Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Fixx Move Mountains, Don't Move Scruffy Anymore

How long do you continue to follow a band that no longer gives you what you need? The Fixx's first five albums (six if you include the mostly-live REACT) were mainstays for me, but we're talking about late 80's here. The band's finally getting around to releasing a new album, with a teaser tune, Moving Mountains. Actually, the song's a fundraiser for the Love Hope Strength Foundation , an organization that has the motto "One cancer center in every country, one concert at a time", so it's for a noble cause. But it's the first new music in 8 years for the band, and it's underwhelming. I always enjoyed Jamie West-Oram's uniquely compelling guitar work, the sometimes odd synth sounds of Rupert Greenall, and the oft-confusing lyrics and vocals of Cy Curnin. But like the entire last album, this new song is so...normal. It sounds like we're getting little interesting guitar, dull synth/keyboards, and words that could be inspiring from a charity standpoint but are not as compelling as you'd hope. An artist putting their money where their mouth is as this band is doing (and this isn't all they've done) should be applauded, but can't a guy wish for more sonically? Gimme some edge, gimme some mystery, gimme lyrics I can puzzle over, gimme some of that cyclical ringing six-string! Below is the new song immediately followed by a couple of rare live tracks from 1979.

Eye For Design


Red Skies

I'm Life

Driven Out

Sign of Fire

Are we Ourselves?

Less Cities, More Moving People

Secret Separation

Deeper and Deeper

In Suspense

Built for the Future

Shred of Evidence

Sunshine in the Shade

Fatal Shore

Some People


Precious Stone

Fixx - Stand Or Fall (Extended) by d-glazer

Fixx - Reach The Beach(Dub) by djmike81

Fixx - One Thing Leads To Another (Rhythm Scholar Full Deception Remix) by Rhythm Scholar

Buy The Fixx from iTunes or from Amazon.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Scott Nolan: Montgomery Eldorado and Pulling Rabbits Out of His Hat

Scott Nolan recently released a new album called Montgomery Eldorado. At the moment, I'm thinking that this Winnipeg-based fella might take on the world. His warm, honest approach to roots rock music might make it seem like he's simply pulling out songs from a hat, and maybe he is, but I'd be willing to bet that Nolan labours over his his well-wrought tunes. Well-recorded without being over-polished, rough and ragged yet easy on the ears, Nolan has pulled off a magic trick all of his own. He's not afraid to throw in some overt soul and funk flavours (My My Hey Hey), he enjoys covering junkyard genius Tom Waits songs, and he's got people like Hayes Carll covering his tunes (Bad Liver and a Broken Heart). I told Nolan's record label guy a while back that I think Scott Nolan would have a nice long career, and he grinned and gave the succinct reply: "Yeah. We think so too".


Scott Nolan - Trial Separation

Hayes Carll - Bad Liver and a Broken Heart

Here's your bonus, Hayes Carll doing Tom Waits. Serendipity.

Hayes Carll - I Don't Wanna Grow Up (Tom Waits) by toodrunktodream

Buy Scott Nolan here or any of the usual joints (you know, iTunes, Amazon, yer local cool record shop).