Tuesday, December 15, 2009


For those of you who are new to No Expiration, every Wednesday morning at 9 am ET I go on the SIRIUS XM channel OutQ on the show The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick to talk about music. It is usually a half hour deal, but tomorrow I will be there for an hour. The original plan was to talk about last minute gifts for Hanukkah and Christmas. But since the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced their induction class for 2010 this morning, I'm going to be talking about that tomorrow as well. But first, on to the last minute gift ideas. One box set and a bunch of live albums - I find this kind of thing to be a great gift. Of course, I would think that!

A few weeks ago when I talked about box sets, I hadn't yet gotten a copy of Elvis Presley's Elvis 75 - Good Rockin' Tonight. I am not a huge Elvis fan actually (my first impression of him was during his "fat" era I think, and later on by Public Enemy's lyric "Elvis was a hero to most, he never meant shit to me"). But you simply cannot deny his influence on modern music and aside from that, he has some great songs. I would argue that most of his recorded output wasn't really that great, but the stuff that is great (mainly what he recorded for Sun Records) is earth-shattering. Again, I'm not a huge fan, but you really can't deny it. This 4 CD box set covers his entire career. If you are getting a gift for an Elvis beginner and want to spend a little bit, this is a great gift. A cheaper alternative is the single CD Elv1s 30 #1 Hits. I have that - I even thought that was a bit long for me. I would actually prefer Elvis At Sun. One gem I do love on this box set, though, is his cover of Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time," recorded in 1966.

Moving from one Elvis to another: Elvis Costello's Live At The El Mocambo is a pretty great live album. Recorded in 1978 between his first two albums, My Aim Is True and This Year's Model, it shows Elvis and The Attractions as a hungry, up-and-coming band with something to prove (by the way, this isn't the same set as the one that is included in the Deluxe Edition of My Aim Is True). No Expiration readers know how much I love to see great artists - like Elvis Costello - make amazing art decades into thier careers. That said, there's nothing like hearing an artist when they are the hot new thing. That's what you get here. The sound quality is a bit bootleggy - lots of loud audience sounds, but it almost feels like you are there. Kind of for hardcore fans, but it is really great stuff.

Next is Neil Young's Dreamin' Man, which I've been looking forward to. Recorded in 1992 on a solo acoustic tour, he was playing the songs for Harvest Moon (released later that year) for the first time. I went to one of the NY shows, and was blown away. This is kind of more for hard-core Neil fans, but it really is a lovely album.

Tom Waits' Glitter and Doom is a live album also, documenting his latest tour. It mainly features stuff from the past decade, with some dives into past decades as well. It's two discs: one is songs, the other is stories that he tells between songs. I don't know if that would work for anyone but Tom Waits! Kind of only for hardcore fans.

Paul McCartney's Good Evening New York City documents his concerts this summer at CitiField, which replace Shea Stadium. Paul has released a ton of live albums over the past twenty years, but they are all fun. This one spans his career, from The Beatles to his latest project as The Fireman. The coolest part of the album is probably his live version of The Beatles' "A Day In The Life," which he'd never performed before (as it was mainly a John Lennon composition). This is not just for hard core fans, but if you have a limited budget, I'd say any of The Beatles remasters is probably a better gift.

Finally, The Rolling Stones' Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out deluxe edition, a re-release of the 1969 live album, which comes with a DVD, bonus tracks not on the original album, and the opening sets from Ike & Tina Turner and B.B. King. I've written about this one before.

Also, Beyonce and Kylie Minogue have new live albums, I don't have them, but Larry may bring them in.

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