I have made lists. I have researched the dates. I have obsessed over the slow passage of time. I have sat myself in a car in the early morning in empty parking lots waiting for the store lights to go on. I have even helped store employees open and paw through boxes of just-delivered material.
The fact is, for many years now, Tuesday morning has always seen me rise with a little less mental grog anvil on my head: because it's the day that the new records come out. No matter what's going on elsewhere, the experience of opening, listening, and ingesting a new record has never failed to make me enjoy this life just a little bit more.
So welcome to a new BlogCritics music feature, "The Tuesday Morning Purchase" (A tip 'o the writing pencil is due to fellow Blogcritic El Bicho for coming up with that title). The following list is not comprehensive (if you want that, Billboard will do the trick). What it is is a collection of my thoughts and recommendations for this week's musical newborns. These are the thoughts that might race through my head while standing in front of the record bins. That's why, from week to week, things might show up in a different order. I don't know about you, but I rarely start off in the same spot at the store.
I've always had a pretty highly-functioning record radar — the only album I've ever gotten rid of was a particularly slick Lee Rittenour record. Not bad for over 25 years of picks. So really, you can trust me.
Hey, why are you laughin'?!
Guy Klucevsek – Notefalls (Winter & Winter)/Jazz
He of the super-quirky accordion. Almost everything on the Winter & Winter label is worth a look and this release is no exception. Plus, a person can't help but be attracted to song entitled "March of the Wild Turkey Hens."
Steve Davis – Alone Together (Mapleshade)/Jazz
OK, let's roll the dice! Mapleshade is a label started many years ago with the intent of reproducing the sound of old BlueNote recordings. When they succeed, the results are indeed breathtaking. I haven't picked up anything from them in years so, hey, now's the time. Trombone and piano recorded all-analogue? I'm there.
James Blood Ulmer – Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions (Hyena)/Jazz
Ulmer continues in his new tradition of deeply felt, raw blues. Though it's a collection of songs about hurricane Katrina and associated issues, I'm really interested in his take on Bessie Smith's "Backwater Blues." Oh, and some wicked guitar.
Michel Petrucciani – Piano Solo: The Complete Concert in Germany (Dreyfus)/Jazz
I don't own any Petrucciani recordings. Why? Apparently, stupidity. I mean, the man was a phenomenal talent. The situation (lack of Petrucciani, not the stupidity) will be addressed with this expanded edition of the 1997 concert recording.
The Bad Plus – PROG (Heads Up)/Jazz
I love this band. Sure, sometimes the covers seem too jokey (Rush's "Tom Sawyer"), but they have a ton of ideas and the chops to pull it off. Oh, this is the second release this month to feature Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" (the other was by Patti Smith). What's up with that?
Johnny "Guitar" Watson – Hot Little Mama (Music Avenue)/Blues
I came to the song "Hot Little Mama" via Roomful of Blues and somehow have never heard the original.
Poodle Lynn – Country's All I'll Ever Be (Deep South Prod)/Country
This is the country music you never hear on "country" radio. No big hat pretense, just the real thing. That and a cover of The Who's "Squeeze Box."
Dale Watson – The Little Darlin' Sessions (Koch)/Country
Now of course, I don't know when I pick this disc up that Watson is protesting its release. Apparently, the songs were not finished to his liking but the label doesn't care. After discovering this fact, I'll go back to the store and buy From The Cradle To The Grave, which has been on TheList™ for a while. By the way, Watson is also the real deal. No suburban faux-country here. Not one bit.
Grand Buffet – The Haunted Fucking Gazebo (Fighting)/Rap
I'm probably not buying this one, but dang…just love that title. On second thought, after looking at some bio material, I might pick this up just because of their indie rap, selling-CDs-by-hand nature.
Thelonius Moog – American Standard (Grownup)/Rock
Remember those records in the 60's and 70's that featured the Moog synthesizer? Well, take some American standards (sort of) and run them through that filter. Zappa's "Peaches En Regalia" given the swingin' bachelor pad twist? Yes, please.
New Barbarians – Buried Alive: Live in Maryland (Wooden)/Rock
OK, So I wander over to the tiny new vinyl section of my store and stumble onto this. Woa, I vaguely remember somebody yammerin' on about the New Barbarians in Creem magazine back in the day. Never heard any of it. The story of this concert is kinda funny though. Keef had just been dealt a two-day community service sentence for a drug conviction. Now, can you imagine Mr. Richards picking up trash in the park? Or sweeping streets? How about teaming up with Ronnie Wood, Ian McLaughlin, Bobby Keys, Ziggaboo Modeliste, and monster fusion bassist Stanley Clarke? Yes, the concerts were a benefit for the Canadian Institute for the Blind. Quite an interesting mix of tunes, from the usual Chuck Berry selections to some Stones catalog to picks from Wood's Gimme Some Neck.
Elliott Smith – New Moon (Kill Rock Stars)/Rock
I'm not sure that "salivating" is the right word, but that's what Elliott Smith's infinitely loyal fan base has been doing at the prospect of this collection's release. Two full discs of unreleased and demo material, presented mostly with just an acoustic guitar and Smith's voice. Being a fan of past "demo" releases (Pete Townsend's Scoop comes to mind), I'll be interested to see the reaction to this. Sometimes, the raw power in a song can be amped up when several layers are stripped away.
Björk – Volta (One Little Indian)/Rock
I can never say "no" to this woman. Too much creativity. Too many ideas. And absolutely no sense of fear. Medulla is one of the most beautiful and intriguing recordings I've ever heard. She now has my complete devotion.Powered by Sidelines