This is what happens: a review item shows up at Chez Saleski and I live with it for a while. I listen to it in the car, at work, and at home on the stereo and the iPod. At some point, an idea strikes me and I reach for the pad and pencil. Sometimes it's obvious from the first listen that the music needs to be written about. Other albums do nothing for me and are ignored.
This year, a third category has emerged: recordings that really made an impression, yet were left on the table because solid review angles refused to materialize. Very annoying, is what it is.
Well, as Christmas approached, I figured that it was time to liberate these poor things from Saleski's Island of Misfit Musical Toys. Actually, that label is a little unfair — since I couldn't figure out what to do with them, it seems that I am the misfit.
In any event, if you're looking for last minutes gift ideas (and are lucky enough to be anywhere near a decent store), check out my pile of musical misfits.
Talib Kweli – Eardrum
Homogenized commercial radio is genre-deaf when it comes to implementing the bean-counter rules. Because of this, interesting music is filtered out across all genres. Talib Kwelia puts out some great hip-hop that avoids those clichéd elements that make so much of gangsta and krunk so boring. Eardrum features some pretty cool guests too, including KRS-One, Justin Timberlake, and Norah Jones.
Johnathan Rice – Further North
At first, I thought Rice was too close to Jacob Dylan in songwriting approach. "We're All Stuck Out In The Desert" does sound a little like The Wallflowers. Wrong! Subsequent listens revealed some great songwriting that finds the intersection between rock, folk and alt.country. Really great stuff.
Pegi Young – Pegi Young
Apparently, Neil isn't the only talented one in the family. Pegi's voice reminds me of a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Maria Muldaur. Her solo record is a countryish affair that had a tough time finding its way out of my CD player.
Various Artists – Flower Power
This massive 10-CD box set is perfect for somebody looking to load up on music from a variety of 1970s genres: folk, folk rock, pop, rock, psychedelic rock… it's all there. The broad categories presented are: "Groovin'," "Born To Be Wild," "Time of the Season," "Age of Aquarius," and "The Hits of 1967." The set reminds me of those cheapo K-Tel compilations I used to buy when I was a kid, this time with much better sound quality.
Glen Campbell - Good Times Again (DVD)
Wow, I had forgotten just how great of a guitar player Campbell is. This DVD features performances from The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and includes guests such as Rick Nelson, Roger Miller, Linda Ronstadt, Willie Nelson, Bobby Gentry, and Johnny Cash. For my money, the sweet version of "All I Really Want To Do" with Cher, is worth the price of admission