Despite being late with the New Releases this week, I haven't had a lot of time to take a look at the list. I'm not going to insult your intelligence and tell you this week's list is good or bad, deep or shallow. I will tell you there about two titles of interest to me.
Before we get to those, it looks like some of the bigger names on this week's release schedule are crooner Michael Bublé and country star Toby Keith. I'm passing those up, as well as new music from Brandi Carlile. Has-been boy band Backstreet Boys are back with a new record this week. I glanced at one review headline and that reviewer wasn't a fan, but kicking the Backstreet Boys is easy sport these days. We've also got a set of deluxe edition Jesus Lizard albums, remastered and expanded. With that, here's what I'm buying...
At Your Service
Morphine spent the best years of their too-brief career with the Rykodisc, who now releases a 2-CD anthology of rarities, live cuts, outtakes, and previously unreleased material from the Boston-based trio.
Before I can tell you how happy I am about this collection, here's a writing lesson. Never — I'm using the word never — put a modifier or qualifier in front of the word unique. Unique stands alone. Whatever unique is describing — a person, place, thing, state of being — is like nothing else. That's what it means. Something can't be very unique. How unlike something else can something be than to be like nothing else? Something can't be kind of unique. It's either unlike everything else or it's not. Unique stands alone. I dance you through this dance so I can say so did Morphine. They stood alone. They were unique. They still are.
Mark Sandman died 10 years ago, and in the intervening years a small amount of the material he left behind has seen release. The Night was a posthumous album the band was soon to release. There's been a live bootleg release. There's a 2-CD collection called Sandbox, which collects Sandman music with his various bands including Treat Her Right and Morphine. There was a greatest hits package. Now there's At Your Service. I got my copy yesterday and haven't listened to it in its entirety yet, but so far I'm reveling in the comfort of listening to the only band that ever sounded like this. I wouldn't suggest At Your Service as your starting point, but you are politely commanded to give Morphine a listen.