May 112016
 
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Whatever Disintegration means to certain people, Home, Like Noplace Is There is my own keepsake for when I want to hide away from the world. Neither band, The Cure and The Hotelier respectively, sounds much alike, yet when I listen to either band and I close my eyes with my headphones on or drive on some Midwest highway I feel outside myself. Both paint colorful dreams of sound, one of swirling lullaby blue and lipstick red and the other calm, natural forest green. Both turn guitars into voices, one gentle and moody and the other loud and unabashed, celebrating the urgent, exaggerated emotions we always want life to encompass for all its joy and dread (shouldn’t life always sound so perverse and beautiful?). As it is with the best music, they both trick me into feeling alive, which is the most stunning thing. Continue reading »

Jan 222016
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

cure disintegration

According to sixteenth-century wisdom, one can identify someone who is in love based on a disheveled physical appearance. Shakespeare’s As You Like It describes a true lover as having a sunken eye, neglected beard, ungartered hose, unbanded bonnet, unbuttoned sleeve, and untied shoe so that “everything about you [is] demonstrating a careless desolation.” To be in love – more specifically, to be in unrequited love – is to be in the midst of a personal disintegration.

On the one hand, this checklist is but one more example of how early modern thinking refused to differentiate between one’s self and one’s outward appearance. On the other, the basic idea that impossible love would lead a person to disregard social convention and personal hygiene is, in relative historical terms, a remarkably sensitive reading of the individual psyche. Speaking mostly for the ten years or so that the surly teenaged version of myself donned “the trappings and the suits of woe,” I’d suggest that, even 400 years later, the outward signs demarking the presence of desolate love remain mostly the same but with a single addition: a true lover – a true lover and therefore a miserable lover – listens to the Cure’s Disintegration, usually in a bedroom, often in the dark. Because so many true lovers of this variety are teenagers following demands of the album’s liner notes (THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP), such lovers are often listening with headphones. Such lovers are often alone.

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Sep 222014
 

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from The Cure, but Paul McCartney, in a manner of speaking, has brought them back together. An upcoming Sir Paul mega-tribute (42 tracks!) album includes The Cure’s version of “Hello, Goodbye.” Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Roger Daltrey, Smokey Robinson and many more have contributed to the record, which is set for a November 18, 2014, release. Continue reading »

Jul 252014
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Before it was a depressing award-winning movie… before it was the name of a one-hit-wonder band… “Boys Don’t Cry” was the title of the Cure’s angstastic second single. The story of a boy with an aching heart who refuses to appear vulnerable under any circumstances has a dry spareness to it, but the guitar has as catchy a hook as you’ll find on the band’s later, lusher work.
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Apr 182014
 

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

The Elektra label has a history of celebrating itself with various books and anthologies, but then, there’s a lot to celebrate. Started by a teenaged Jac Holzman in his dorm room in 1950, it grew into major label status while retaining an eclectic roster of musicians who were given the chance to spread their artistic wings, just as likely to reach pinnacles of cult fandom (Tim Buckley, Love) as pinnacles of worldwide success (the Doors, Queen). In 1990, Elektra celebrated its 40th anniversary by releasing Rubaiyat, a 4-LP/2-CD/2-cassette box set with a unique premise – the label’s current artists covering songs from the label’s prior artists. Rarely have such disparate musicians rubbed shoulders as they do on this release, whether on levels of dissimilarity (Tracy Chapman and Metallica – together again!) or familiarity (the Shaking Family was infinitesimally as well known as the Cure), but that was the point, and they all got together here for some fine and enlightening work.
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Mar 192013
 

Tristan Irvine has been on the radar of music blogs for quite some time. The producer/multi-instrumentalist resides in South East England and has been putting out ethereal, dreamy music over the past seven years. Recently, he has covered an early song of  The Cure , “Plainsong,” and it is anything but. Continue reading »