumeaux
    10. Jenny I Read
    11. Mexican Moon
    12. Rain
    13. Close to Home
    14. Bajo la Lune Mexicana
    15. Souvenir
    16. íRide!
    17. Mother Of Pearl

    Bloodletting (1-6)
    Walking In London (7-9)
    Mexican Moon (10-14)
    Pretty & Twisted (15-17)

  5. #5
    Bipolar Bingo Enthusiast Chip_B's Avatar
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    Jeez, Dave....

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    Just thought I would post the comp I sent for reference - it doesn't go back all the way to the beginning, but close enough and is a pretty good overview

    Best of Concrete Blonde

    1. Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)
    2. The Sky is a Poisonous Garden
    3. Caroline
    4. Darkening of the Light
    5. Joey
    6. Tomorrow, Wendy
    7. Ghost of a Texas Ladies' Man
    8. Walking in London
    9. Les Coeurs Jumeaux
    10. Jenny I Read
    11. Mexican Moon
    12. Rain
    13. Close to Home
    14. Bajo la Lune Mexicana
    15. Souvenir
    16. íRide!
    17. Mother Of Pearl

    Bloodletting (1-6)
    Walking In London (7-9)
    Mexican Moon (10-14)
    Pretty & Twisted (15-17)
    How can you put a Concrete Blonde comp together and ignore entire records?! I agree that Bloodletting is their best album and you included some of the best cuts (especially 'Caroline' and 'Tomorrow Wendy'), but there's a lot of good music on the albums you haven't covered. The self-titled first album has several excellent cuts ('Dance Along the Edge', 'Still in Hollywood', 'Song for Kim' just off the top of my head), and Free has the superb 'God is a Bullet', a good cover of Thin Lizzy's 'It's Only Money', 'Scene of a Perfect Crime' (cool and atmospheric), and 'Little Conversations' (nice acoustic folk). The rest ain't bad either. From Group Therapy 'Violent', 'When I Was a Fool', 'Valentine', 'Outside/Inside', and 'Fried' are all comp-worthy. Finally, there's 'Everybody Knows' from the 'Ghost of a Texas Ladies' Man' CD single--one of my favorite CB songs.

    Can't say that I like either of Johnettes collaboration CDs, Pretty and Twisted andVowel Movement.

    -Chip
    "The Blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad"

    -Willie Brown

  6. #6
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip_B
    Jeez, Dave....How can you put a Concrete Blonde comp together and ignore entire records?!
    Actually, it's easy because that's all I got right now! Probably should have called it The Best of Davey's Concrete Blonde Collection

    Comments are welcome and I wholeheartily agree with your assessment that it's not a complete collection, but it is just a one-off quickie I threw together for our buddy tentoze and should be enough for him to decide if he likes em enough to buy some CDs. I was thinking of ending it with that cool Johnette and Steve Wynn duet on Serge Gainsbourg's "Bonnie and Clyde" but not enough room and it probably woulda been out of place anyway as it comes from a Steve Wynn album, not one of hers. Lots of people she's worked with over the years and it would be fun to make a comprehensive collection of her work without concentrating so much on Concrete Blonde projects, but I don't have enough stuff. Sounds like you could make a pretty nice CB comp. They do have a Best of CB collection available that looks pretty good and covers more ground than mine.

  7. #7
    Toon Robber tentoze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    Actually, it's easy because that's all I got right now! Probably should have called it The Best of Davey's Concrete Blonde Collection

    Comments are welcome and I wholeheartily agree with your assessment that it's not a complete collection, but it is just a one-off quickie I threw together for our buddy tentoze and should be enough for him to decide if he likes em enough to buy some CDs. I was thinking of ending it with that cool Johnette and Steve Wynn duet on Serge Gainsbourg's "Bonnie and Clyde" but not enough room and it probably woulda been out of place anyway as it comes from a Steve Wynn album, not one of hers. Lots of people she's worked with over the years and it would be fun to make a comprehensive collection of her work without concentrating so much on Concrete Blonde projects, but I don't have enough stuff. Sounds like you could make a pretty nice CB comp. They do have a Best of CB collection available that looks pretty good and covers more ground than mine.
    For the record, I ain't sniping at all.

    ----Never Off Topic, Never Rude-----

  8. #8
    Bipolar Bingo Enthusiast Chip_B's Avatar
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    Wink Cb

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    Actually, it's easy because that's all I got right now! Probably should have called it The Best of Davey's Concrete Blonde Collection

    Comments are welcome and I wholeheartily agree with your assessment that it's not a complete collection, but it is just a one-off quickie I threw together for our buddy tentoze and should be enough for him to decide if he likes em enough to buy some CDs. I was thinking of ending it with that cool Johnette and Steve Wynn duet on Serge Gainsbourg's "Bonnie and Clyde" but not enough room and it probably woulda been out of place anyway as it comes from a Steve Wynn album, not one of hers. Lots of people she's worked with over the years and it would be fun to make a comprehensive collection of her work without concentrating so much on Concrete Blonde projects, but I don't have enough stuff. Sounds like you could make a pretty nice CB comp. They do have a Best of CB collection available that looks pretty good and covers more ground than mine.
    Davey-san, I wasn't trying to take pot shots at you...I shoulda put a smiley or two in there to show I was just giving you a hard time for not owning every album recorded over the last 73 years (*wink wink nudge nudge*). The comp you put together is more than adequate for its purposes and aside from those Pretty and Twisted songs, Mr. Toes will get a clear picture of CB's music.
    "The Blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad"

    -Willie Brown

  9. #9
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip_B
    Davey-san, I wasn't trying to take pot shots at you...aside from those Pretty and Twisted songs
    Hehehe, don't worry, I thought yours was a good post. It's funny about that Pretty & Twisted CD, it's got some songs I really like including I think one of her best in "Souvenir", but some real head-scratchers too. Oh well, I still probably like it more than the Walking In London album, although it's a tougher listen. Sequenced a bit oddly too. Have you ever heard the version of "Hurting Each Other" that she and Marc Moreland did for the Carpenter's tribute? Probably one of her best vocals and Marc is brilliant on the guitar. Apparently in the studio they kept it up for about 10 more minutes. Love to hear the whole thing. She's great when she really gets into a song and sings, like on "Joey", but sometimes she just speak-sings and comes off sounding a little too much like Martha Davis of Motels fame. Not that sounding like Martha Davis is a bad thing, I love the Motels, but Johnette has her own voice that is different from everyone else and I think that's when she's at her best, although I'm not sure she feels quite the same way. For me, she loses some of her effectivenes when she gets forceful and loud. She did that "Come Away With Me" song to Janis Joplin's unpublished lyrics on the Pretty & Twisted album and I thought it was pretty good, a little bit of a modern syncopated R&B edge to it mixed with something like a Brian Eno soundscape and Be Bop Deluxe processed guitar. Apparently the Joplin family wouldn't approve it and so she got no publishing money from it, but used it on the album anyway. Pretty & Twisted isn't that good overall, but I still like it a lot more than you. I haven't heard anything after that other than some odds and ends.
    Last edited by Davey; 07-09-2004 at 02:35 PM.

  10. #10
    Bipolar Bingo Enthusiast Chip_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    Hehehe, don't worry, I thought yours was a good post. It's funny about that Pretty & Twisted CD, it's got some songs I really like including I think one of her best in "Souvenir", but some real head-scratchers too. Oh well, I still probably like it more than the Walking In London album, although it's a tougher listen. Sequenced a bit oddly too. Have you ever heard the version of "Hurting Each Other" that she and Marc Moreland did for the Carpenter's tribute? Probably one of her best vocals and Marc is brilliant on the guitar. Apparently in the studio they kept it up for about 10 more minutes. Love to hear the whole thing. She's great when she really gets into a song and sings, like on "Joey", but sometimes she just speak-sings and comes off sounding a little too much like Martha Davis of Motels fame. Not that sounding like Martha Davis is a bad thing, I love the Motels, but Johnette has her own voice that is different from everyone else and I think that's when she's at her best, although I'm not sure she feels quite the same way. For me, she loses some of her effectivenes when she gets forceful and loud. She did that "Come Away With Me" song to Janis Joplin's unpublished lyrics on the Pretty & Twisted album and I thought it was pretty good, a little bit of a modern syncopated R&B edge to it mixed with something like a Brian Eno soundscape and Be Bop Deluxe processed guitar. Apparently the Joplin family wouldn't approve it and so she got no publishing money from it, but used it on the album anyway. Pretty & Twisted isn't that good overall, but I still like it a lot more than you. I haven't heard anything after that other than some odds and ends.
    I haven't heard the Carpenters tribute tune, but I bet I'd like it.

    You bring up interesting points with respect to Johnette's singing. Her phrasing and the quality of her voice are unique, and on songs like 'Caroline', the sadness, regret, and underlying anger she expresses can be devastating. On the other hand, I think the contrasting 'speaking-singing' style is equally compelling. I love 'Everybody Knows' because it conveys a sense of irony, only in a more understated way. On other tunes I like the way she uses the 'speak-sing' style to sound subtly menacing or bitterly sarcastic.

    As for the Martha Davis comparison, to my ears Martha is less subtle and lacks Johnette's range. I also think Davis' vocals are more simplistic emotionally, in that Davis sounds like she's performing music while Johnette sounds like she's experiencing it. That's not to say that I don't like Martha Davis or The Motels, 'cuz I do.

    I agree that Johnette is not quite as effective as a 'shouter', but some of her leather-lunged, 'brass balls' vocals are truly excellent. On 'Still in Hollywood', she's angry, loud, and frustrated--to superb effect.

    I'm not as familiar with Marc Moreland as you are and don't have a feel for how well he and Johnette play together, but IMHO James Mankey's guitar provides the perfect framework for Concrete Blonde's best cuts. His inventive playing resonates with Johnette's phrasing and has an emotional context of its own.

    I'll give P&T another critical listen and see if I react differently now that a few years have passed since I last tried to warm to it. Who knows?

    -Chip
    "The Blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad"

    -Willie Brown

  11. #11
    Toon Robber tentoze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip_B
    I haven't heard the Carpenters tribute tune, but I bet I'd like it.

    You bring up interesting points with respect to Johnette's singing. Her phrasing and the quality of her voice are unique, and on songs like 'Caroline', the sadness, regret, and underlying anger she expresses can be devastating. On the other hand, I think the contrasting 'speaking-singing' style is equally compelling. I love 'Everybody Knows' because it conveys a sense of irony, only in a more understated way. On other tunes I like the way she uses the 'speak-sing' style to sound subtly menacing or bitterly sarcastic.

    As for the Martha Davis comparison, to my ears Martha is less subtle and lacks Johnette's range. I also think Davis' vocals are more simplistic emotionally, in that Davis sounds like she's performing music while Johnette sounds like she's experiencing it. That's not to say that I don't like Martha Davis or The Motels, 'cuz I do.

    I agree that Johnette is not quite as effective as a 'shouter', but some of her leather-lunged, 'brass balls' vocals are truly excellent. On 'Still in Hollywood', she's angry, loud, and frustrated--to superb effect.

    I'm not as familiar with Marc Moreland as you are and don't have a feel for how well he and Johnette play together, but IMHO James Mankey's guitar provides the perfect framework for Concrete Blonde's best cuts. His inventive playing resonates with Johnette's phrasing and has an emotional context of its own.

    I'll give P&T another critical listen and see if I react differently now that a few years have passed since I last tried to warm to it. Who knows?

    -Chip
    Just as an aside, the daveydisks were in the mailbox today, and I'm going to get to them after I listen to the vinyl haul I made this afternoon. THANX Davey, as always.
    ----Never Off Topic, Never Rude-----

  12. #12
    Toon Robber tentoze's Avatar
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    Davey,

    8 tracks in to it and it is absolutely fantastic. I owe you a beer or eleven. Thank you. Like, very much.
    ----Never Off Topic, Never Rude-----

  13. #13
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip_B
    I haven't heard the Carpenters tribute tune, but I bet I'd like it......
    I'm not as familiar with Marc Moreland as you are and don't have a feel for how well he and Johnette play together........I'll give P&T another critical listen and see if I react differently now that a few years have passed since I last tried to warm to it. Who knows?

    -Chip
    Yeah, if you see that Carpenters tribute in the dollar bin you might want to latch on to it. There's a few interpretations that make it a worthwhile listen, especially the Marc and Johnette song, but some of it is kind of sucky and almost sounds disrespectful...although I think Richard was involved in it and even plays on some of it. Don't buy it new though, it's nowhere near worth it, especially since many people are practically giving them away on places like half.ebay.com. I don't even own a copy myself, just checked it out from the library once.



    Other than the Pretty & Twisted disc and the Carpenters cover from the same time period, I don't know much about Moreland's career after his Wall of Voodoo days and until his death a couple years ago. Jim Clark's probably the resident expert on all things WOV. The P&T has more of a beat driven sound which you might never warm up to, so no big deal. Some of it works well for me, but I did say that it isn't very good overall and I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they thought it was a solid album. I love Roxy Music's "Mother of Pearl" and they do a pretty good version of it here, speeded up a little, although it seems out of sequence on the CD coming along at track 2 and letting it slowly fadeout seems almost criminal after hearing the dramatic Bryan Ferry ending of the original. And I would have moved "Souvenir" (track 3) closer to the end as well because it's all kind of downhill after that, at least for me, since that's the real highlight of the album and a very emotional song that covers a lot of range.

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