Tag Archives: The Cure

Riot Fest 2023: We’re All Alright

Don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 52. I was a little nervous about attending a three-day music fest this year. Would I have the stamina? Could my feet survive standing up all day long all weekend? Would I still have fun? We missed Riot Fest last year because of fucking covid, so I knew my fest game would be rusty. Nevertheless, I persisted.

And you know what? I had nothing to worry about. And by the looks of some of the people in the crowd, I’ve still got a lot of years left in me. Looking strictly at age demographics, Riot Fest is surprisingly diverse. I was definitely not the oldest person there. And despite its punk and punk-adjacent lineup, they draw a lot of young people too. Turns out plenty of kids still like guitar music. Thank goodness. They’ll be able to push me around in my wheelchair when my feet finally give out on me.

As always happens at fests, there were a couple of bands I wanted to see first thing on Friday. And as always happens, I missed them. I would’ve loved to have seen Olivia Jean and the Bobby Lees. But nope. At least we made it in for Quasi, who were everything I was hoping they would be. After the 2019 car accident that broke her collar bone and her tibia, all fans of rock and roll drumming were scared that we might never get to see Janet Weiss behind the kit again, so it was wonderful to see her back at full strength and as powerful and explosive and musical as ever. And Sam Coomes is a great frontman…or sideman or whatever you call the singer in a two-piece that place their instruments facing each other on the stage.

It’s been thirty years since I’ve seen any incarnation of P-Funk. Back in the 90s, George Clinton would come out on stage in dreads made out of yarn and wearing a Smurfs bed sheet. These days Clinton wears a bejeweled captain’s hat and a custom Cosmic Slop hockey jersey and he’s like DJ Khaled up there, where nobody really knows if he’s contributing anything to the music. He’s the host of the party, making sure everybody’s having a funky good time. And then he goes back to sitting on the drum riser until the party needs another boost. Whenever a survey asks about the greatest American rock band, I always immediately say Funkadelic. George Clinton has had more of an influence on today’s music than just about anybody and he deserves our eternal respect. “Cosmic Slop” is one of the greatest songs of all time, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from this performance. He’s been on a farewell tour since 2019 and I’m glad I got the chance to see him one more time. But I won’t be sad if he retires for real now.

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Cursive – Let Me Up

Cursive has a new Daytrotter session featuring “What Have I Done?” off of Mama, I’m Swollen and “The Casualty” from the band’s previous album Domestica, in addition to covers of The Cure‘s “Love Cats” and David Bowie‘s “Modern Love”, both of which had recently become staples in the band’s live shows on their July/August tour.

MP3: Cursive – “Mama I’m Swollen”

Lots more here.

Bad ass video from Saddle Creek‘s Cursive. “Let Me Up” is the third video from the band’s new album Mama, I’m Swollen after the jump…

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The Cure – Three Imaginary Boys

The CureThree Imaginary Boys [Deluxe Edition] (Rhino)

It’s hard to remember that the Cure has been around since the 70s. Had they split up after 1989’s Disintegration, they’d be hailed as the most important alternative band of the 80s. The Cure’s influence on 90s alt-rock makes even the Pixies seem like, well, a band that never influenced anybody. But before the Cure found their calling as pioneers of synth-heavy mope rock with long, noodley intros, they were a quirky pop-punk band. A three-piece even! That incarnation of the band did not last very long one album and a handful of singles are all we’ve got from that era.

Three Imaginary Boys was never officially released here in the States; we instead got Boys Don’t Cry, a classic collection of the early singles combined with the best album tracks. If you’re only familiar with Boy Don’t Cry and have never heard the original, you might be disappointed by the handful of original songs that didn’t make the cut&#8212″Another Day,” “Meathook,” and “It’s Not You” are far inferior to the a-sides that replaced them: “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Jumping Someone Else’s Train,” and “Killing an Arab.” Three Imaginary Boys‘ Hendrix cover, “Foxy Lady,” sung by bassist Michael Dempsey, is a goofy mess, and the original hidden instrumental, now titled “The Weedy Burton,” is a throwaway lounge trifle. (The best non-Cry song, “Object,” was actually a bonus track on the cassette but was left off the 1990 cd reissue.)

The second disc in this new Deluxe Edition annoyingly places barely listenable live tracks and forgettable demo versions alongside classic singles and decent outtakes. What’s really frustrating about Disc 2 is what it doesn’t include. Where’s “Killing an Arab”? Where’s “Plastic Passion”? At least the latter was included on the Join the Dots box set, but the exclusion of “Killing an Arab” is utterly inexcusable. It was their first single! And it’s about Camus’ The Stranger, for crying out loud, so only a complete barbarian would perceive any racist sentiment in it. Other period b-sides would be preferable to the mediocre-audio demos, but I can respect that you wouldn’t want to penalize fans who shelled out the dough for Join the Dots. But why not gather the fantastic Peel Sessions?

Oh well, you can’t get everything you want, and the quality of the first disc more than makes up for the gripes about the second disc. The remastering sounds excellent, and the songs are really great! Sure, a lot of the guitars sound cheap and tinny. They were. This is the sound of a young band trying to figure out what they want to be. And they never sounded better.