Slow summer Tuesday, so this is all I have for you.
MARC COHN- LISTENING BOOTH: 1970
Well respected, singer-songwriter Marc Cohn takes some of our favorite songs and makes them slow, smokey and lifeless. Every arrangement feels like some casual walk in the park. "Maybe I'm Amazed," "The Letter," "Tears Of A Clown," and "The Only Living Boy In New York" are just some of tunes that don't work. I went in hopeful. I came out miserable.
SHERYL CROW- 100 MILES FROM MEMPHIS
Bob Boilen of NPR's "All Things Considered" once said, "If the first song doesn't do it for me, I take it off." If I played by those rules, I would have missed out on Sheryl Crow's fine new record. Yes, she is everywhere, sometimes when you don't want her to be, but she can sing, she's written some great songs and she can play bass guitar without looking at her left hand.
She attempts an authentic R&B record with the help of producer Doyle Bramhall II and some special guests, including Keith Richards and, of course, Justin Timberlake. And it works. You just have to ignore the opening track, which sounds like a forced pastiche of every sixties 45 she's ever listened to, while the rest of the album feels real. "100 Miles From Memphis" is a great listen with nice production. It's a blast and a solid showcase for Sheryl Crow.
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER- A TIME AND A PLACE (4 CD OFFICIAL BOOTLEG COLLECTION)
My count is 11. The ELP catalogue has been reissued 11 times since 1990. Big versions, small versions, deluxe versions, gold plated versions, surround sound versions, versions on different labels, I've looked hard and no matter how you slice it, all of these versions contain Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Oh well. This box from the stellar Shout Factory label has the following:
"4 CDs of prime unreleased material from 1970 to 1998. These fully authorized, remastered live performances were taken from the best-possible soundboard recordings (discs 1 through 3) and audience tapes (disc 4). The set also includes a collectible poster and liner notes by Jim Allen. A Time And A Place brings together a select body of performances captured before worldwide audiences during the band's career. From the group's raw and unrestrained sound of the early 70s, their rearrangements of compositions by internationally renowned composers, to their timeless conceptual pieces such as Tarkus, Karn Evil 9 and Pirates, ELP have always been a band to push hard against musical boundaries. With Keith Emerson on keyboards, Greg Lake on bass and vocals and Carl Palmer on drums, ELP broadened the audience for progressive rock. The band released a series of landmark albums in the 1970s, and several more in the 90s after a 14-year hiatus."
BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA- DON'T MESS WITH A BIG BAND
Johnny Rotten's short-lived talk show on VH-1, "Rotten Television" should go down in history for this exchange alone. Setzer is the guest and Johnny gives him a calendar to remind him what year it was. He says, and I'm paraphrasing, "You're bringing back big band music? What are you bringing back next, World War II?" Anyway, here is a 2 CD document of Brian's 2009 tour.