The Big Issue : Edition 570
MUSIC 38 THEBIGISSUE.ORG.AU 7–20 SEP 2018 Rock’n’roll lost one of its most distinctive, reassuring voices when Tom Petty died last October. While Petty’s hits have long been canonised, this 60-track box set focuses on the other end of his catalogue: deep cuts, live tracks and rarities. Spanning four decades, it’s the first posthumous release from the American legend, curated with great care by his wife, daughter and band mates. There are no huge surprises – sizzling live cuts were a hallmark of Petty and his trusty Heartbreakers, and many of the alternative versions aren’t too different. Highlights include a rousing acoustic live version of ‘Even the Losers’, a countrified demo of ‘The Apartment Song’ with Stevie Nicks singing backup, and the Van Morrison-indebted ‘Lost in Your Eyes’ from Petty’s early band Mudcrutch. We also hear Petty and collaborators age gracefully together, growing only more profound. This is a generous banquet of top-shelf comfort food, showcasing the timeless, truthful ring to his songwriting. DOUG WALLEN AN AMERICAN TREASURE TOM PETTY We’re Not Talking, the second album from Brisbane three-piece The Goon Sax , is thick with growing pains and adolescent uncertainty, but is far from naive. A frank meditation on the finer points of love and communication, We’re Not Talking is utterly raw in its portrayal of what it is to be young and falling out of love. These are pop songs rendered in punk simplicity: string arrangements and cowbell lines are deft accompaniments, not adornments. Each member sings lead vocals on this album, with drummer Riley Jones’ voice providing a sonic and narrative counterpoint to guitarists Louis Forster and James Harrison, who sang lead on the band’s debut. The songs are riddled with questions and contradictions: on ‘Get Out’ Forster sings, “ I need you around/And how can I say that/I want you to stay/When that would be cruel/And it’s just as hard for you?” Both assured and restless, hopeless and hopeful, We’re Not Talking is near perfect in its state of imperfection. GREER CLEMENS WE’RE NOT TALKING THE GOON SAX IF MUSIC IS a young person’s game, then the world of pop is peekaboo. In a space where what’s hot is new, and what’s new is usually under 25, it has long proved almost impossible for pop stars to age with their art – especially if you are a woman. You see, it’s okay for Mick Jagger – a 75-year- old great-grandfather – to squeeze into skinny black jeans and thrust his lithe hips, while singing “I can’t get no satisfaction”, but should Madonna plant a performative kiss on Drake’s lips during a choreographed duet at Coachella (as she did in 2015), then the internet will explode with disgust. One of (if not, the) single most culturally influential musicians of her time, she has been talking about ageism in pop music since turning 31, the same year she released Like a Prayer. Despite (or perhaps, in spite of) the criticism, Madonna has continued to make music and create headlines for three decades. Often she has let her work do the talking, but at the end of 2016, while accepting Billboard’s Woman of the Year award, the singer snapped back: “To age is a sin,” she told the audience. “You will be criticised, you will be vilified and you will definitely not be played on the radio.” A few weeks ago Madonna turned 60. To mark the occasion she released a snippet of herself performing new song ‘Beautiful Game’ at New York’s Met Gala. The track will feature on her next record. Bring it on, Madge! SARAH SMITH > Music Editor It’s all there in the name. Feelings, the second album from Sydney-Melbourne band Bloods, is unapologetically earnest. “ I’m trying to be happy without you,” goes the chorus of the title track, hearts firmly on sleeves. From love lost to new hope, this collection of 10 garage-pop tracks runs the gamut of emotions while delivering killer hooks and vocal harmonies. The rambunctious ‘Talk’ is a highlight, with singer MC’s shimmering voice taking centre stage for the verses before an explosive, jangly earworm-of-a -chorus takes over, distortion turned all the way up for added guts. With the exception of a handful of dreamier mid-tempo tracks (‘Slow Break’, ‘Broken Heart’), the breathless excitement never lets up – a palpable sense of joy washing over all. With the recent addition of second guitarist Mike Morgan, Bloods have gained confidence on this assured and infectious release. GISELLE AU-NHIEN NGUYEN FEELINGS BLOODS CD DOWNLOAD VINYL MADONNA: AGEING DISGRACEFULLY. AND LOVING IT.