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This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Money Mark August 28, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

The Beastie Boys… ah, the Beasties. Money Mark, or Mark Ramos-Nishita, has been associated with them working as keyboardist on Check Your Head and Ill Communication. He’s also been something of a producer at large and worked with a variety of other musicians. And that’s grand. But he’s also released a number of solo albums, three or four by now, and that’s even better.

And his most effective album? Perhaps 1998’s Push the Button, a work that covers a myriad of genres, from the introductory mash up of samples on ‘Push the Button’ (a track that in other hands would potentially be very irritating), to songs like ‘Tomorrow will be like today’ which starts with a Velvet Underground strummed guitar then proceeds to merge Squeeze and Elvis Costello to good effect. It’s hugely melodic, driven by his keyboard, with a cracking chorus, and typical of the overall tenor of the album. Nor is it a one off. ‘Too Like You’ is equally good, as is ‘Maybe I’m Dead’ – underpinned by a big fat funky bass (keyboard?) riff, and the mordant, slightly jazzy, ‘Hand in Your Head’. It’s also surprisingly speedy in parts, 18 tracks, but some of them, as with the closing ‘Harmonics of Life’ is a brief 1 minute 54 seconds long, while no track exceeds 4 minutes or thereabouts.

The poppy numbers are funky, jazzy, dancey, and even if Money Mark’s voice is sometimes (but only sometimes) a tad thin the music is sufficient to carry it. There’s considerable variety to the music, but almost all of it is worth listening to, nor is it overly sedate, not least on the entertaining ‘Power House’ with it’s invocations to ‘Turn it up! Turn it up!’ set to bleepy keyboard sounds that fade out like some warped soul half-brother to the intro to Hawkwinds ‘Silver Machine’. Yeah, maybe I wouldn’t want him as a neighbour – although the old Ted Nugent line ‘if it’s too loud you’re too old’ may apply. Everything flows nicely throughout, and overall there’s a summery feel to it that feels strangely appropriate as the current one draws to an end.


Push the Button

Tomorrow will be like today – Velvet Underground goes Squeeze/Elvis Costello on us.

Maybe I’m Dead

Hand in Your Head


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