Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tucanes y Bowie WORTH IT; All Time Low, Not So Much


Los Tucanes de Tijuana

Sure, all the songs sound the same. That's just so they can shift our attention to the details--musical and (if you're more linguistically gifted than I) narrative. Specifically, narratives about drugs and crime. Stomping through 15 waltzes and polkas with more taut muscle than their beer-hall cousins, Los Tucanes teach you to glory in their close harmonies, aggressive bateria fills, and the liquid accordion of Alfredo Gonzalez Gonzalez. Not to mention the gunfire and siren FX, never more than a song away. For fans of Morton Feldman and the Sinaloa mafia.

David Bowie
A Reality Tour
(Sony Legacy)

OK, maybe they're "bonus tracks," but the man does not know how to end a concert. After ripping through three Ziggy classics--and when was the last time you stopped and marveled at "Hang On To Yourself"?--Bowie and six-piece slog through two obscurities, only to close with "China Girl," which I wish was obscure. Fortunately, this travesty only occurs after two solid hours of hits, a cover (the Pixies' "Cactus"), and covers of covers, including a singalong "All the Young Dudes" that teases us with the drum intro from "Young Americans." Which you may wish he'd played instead of, oh, Outside's cabaret aria "The Motel." But for the most part, even his post-'80s obscurities sound good--especially the ready-set-GO! of "New Killer Star" and the NIN-meets-the-Who "I'm Afraid of Americans." MVP: Gail Ann Dorsey, who negotiates the world's most famous bassline while handling Freddy Mercury's vocal on "Under Pressure."


All Time Low
MTV Unplugged

Sobbed the young punks, "There's a story at the bottom of this bottle." Thank God I gave up drinking for Lent.

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