Tuesday, December 2, 2008
If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date - 12/02/08
As expected, December releases are light. I had hoped for some last minute Christmas season surprises from the labels; a multi-disc Chambers Brothers box or the release of the long rumored Jim Nabors "Hotel Tapes," perhaps. Sorry to say, no such luck,
There are these, though.
JOHN DOE- THE GOLDEN STATE E.P.
John Doe's 2007 release "A Year In The Wilderness" was one of my favorite releases of that year, mostly due to the first single "The Golden State." If I start telling you how I feel about this song, I may never stop. Now, Yep Roc releases 5 versions of this killer tune, one of which is a duet featuring Eddie Vedder and Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker. Interesting, but nothing will top the tenderness of the original Doe and Kathleen Edwards version.
H.R.- HEY WELLA
Lead singer of the legendary Bad Brains releases his first solo album since 2000's "Out Of Bounds." H.R.'s solo output leans more towards reggae than the short, sharp blasts of hardcore that the Bad Brains perfected. I suggest rolling a huge spliff and just letting yourself get lost in da riddim. I mean...I guess. I wouldn't know. (He says, pouring some vanilla soy milk while reading the Bible.)
OLLABELLE- BEFORE THIS TIME
My current fave label, Yep Roc, releases this collection of live tracks from one of my favorite (not so) new (anymore) bands. Lead singer Amy Helm, Levon's daughter, and bandmates blend some great old-timey blues and gospel, with a little bit of soul. Guest appearances by the great Larry Campbell and Levon himself, make this even more appealing.
BRITNEY SPEARS- CIRCUS
"CIRCUS" focuses on Britney's interpretations of a predominantly modern set of standards, the Beatles-Bacharach-Motown axis of vocal material popular during the late '60s. Spears does an uncanny, rather needless, impression of Dionne Warwick on "Anyone Who Had a Heart," and brings the Beatles' "Nowhere Man" and the Supremes' "My World Is Empty Without You" to Broadway with predictable results. She fares better on adult-pop readings of "Strangers in the Night" and "Can I Trust You?," but the hodgepodge of material makes for an album that never quite comes together. (This is actually All Music's review of Vikki Carr's 1968 release, "The Way Of Today." I figured that was more interesting)
NEIL YOUNG- SUGAR MOUNTAIN: LIVE AT CANTERBURY HOUSE 1968
Normally I wouldn't be gaga over another archival Neil Young set, but this pre-dates the release of his solo debut, which happens to be my favorite Neil record, so I am somewhat slightly whelmed by its release. It is a solo acoustic performance and comes with a DVD. (I'm assuming it's of the performance and not a copy of "Tora! Tora! Tora!"
WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE?
Last week the immortal (?) Immortal (?) Label released a handful of "live" CDs: David Bowie-Glass Spider, R.E.M Live Collection, Bruce Springsteen- Rockin' From Italy 1993, and Cheap Trick -Tokyo, to name but a few. Huh? I smell a rat. Anyone out there have any idea why and how these are available? Amazon is selling them, so they MUST be legit.
"AND DAT'S DAT!"
Tomorrow, the year-end lists continue with the best import releases of 2008, including the upcoming 6 CD set from The Kinks.
Finally, John Doe & Kathleen Edwards, courtesy of WFUV.