Tuesday, March 2, 2010


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. I am a weekly contributor to The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick. We talk about - surprise! - music.

Tomorrow the main topic will be Peter Gabriel's new album, Scratch My Back. It is an orchestral album of covers.  I am a huge, huge Peter Gabriel fan, but I have to say, so far I don't like it. What I like better - so far - is the companion piece he has been curating, I'll Scratch Yours, where the bands that he covers on the album return the favor. iTunes has Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields' cover of "Not One Of Us" (recorded right after California voted down gay marraige), and also Paul Simon's cover of "Biko." I hate to be negative about Peter Gabriel, but I can't help it, I don't like this album. It may actually be the first thing he ever did that I don't like. But I'm also kind of annoyed at him: I can't believe that he won't even show up at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction as a member of Genesis. I bet he wouldn't miss it if he was being inducted as a solo artist.

I suggested lots of other songs, I don't know what Larry will pick: there's a long out-of-print Bill Withers album 'Justments, which just was reissued, a song from Peter Wolf's next album, songs from a new live album by The Pretenders, Live in London, a song from Ringo Starr's new album and stuff from Santana's Supernatural.


Jason said...

Brian, love hearing you on the Wednesday Jolt's every week. Larry and your passions for music really come through the radio -- even to music "commoners" like me! And yes, the clips of Peter Gabriel played this morning were really truly painful. Honestly, I had to turn the channel for a minute or two (but I did come back to you guys, honest)!

Minority said...

Jason, thanks for listening, reading and contributing here. yeah, the Peter Gabriel thing was weird. he is one of my favorite artists ever, I like nearly everything he has ever done (including some of his lesser known works) but I just cannot get with this new album. Still, he is an artist of such significance that I felt I had to address his album. By the way, you're not a "commoner," everyone enjoys music, whether or not you obsess over music magazines. I think your opinion is as relevant as that of the biggest rock critic.

Kent said...

I missed the Peter Gabriel portion of the broadcast. Probably a good thing. I have a lot of respect for Gabriel, but this album seems more about forcing the hand of some artists to make a Peter Gabriel tribute album.

Not a great opportunity for Bowie, so he decided against a Gabriel cover. An up-and-coming artist like Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver, whose music I totally love) probably wouldn't resist.

We'll see what a Bon Iver version of a Peter Gabriel song sounds like. Gabriel's version of "Flume", however, is pretty awful; no build up, no real use of the sparce orchestration, no support of the vocal line. Frown.

Minority said...

hey, Kent, thanks for writing again. I don't think the intent is totally to force a tribute album. I don't like this album, but I think Peter Gabriel is really about his own concept of "interactivity."
I did read somewhere that David Bowie actually declined the opportunity to do a Gabriel cover, but Brian Eno (Bowie's collaborator on "Heroes" and a Gabriel collaborator as well) is going to do a cover. but I was surprised: I wonder why Bowie wouldn't do it. Is it personal, or is he just not in the mood to record any more?

Kent said...

I focused my thoughts on my blog, if you care for a diversion: http://pirategeorge.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/two-flumes/

mainly out of 1) difficulty trying to defend the music on Scratch My Back and 2) the inconsivibility that Peter Gabriel isn't going to the RNR HOF.

I'll shut up now. . .