Tuesday, April 6, 2010
If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 4/6/10
MELISSA AUF DER MAUR- OUT OF OUR MINDS
One time member of both Hole, and what I think is one of the most overrated bands of the 20th century, The Smashing Pumpkins, Melissa Auf Der Maur returns with her second (or maybe third) solo album. Glenn Danzig helps out, if that helps you out.
SHIRLEY BASSEY- PERFORMANCE
Though something of a legend just for singing "Goldfinger" alone, Dame Shirley Bassey isn't generally the type of artist I'd talk about here. But this new record was such a pleasant surprise, I'd thought I'd share. Produced by David Arnold, and featuring songs written especially for her by the Pet Shop Boys, Manic Street Preachers and Rufus Wainwright, this has a big pop feel, much like a classic Cilla Black or Dusty Springfield record, and Bassey's voice is still quite powerful. Pretty damn good when you're not expecting it.
DAVID BOWIE- DAVID BOWIE (2 CD DELUXE EDITION)
Bowie's 1967 debut for Decca is a tough listen. This is coming from a man who loves just about anything the man puts out, including Tin Machine. The package is stunning, with over 26 tracks appearing on CD for the first time, including rare singles and mono mixes, and a fact and photo-filled booklet. But this is Bowie doing Anthony Newley and it's not pleasant. On the Ball Scale, this gets no balls.
DAVID BYRNE & FAT BOY SLIM- HERE LIES LOVE
Beware anything called a "song cycle," I always say. This is a 2 CD "song cycle" about Imelda Marcos, featuring such heavyweights as Steve Earle as Ferdinand, Cyndi Lauper, Sharon Jones, Natalie Merchant, Tori Amos, and Kate Pierson telling the story.
(Do we really need another song cycle about Imelda Marcos? )
JULIAN COPE- PEGGY SUICIDE (2 CD DELUXE EDITION)
5th solo album and the most commercially viable release from everyone's favorite looney, Julian Cope, "PS" gets beefed up with an additional disc of stray cuts, some recorded as early as 1983.
JAKOB DYLAN- WOMEN AND COUNTRY
New solo record from the other singing Dylan, this time produced by T- Bone Burnett and featuring guest vocals from Neko Case and Kelly Hogan.
JOHN GRANT & MIDLAKE- QUEEN OF DENMARK
Odd, but pleasant little record from the brutally frank ex-Czar, "Queen Of Denmark" features the very hot Midlake as Grant's backing band. The lyrical content is so bizarre, it's hard to tell if this guy is serious. But it is very accessible musically, and a bit more upbeat than the most recent Midlake release.
ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3- PROPELLOR TIME
A star-studded cast that includes Nick Lowe, John Paul Jones and Johnny Marr help out Hitchcock on this new release.
SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS- I LEARNED THE HARD WAY
When Miss Jones is not recalling Imelda Marcos' introduction into New York society for David Byrne, she is cranking out some of the shit-kickingest R&B this side of "The Godfather." This new record is all that and more, with the Dap Kings taking us back to that sweet sound of the 60's thanks to producer Bosco Mann and his Ampex 8-track tape machine.
LAURA MARLING- I SPEAK BECAUSE I CAN
20 year old British folkie Laura Marling follows up her excellent debut with this just as excellent new release. If you have ever loved Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny, dive into this with confidence.
CHRISTINE OHLMAN & REBEL MONTEZ- THE DEEP END
You've seen her and her big hair on Saturday Night Live, but you have not really experienced Christine Ohlman until you've seen her rock up an audience. Miss Ohlman can sing about anything and make you believe it, and on this new album, some heavy duty friends like Levon Helm, Ian Hunter, Dion, "Big" Al Anderson and Marshall Crenshaw join in on the fun.
I liked Guns & Roses for a little while right after "Appetite For Destruction," but my loathing of Axl Rose---his look, his voice, that friggin' hipsway, his attitude---just wins out every time. I don't mind Slash, though I never understood why his very samey, fast and soulless guitar solos made him a guitar hero. (Oh yeah...he has a new album with Ian Astbury, Lemmy, Dave Grohl, Duff McKagan and that barrel of talent, Fergie, all guesting.)
PETER WOLF- MIDNIGHT SOUVENIRS
Well, I've been raving about this baby for months and it's finally seeing street. Wolf delivers in a big way, covering all the bases from sweet soul to "Exile On Main Street"-inspired rock and roll, with help from Merle Haggard, Neko Case and Shelby Lynne, who duets on the first, absolutely killer single "Tragedy."