Tuesday, October 21, 2008
If It's Tuesday...- New Releases, 10/21/08
Ah, Tuesday. The most exciting day of the week for record buyers. Or at least it used to be, back when there were record stores. Still, the artists keep making art, God bless'em. And although it's a bit of a slow week, here's some of what's hitting the street today.
THE DEARS- MISSILES
It was this Canadian band's 2004 breakthrough, the critically acclaimed "No Cities Left," that caught my attention. I had never been a fan of Morrissey and the brooding sound of The Smiths, but "No Cities Left," grabbed me because it sounded like what could have made The Smiths more my cup of tea- stronger melodies and a more adventurous production. "Missiles" is a little bigger sounding than the previous stripped down affair "Gang Of Losers." It actually resembles Radiohead's melodic period more than the aforementioned The Smiths.
LABELLE- BACK TO NOW
The ladies of Labelle--Nona Hendryx, Sarah Dash and Miss Patti are back with some heavy-duty help. Lenny Kravitz, Gamble & Huff and Wyclef Jean all show up for this solid and soulful comeback. The women sound fantastic, and the production will take you back to 1973. A winner all around. Click HERE for my Huffington Post piece on this trio's reunion.
LOU REED- BERLIN:LIVE AT ST. ANN'S WAREHOUSE
As he approaches his 80th year in music, Lou Reed, a once thrilling and important artist, really hasn't done anything worthwhile since 1989's "New York." Some lifeless noisefests with John Zorn, readings from Edgar Allen Poe, meditations on the Hudson River and a few lousy live records have all thankfully come and gone. This show, recorded in 2006, at least has some promise, since the material is worthwhile.
"FRIDAY MUSIC" REISSUES
A new reissue campaign from Friday Records has taken some marginally significant records that have been out of print for years, and created newly remastered (?) packages. Albums from Hall & Oates, Joan Jett and Todd Rundgren are on deck or have just been released. So far I've sampled two--Hall & Oates' "Along The Red Ledge" and Todd Rundgren's "Second Wind." The new remasters sound EXACTLY THE SAME as the older versions and the "new liner notes" are nothing more than a paragraph stating "these are new liner notes." Yet another fantastic way to get music fans interested in CDs again.
PICK OF THE WEEK
THIN LIZZY- LIVE AND DANGEROUS: DELUXE EDITION
I love this band. Always have. It's unfortunate that most are unfamiliar with anything but "The Boys Are Back In Town" and "Jailbreak," two great pieces of music, but hardly a real representation of what the late poet, singer and leader Phil Lynott had up his sleeve. Thin Lizzy started out as a blues band and then slowly evolved into one of the most melodic rock bands of the seventies and eighties. The twin guitar attack of Brian Robertson & Scott Gorham backed by the big boogie rhythm section of Brian Downey on drums and Lynott on bass, created a sound that was unique, yet completely viable and radio friendly. Their now legendary live record "Live & Dangerous" is getting a nice treatment here, with a DVD that features a newly restored video of the 1977 Rainbow Theatre concert from which the album was recorded, as well as a video of the 1983 farewell concert. The bonus CD is a killer live performance from 1975, right before Lizzy hit big in the US with the release of the "Jallbreak" album. I hesitate to say "If you only buy one Thin Lizzy record this year....," because for me, everything from 1974-1983 is a necessity. But, if you only buy one Thin Lizzy record this year....
DAVID EGAN- OUT OF THE PAST
Lafayette, Louisiana's singer-songwriter David Egan, has penned songs for John Mayall, Irma Thomas. Johnny Adams, Marcia Ball and Percy Sledge, as well as the New Orleans collective, the ever-elusive L'il Band Of Gold. On his new record, Egan takes his swamp-smarts and his Boz Scaggs-alike voice and offers up some of the greasiest grooves since Charo spilled a bottle of Mazola. The track "Love Honor & Obey" is worth the price of admission alone. BUY THIS CD and all your fave New Orleans music at the Louisiana Music Factory.
HANK III- DAMN RIGHT REBEL PROUD
Not for the faint of heart. Hank III's brand of redneck hillbilly music is sure to offend someone, especially those in Martha's Vineyard and parts of Maine.
Also out today, new records from:
KENNEY CHESNEY, LEE ANN WOMACK, THE ELECTRIC SIX, AND THE SEA AND CAKE
Stay tuned next week for a great new release from the Kaiser Chiefs, and what I think is The Cure's best album in ages!
Finally, in recognition of Shemini Atzeret, I offer this beautiful (and super hip) audio clip from Steven Bernstein. Click HERE and DIG IT!