Another week, another pile of intrigue. Some of these names came to me because I truly love (and own!) their back catalog. Other factors include musical nostalgia and attraction to plain old silly band names and cover art. Excepting those folks who haven't liked any new music since their junior year in college (…and I sort of feel sorry for ya), there's a pretty wide range of stuff out there: from bluesy folk to exotica to punk remembrances to extreme metal.
Let the collecting begin!
Maria Muldaur – Naughty, Bawdy & Blue (Stony Plain Music)/Folk
Muldaur's sultry and gorgeous voice wrapped around tunes originally associated artists such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Victoria Spivey, and Alberta Hunter. I can't wait to hear this one since Muldaur did such a fantastic job on Heart of Mine: Love Songs of Bob Dylan.
Pink Martini- Hey Eugene! (Wrasse)/Exotica/Jazz/IHaveNoFreakingIdea
This band fits into almost no category. "Exotica" almost gets it right because of the big tent implied there. All I know is that their globetrotting bag of styles (by way of Portland, Oregon) is a load of fun. If the music and stellar vocals of China Forbes wasn't enough, two guest spots by jazz legend Jimmie Scott should close the deal.
Various Artists – CBGB Forever (Wicked Cool)/Rock
A tribute to the legendary punk club put out by Steve Van Zandt's new label. The club didn't survive, but the spirit lives on. This compilation contains a few rare studio tracks (U2, Green Day, and Foo Fighters) as well as some garagey noise from modern bands and a good slices of old garage and snotty punk from The Chesterfield Kings and The Dead Boys.
Wilco- Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch)/Rock
When I buy a new Wilco record, it takes one, two, three…sometimes ten listens to "get" it. That's a good thing.
George Thorogood- Taking Care of Business (Rec)/Rock
I'm not all that hot on artists compilations/best-ofs, but a new Thorogood record hasn't made its way into the collection for years and man, does this look like a good place to start. One disc Ride Til I Die (from 2003) and another the 30th anniversary recording, it's a big chunk of George. You can bet that I'll be turning this up very, very loud.
Joe Strummer- The Future Is Unwritten (Sony)/Rock
Imagine Joe Strummer programming his own satellite radio station a la Little Steven. Yes, Joe Strummer's Underground Garage. Yes, there's some Clash. That and a bunch of other artists who either influenced or were influenced by them. The soundtrack to a Strummer bio pic. Really great stuff. Damn, I still miss Joe.
Various Artists- The Sandinista! Project (Mri)/Rock
Though I consider the Clash's London Calling to be a perfect album, Sandinista! rates right up there as well. It took me a long time to figure it all out, what with all the intermingled genres. That record taught me that punk didn't always mean a slap across the face. All these years later comes a tribute record that I'm hoping talks the talk. I just can't imagine Willie Nile not knocking "Police On My Back" right outa the park. Amy Rigby does "The Leader," Camper Van Beethoven brings "Kingston Advice," and Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers open with "The Magificent Seven." As a friend of mine likes to say, I am buying the hell out of this one.
Total Fucking Destruction- Zen and the Art of Total Fucking Destruction (Translation Loss)/Rock/Metal/Experimental Noise
Every once in a while, I will buy a record just because I see some cool cover art or an interesting band name… which sets off the record radar. Sometimes you just have to go with your instincts. This may not be considered "real metal" to those in the know, but hey, I'm just having fun with all the intensity. Extra points to their loopy "sounds like" entries over at MySpace. Marshal Tucker and Napalm Death? Right.Powered by Sidelines