Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pushing 26...60...70...


The Fly - Twilight Sad `Walking For Two Hours` FlyTV In The Courtyard on MUZU.

Second: The Sonics are coming to Echo Park!!!
Purchase a ticket or ten. The band itself is nearly fifty years old! Hooray for Tacoma, Washington.

The Sonics - Shot Down
The Sonics - Strychnine

Third: I typically get a bit sad when I see members of old, fantastic bands go the solo route – you've got people like Ray Davies, who've aged well but spend a lot of stage time reiterating that goddamn it, we were the British Invasion – or old, fantastic bands attempting to recreate a heyday (god only knows where to begin, here). Former Strangler Hugh Cornwell sort of dabbles in both categories, his solo shows and live recordings partially filled with hits from his previous band, and in fairness, his solo work not nearly as thrilling or creative as the work he put out with them in the '70s and '80s.

But then, he's aged awfully well, particularly useful as a comparison point – having retained both looks and voice – and he's not slowed too drastically at all, unless you look to his lackluster live versions of Stranglers songs. It would be completely okay if he chose to retire “Nice 'N Sleazy,” really. On the whole, though, it's with optimism that I mention his upcoming American tour dates, in promotion of Hoover Dam, his 2008 record which has just been released this last week as an American LP (and which is also available on his
website for free download).

Cornwell still sings like a proper gentleman, at least through a distance artificially created in the studio, but there's some good guitar fuzz here; as for specifics, “Within You or Without You” rolls and stomps along, “Philip K. Ridiculous” is a twisting instrumental that reminds a bit of his solos with the Stranglers, and “Banging on at the Same Old Beat” is what it sounds, with a bit of a retro-by-way-of-current-Los Angeles style. Okay, so it's not a perfect ten. But it's decent enough, and if you live in the east, or in Europe, he puts on a swell show.

Hugh Cornwell - Philip K. Ridiculous
Hugh Cornwell - Banging on at the Same Old Beat
See him on tour.

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