The Wedding Present

It’s been three years since The Wedding Present re-emerged from the ashes of Cinerama with the album Take Fountain. They’re back with what could be labeled David Gedge’s “L.A. album.” He lived in West Hollywood while he wrote these songs and it comes through in both tone and content (tons of references to L.A. landmarks, including the album title, El Rey, named after the famous mid-Wilshire venue). That said, the album was recorded in Chicago with the legendary Steve Albini (who also produced the seminal Seamonsters album), who roughs up each tune with the appropriate gloom and grit to match Gedge’s trademark forlorn lyrics—tempered occasionally by bassist Terry De Castro’s sweet vocals. Keep an eye out for tour dates (yes, Joe, I bought tickets for the Pontiac show) for your chance to catch one of the loudest shows I’ve ever witnessed.

Original post from 12/23/2004:
Multiple Choice:
Since 1985, The Wedding Present have provided
A) a distinct solace for those utterly steeped in general feelings of jealousy and rebuke.
B) David Gedge, a lead singer with a charmingly lousy voice and a ridiculously thick Leeds accent.
C) fantastic guitar riffs, faster in the carefree ’80s and wiser in the new millenium.
D) reliably good Brit-pop for longer than the flavor-of-the-week has been alive.
E) all of the above.

(It’s E, duh.)

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I can blame The Cure for a couple things:

1) The name of my first son, Cairo. I used to joke with a friend that I’d name my first child after the song “Fire In Cairo,” combining “fire” and “in” to create “Firyn.” Firyn Cairo. (My friend reciprocated the fun, threatening to name his first child Seven–and this was a couple years before Seinfeld hit the TV). By the time our first child was born I had joked around with “Firyn Cairo” so much it stuck (we axed Firyn, thankfully).

2) Cranes. And it’s been years since I’d listened to or even thought of the band. Somehow during my musical travels I came across their latest, and seventh, album, Particles & Waves. The band is as haunting, lush, and dark as ever. And lucky for us, just as busy. They opened a couple Cure shows in Europe over the summer and they’re already working on new material for a new album next year. Enjoy discovering or rediscovering Cranes. And if you’re sitting there all smug and cocky because you never stopped listening, shame on you. Why didn’t you remind me!?!?

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I just love it when people ask me, “What’s your favorite kind of music?” It’s always people who really don’t know me, and I love it even more when my hesistation to answer immediately leads them to further clarify. “Rock? Rap? What about Jazz?” But I always answer, simply, “Lilys.” Kurt Heasley, the force behind Lilys, is a musical chameleon, changing colors and styles at will. He started as an American My Bloody Valentine, then shifted to psych-tinged Kinks, then drifted into Pink Floyd, came back again to the Kinks, then passed on into mellow pop-influenced electronica, and with the last release, 2003’s Precollection, touched on UK indie pop. Each shift usually throws me for a loop, but I keep coming back, and I keep answering, “Lilys.”

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John Peel died of a heart attack Monday at age 65. As Simon put it, it’s like a library burning. In memory, I’m posting a Peel Session track performed by one of Mr. Peel’s favorite songwriters, David Gedge, formerly of The Wedding Present and currently Cinerama. I don’t know how many incredible artists I discovered by way of the legendary Peel Sessions, but Gedge is definitely one of them. Man, there’s gonna be some good radio in heaven…

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