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New Album Releases Aug. 4, 2009: Watermelon Slim, Joe Pernice, Al Green, Fruit Bats, Miles Davis & Modest Mouse

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Welcome my friends to the show that never ends.  I got to thinking this morning that New Album Releases is like the 1 in a 1-2 punch with the iTunes Chart Watch.  The N.A.R. column is where I tell you what to buy (or what not to buy) and the iTunes Chart Watch is the scorecard wherein you, the music purchasing public, reveal what you did buy.  It's all like Festivus.  We have our airing of grievances and list all the ways we've disappointed one another.  I pour my soul out to you, begging you to buy good music and you disappoint me by buying something else.  That I can do this week in and week out is like my own personal feat of strength.  I'm putting up a Festivus pole in my office.  I'll leave it up year round and think of you all often.

Watermelon Slim
Escape From The Chicken Coop
Told you about this one, I did, but let's talk about it again.  Watermelon Slim is one of the most decorated bluesman of the 21st Century.  It turns out he's also a decorated Vietnam War veteran, a member of MENSA, and those are just a couple of the more interesting biographical tidbits of the life of Bill Homans.

On Escape From The Chicken Coop, Slim is infusing his blues with a little bit more of a country sound.  Coop was recorded in Nashville and produced by Delbert McClinton collaborator Gary Nicholson.  The best songs on the record tend to be when he stays closer to his blues roots, but this is another solid effort from an American original.

Joe Pernice
It Feels So Good When I Stop

Joe Pernice occupies a special place in my heart and will for all time.  I started a music section in our campus newspaper and a contact at Sub Pop records sent me three or four records for my consideration.  One was Heather Duby's Post to Wire (which I love).  Another was from a band called Chappaquiddick Skyline.  In the press material, I learned CS was the brainchild of Scud Mountain Boy and Pernice Brother Joe Pernice.  I didn't know either of those bands at the time, but I made a note to myself to give the disc a listen.

One rainy night while driving to meet up with TheGirlfriend (who is now TheWifeToWhomI'mMarried), I slid the disc into my stereo and the first words of the disc set in motion a relationship that has now lasted for more than 10 years:  "I hate my life."  I continued listening to that disc and over the years have collected every Scud Mtn. and Pernice Brothers record.  I even imported Joe's 'solo' record Big Tobacco before it was domestically available, which brings us to his new 'solo' record, It Feels So Good When I Stop.

In addition to being a master of melancholy melodies, Joe Pernice is a brilliant writer and not just of songs.  It Feels So Good When I Stop is the soundtrack to his new novel of the same name.  Sort of.  This is an album of covers relevant to the musical references and tone of the novel.  They're companion pieces but neither relies on the other.  I suppose Joe could one day do musical theater but that's not what we have here.  I've loved some of his albums more than others, but JP has been one of the most reliable artists in my universe.  When I get paid on Thursday, so will he.

Fruit Bats
The Ruminant Band

So I mentioned Sub Pop a few moments ago, and that brings us to your Fruit Bats.  I was first introduced to this band when they opened for Guster and Ray LaMontagne in Birmingham during my Summer of Guster.  I didn't come away bowled over by them, but they were pleasant enough.  The Ruminant Band is the latest from the Chicago-based Fruit Bats afor the venerable Seattle label. 

Here are your new album releases for August 4, 2009:

Fruit Bats

The Ruminant Band

Medeski, Martin & Wood
Radiolarians III

Watermelon Slim
Escape from the Chicken Coop

Assjack
Assjack

Beatallica
Masterful Mystery Tour

Doug Benson
Unbalanced Load

Amanda Blank
I Love You

Thomas Bogdan
Hungarian Folk Songs

Sebastian Comberti
Joseph Haydn, Johann Zumsteeg: Cello Concertos

Miles Davis
The Classic Prestige Sessions 1951-1956

Desolation Wilderness
New Universe

The Doors
The Soft Parade

Jay Geils
Toe Tappin' Jazz

Gloriana
Gloriana

Al Green
Al Green Explores Your Mind

Al Green
Call Me

Al Green
Have a Good Time

Scott Hardkiss
Technicolor Dreamer

Helado Negro
Awe Owe

Hillsongs
Faith + Hope + Love

Iron Age
The Sleeping Eye

Japandroids
Post-Nothing

Kidz Bop Kids
Kidz Bop, Vol. 16

Marie Kobayashi
Japanese Love Songs

Lightning Dust
Infinite Light

Magnolia Sisters
Stripped Down

Maplewood
Yeti Boombox

Marmoset
Tea Tornado

Nathaniel Mayer
Why Won't You Let Me Be Black?

Mac McAnally
Down by the River

The Miracles
Depend on Me: The Early Albums

Modest Mouse
No One's First and You're Next

Polski Chor Kameralny
Penderecki: Complete Choral Works

Thomas Søndergård
Poul Roders: Concertos

Original Soundtrack
Degrassi Goes Hollywood: Music from the Original Movie!

Original TV Soundtrack
Wizards of Waverly Place: Songs from and Inspired by the Hit TV Series

Joe Pernice
It Feels So Good When I Stop

Phillips, Craig & Dean
Fearless

Plastiscines
About Love

Julian Plenti
Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper

Sian Alice Group
Troubled, Shaken Etc.

Sylvester & the Hot Band
The Blue Thumb Collection

Throw Me the Statue
Creaturesque

Various Artists
Ballads and Corridos 1945-1975

Wildbirds & Peacedrums
The Snake

Yim Yames
Tribute To [EP]

Aaron Zigman
The Ugly Truth

Zucchero
Live in Italy [CD/DVD]

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About Josh Hathaway

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Assjack, huh? Is our venerable publisher making records these days too?

  • http://marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    oooh, Watermelon Slim AND Medeski, Martin & Wood in the same week! i’m behing…don’t even have the latest Bill Frisell yet.

  • http://blogcritics.org/music Josh Hathaway

    The new Slim is interesting. He tinkered with the formula on this one a little bit.

    Assjack Records is EO’s vanity label.

  • http://marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    i thought that was AssHat?

    anyway, a word that must be added to the official list of cool cusswords.

  • http://blogcritics.org/music Josh Hathaway

    “Assplow” is actually the EO construct, as is the frequently used “fuckbubbles.”

  • http://everythingisamess.wordpress.com Tom Johnson

    Yim Yames’ (My Morning Jacket’s Jim James) George Harrison tribute, Josh. That ought to be right on top of your must-buy list.

  • http://blogcritics.org/music Josh Hathaway

    Not a MMJ fan, so the less I hear of what he’s done with/to George Harrison’s catalog, the better for me.

  • http://everythingisamess.wordpress.com Tom Johnson

    I’m not either. It sounds nothing like MMJ, much more like Fleet Foxes.

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