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Alternative/Rock

INXS – ‘Live Baby Live’ (Eagle Rock Entertainment) [4K UHD Blu-ray/DVD Review]

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The band — iconic. The music — more cerebral than much of the typical pop fare of the day, while sexier than most of what was dominating college rock playlists at the time. And when INXS broke bad in 1982 with their third record, Shabooh Shoobah, “one thing” was certain — a “new sensation” had ensued.

The creative chemistry couldn’t be ignored — the infectious riffage of guitarist Tim Farriss colliding with the irresistible rhythm of bassist Garry Gary Beers and drummer Jon Farriss — peppered to perfection by the appealing keyboard work of Andrew Farriss and the sweet sax contributions of Kirk Pengilly. Leading the charge — charismatic frontman, Michael Hutchence.

Combining style AND substance, the Australian pop/rock poster boys positioned themselves prominently on the global stage with subsequent studio slabs — The Swing (1984) and Listen Like Thieves (1985), as such contagious singles as “Original Sin” and “What You Need” saturated radio and MTV airwaves.

https://youtu.be/e6T3q-bUiHU

Then came the band’s sixth record, Kick, in 1987. Spewing a slew of singles, including “New Sensation,” “Devil Inside,” “Need You Tonight,” “Mediate,” “Never Tear Us Apart” and “Mystify,” the multi platinum-seller served as something of a self-contained “Greatest Hits” collection.

INXS remained one of the biggest bands in the world as their next album, X, dropped early in the fall of 1990 — delivering the dirty, harmonica-driven “Suicide Blonde” and the soaring, heart-stopping “Disappear.” And it was then, in July 1991, while on the tail end of the X tour, when INXS presented their pièce de résistance — a spectacular sold-out performance before 74,000 ardent disciples at London’s famed Wembley Stadium. Captured all on tape, the audio from the concert would serve as the group’s first live record. Entitled Live Baby Live, the career-spanning album arrived in stores worldwide in November 1991.

However, the Wembley concert also was shot on video. Following the recently restored film’s theatrical run in late 2019, Live Baby Live now is available commercially via Eagle Rock Entertainment on 4K and HD digital download, 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD. The home release presents the film in widescreen for the first time, and in over 20 times greater resolution (on 4K UHD blu-ray) than the initial DVD release.

https://youtu.be/RvgThJ8HZyY

The meticulous, year-long process of restoring the original 35mm negative to 4K Ultra HD uncovered the X track “Lately.” And the long-lost performance of the song now has been placed back into the film.

To accompany the astonishing visual upgrade, the audio now is presented in Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio (Blu-ray only), DTS 5.1 Surround and Dolby 5.1 Surround — all created by Giles Martin, the band’s Executive Music Director, and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios.

The physical packages feature fresh 4K-sourced photography from the show, new notes from the band and an essay by acclaimed broadcaster, Jamie East, who attended the Wembley show nearly three decades ago.

In the aftermath of their apex live performance, the band would release three additional studio sets — Welcome to Wherever You Are (1992), Full Moon, Dirty Hearts (1993) and Elegantly Wasted (1997). However, the untimely death of Hutchence in November 1997 would bring their golden-era to a tragic conclusion. And while the three Farriss brothers, Beers and Pengilly would limp forward with various frontmen for another 15 years, the magic made by the original lineup never was matched. Sadly, the group’s story ended finally in 2012 but, through Live Baby Live, the INXS legacy lives on.

Live Baby Live Track Listing:

1. Guns in the Sky
2. New Sensation
3. I Send a Message
4. The Stairs
5. Know the Difference
6. Disappear
7. By My Side
8. Hear That Sound
9. Original Sin
10. Lately
11. The Loved One
12. Wild Life
13. Mystify
14. Bitter Tears
15. Suicide Blonde
16. What You Need
17. Kick
18. Need You Tonight
19. Mediate
20. Never Tear Us Apart
21. Who Pays the Price
22. Devil Inside
23. Shining Star

Director: David Mallet
Distributor: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Release Date: June 26, 2020
Run Time: 1 hour 38 minutes

Christopher Long is an author, show biz analyst, TV / radio contributor, award-winning musician and entertainment personality. Referred to once as “the rock and roll Erma Bombeck,” Long is known for his conversational, common sense writing style and passion for sharing his unique perspectives on pop culture. Raised in Missouri's rugged Ozark Mountains and on Florida's sunny Space Coast, Long currently lives in Cocoa Beach. (AuthorChristopherLong@yahoo.com)

Alternative/Rock

Glixen – “foreversoon” [Song Review]

On “foreversoon,” Glixen created a song where youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear,

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Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork
Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork

It’s been less than a year since Glixen released their debut EP, She Only Said, on Julia’s War Records. Still, the Phoenix shoegazers have already dug their heels into the DIY music scene and are heading out on an extensive US tour this year alongside the likes of Interpol, Softcult, Glitterer, and fish narc. Appearances at SXSW and Treefort will only further cement their reputation as a new band worthy of note.

To herald the busy year ahead, the band has released a new single, “foreversoon,” via the AWAL label, and it’s well worth a listen.

Says lead vocalist Aislinn Ritchie:

“‘foreversoon’ represents blissful moments of new love and intimacy. The song harnesses melancholy chords, layered with fuzzy red melodies and gliding guitars that pull you in deeper. I wanted my lyrics to feel like a conversation that expresses my infatuation and sensuality. Time is relentless and memories are fleeting, this song encapsulates those emotions forever.”

It’s a fair summation. Its youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear, think Ride, Curve and Slowdive, but with the fuzz cranked up possibly higher. Ritchie’s vocals certainly share that dreamlike quality of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, and with many of those bands back on the road this year, perhaps the time is ripe to inject fresh blood into the genre.

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Run Time: 3:43
Release Date: February 9, 2024
Record Label: AWAL Recordings

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Album News

Slightest Clue Release Their Rocking, Five-Track EP ‘Carousel’

Vancouver indie rockers Slightest Clue recently released their ‘Carousel’ EP, inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a relationship.

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Slightest Clue
Slightest Clue

Vancouver’s Slightest Clue is like the secret after-school project of four kids who would have passed each other without a glance in the hallway at school, but once they’re plugged in and ready to play their distinct blend of post-punk, alternative rock, and dark pop, all bets are off.

Produced by Matt Di Pomponio, their new EP, Carousel, is inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a formative romantic relationship, spanning the trajectory from love to this loss of connection. The closing track, “Carousel,” marks the ultimate bittersweet reflection with unique harmonic layers to portray those contrasting emotions, shifting between grand and quiet tones.

Commenting on the album, the band states:

“The main theme is love, loss of relationship, and connection. The arc of the story is our foreshadowing of the end in our first song ‘These Days’ speaking on the day to day fights and how neither person can seem to get back to a happy place in the relationship. ‘Why Can’t I Call You?’ is the initial spark of infatuation and obsession with someone before you know them. ‘When You Wake Up’ talks of the blissed out honeymoon stage where everything is working and nothing could go wrong. ‘Suit Uptight!’ represents the mounting frustrations and resentments building tension from unmet needs. And finally our closing track ‘Carousel’ is the end and the bittersweet reflection of a cherished relationship that can no longer return.”

Each member, Malcolm McLaren, Hannah Kruse, Sean Ries, and Nick Sciarretta, brings distinct influences and experiences: a stage actor whose playlists go from Talking Heads to Sonic Youth to Björk, a hook-obsessed recovering choir girl, an electrical engineer whose personal idol is John Bonham, and a guitarist who played for (and left) 10 other bands before deciding this was the one for him.

Slightest Clue ‘Carousel’ [EP] album artwork

Slightest Clue ‘Carousel’ [EP] album artwork

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Alternative/Rock

Track-by-Track: The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord Cuts Through ‘It Leads To This’

The Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord breaks down each track on the progressive rock band’s new record ‘It Leads To This.’

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The Pineapple Thief in 2023, photo by Tina Korhonen
The Pineapple Thief in 2023, photo by Tina Korhonen

It’s been a bit of a renaissance period for The Pineapple Thief over the last few years. This revitalization has resulted in the brand-new album It Leads To This. Released on February 9th via Kscope Records, the eight new songs comprise more of frontman Bruce Soord’s observations and deductions about life and the world around him. The initial concept for the record came together rather quickly, but the actual lyrical and musical components took time. Finalizing these songs required much work and collaboration between Soord and his three bandmates. Each member had a conception of what was satisfactory regarding the songs. Coming to that common ground took time, but in the end, each member was extremely pleased with the final product.

The release of It Leads To This coincides with the 25th anniversary since The Pineapple Thief formed. In that time, they have released over 20 full-length albums and EPs. It Leads To This proved to be one of the most intense writing periods ever for the band. They worked on these new tracks for almost three years. Each band member pushed each other to go above and beyond what they felt capable of. It was extremely fruitful from an artistic perspective, but personally, it did pose challenges for the band members.

Joining us today for an exclusive track-by-track rundown of It Leads To This is Bruce Soord himself. He takes us through each song on the record, their inspirations, motivations, and how they came together.

1. “Put It Right”

Bruce Soord: “This was the first song we wrote for the album, right in the depths of the pandemic. I remember standing outside my studio, which is in the garden of my home, when we were in full lockdown. I looked at the blue sky, not a vapour trail to be seen. Even the hum of my small town was gone. As a songwriter, you’re obviously going to take that in and use it. I started to ponder the fragile state of the world. I mean, how can the world be brought to its knees overnight? Which then led to thoughts about the past, essentially a re-evaluation. Are we all to blame? Was I to blame?”

2. “Rubicon”

“As soon as the lockdown was lifted, I remember talking to (drummer) Gavin (Harrison), and he had the idea to write some songs in the same room. I know, radical, right? So I got in the car and drove to his house. Honestly, in the history of The Pineapple Thief, I had never written in this way. Songs were built up in our various studios over weeks and months.. But we were up for trying something new. It could have been a very long disaster – a 6 day jam in E. But to my surprise, we wrote four songs in this way. The first one being Rubicon.

“The verses are in a ‘5/4 shuffle’ which is quite unique (see Gavin’s drum playthrough on the Vic Firth YouTube channel). The song is actually about Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, destroying the Roman republic for his own selfish ambitions. History repeating itself indeed…”

3. “It Leads To This”

“Following on from the theme of ‘Put It Right,’ this is essentially a positive song about focusing on the right things in life. What are going to be your biggest regrets on your deathbed? It’s obvious but also easy to miss. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard, I wish I had spent more time with my family and friends. It’s a love song really. ‘For all this time, I didn’t notice you…’”

4. “The Frost”

“I came up with the riff on my 6-string baritone guitar, so it has a low, edgy feel which I really love. This was a song that came together really quickly between the four of us (plus some great contributions from our touring guitarist Beren Matthews on guitars and backing vocals who played throughout the record). It’s about spending your life with a soulmate, through thick and thin, no matter how bad things get.”

5. “All That’s Left”

“Thematically, this continues the theme from ‘It Leads to This’ and, for me, is dominated by the riff and the middle section, which I love playing live. Again, it’s low in register, written using my baritone, massive drums.”

The Pineapple Thief ‘It Leads To This’ album artwork

The Pineapple Thief ‘It Leads To This’ album artwork

6. “Now It’s Yours”

“Written during the sessions with Gavin, this song goes on a bit of a journey. Soft, atmospheric, big riffs, a guitar solo… Lyrically, looking at the world as an older guy with a family about to be let loose into the world. What the hell are they going to inherit? Well, now it’s yours…”

7. “Every Trace Of Us”

“Again written during the Gavin sessions, I remember Gavin had the intro riff written on his Wurli keyboard he has in his studio. I took it, added some more chords in the progression and the song snowballed from there. Lyrically this is about the pressure of modern life, expectation, pressure, and the mental repercussions of it all. Modern life can tear every trace of us apart.”

8. “To Forget”

“I had this finger-picked acoustic guitar part, which the band liked, so I developed the first part of the song and came up with the words pretty quickly. Us humans, especially as we grow older, have to come to terms with loss and, in a lot of cases, tragedy. Touching on the debate as to whether life is a gift or a curse (I am firmly in the ‘gift’ camp). However, living with tragedy isn’t easy. Remembering isn’t easy, to forget is impossible.”

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