Tuesday, February 24, 2009
If It's Tuesday 2/24, It Must Be MARDI GRAS
HAPPY MARDI GRAS Y'ALL! Hope you're getting your Hoo-Na-Nay on. Here are some new releases to peruse if you're not in New Orleans.
J.J. CALE- ROLL ON
First record of new material in 5 years, 3 if you count the collaboration with Clapton in 2006, "Roll On" will most likely not surprise any of us. Cale has been consistent since day one with his brand of laid-back, roots rock. If that's your cup of granola, go get a spoon.
THE CARS- HEARTBEAT CITY (24K GOLD EDITION) & ALICE COOPER - SCHOOL'S OUT (24K GOLD EDITION)
I am mentioning these releases simply to mock them. I guess there are some audiophiles still kicking out there, but for the life of me, I just don't understand the thinking behind a record company that releases back catalogue at a $25 list price. Even without a recession, a surprisingly silly move by a record label.
COMPANY OF THIEVES- ORDINARY RICHES
I saw this band when they appeared as guests on "Live From Daryl's House," the brilliant, internet only, monthly broadcast, filmed live at Daryl Hall's home studio in upstate New York. Maybe it was Daryl and his seasoned band of veterans that got the most out of this young band from Chicago, (Look at what Scorsese did for Sharon Stone in "Casino"), but the half dozen or so songs they performed were smart, melodic, and quite unique. Check out the video below. I predict medium things for this band.
CHRIS ISAAK- MR. LUCKY
First new material in 7 years from Isaak. Love him or leave him, the guy's got charm, a killer voice, and can really write a hook. I vote YES for "Mr. Lucky."
PICK OF THE WEEK
GERAINT WATKINS- IN A BAD MOOD
Long time sideman of Nick Lowe, Geraint Watkins has been putting out records on his own since the late 70's. Sounding a lot like latter day Lowe with his laid back grooves and beautiful balladry, Watkins can break your heart with melancholy on "Champion" or wake up the Stax/Volt in you with the smooth sounds of "Fools Like Me." There is also his must hear, Cajun workout of Lowe's "Heart Of The City" and his Louis Prima-inspired version of "At Last." Great record! Go get it!
YES- SYMPHONIC LIVE
Backed by the European Festival Orchestra, "The Godfathers Of Long," tackle old and new faves with the added fun of strings, tympani, and self-importance. Unfortunately, I would buy this in a heartbeat if it was Bill Bruford on drums and not Alan White.
SHEMEKIA COPELAND- NEVER GOING BACK
You can read my full review on The Huffington Post HERE, but quickly...this is her best effort yet.
ISAAC HAYES- BLACK MOSES DELUXE EDITION
Classic 1971 release gets no new bonus tracks tacked on for its deluxe reissue, but does get new remastering, new rare photos, and a nice low list price of $18.98 for 2 CDs.
A friend sent me this record with a note, "I know what you like. You will dig this." She was right. This London, art rock group shows some definite influence by such artists as Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and The Cure. But the bands my friend knew I loved when passing this on to me, Roxy Music, Sparks, John Foxx-era Ultravox and "Warm Jets>Green World" era Eno, come through even more on Ciam's debut. Each song sounds like some great British single that you discovered in the late 70's or early 80's. A bit retro, but with solid production from John Fryer who has worked with both Depeche Mode and NIN.
Now, we gonna go to Mardi Gras.