Wednesday, February 27, 2013

If It's Wednesday, It Must Be Street Date (At Least In My House)

Pretty strong week for new releases. Even Michael Bolton is back. My fave of the lot is the Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell record, "Old Yellow Moon." It's good to hear Emmylou in a country setting and not trapped in a Daniel Lanois or Malcolm Burn meets "Twin Peaks" echo mess. Crowell's no slouch either. This record is a winner. If you're a fan of either or both, "Old Yellow Moon" is exactly what it should be.

I wanted to like the Johnny Marr. I should, but I don't. It lacks melody, and his voice, though not as horrible as Morrissey's is to my ears, isn't much better. Mostly I can deal with it. But again, this is another one of those records with good ideas and nothing else.

Speaking of horrible, there's a new Atoms For Peace record out this week. I tried, but it was unpleasant. It got me all jittery and wound up. Patches of noise and beats and moaning and whining all sewn together in one textured aural root canal. (Yeah, I know. Greatest record ever. )

The Mavericks are back with "In Time." Great stuff. It's a formula and they don't mess with it. I realize I've complained about that in the past, most recently while discussing Richard Thompson. But The Mavs records are so few and far between, it's nice to hear anything. These boys, with the incomparable Raul Malo up front, deliver another solid effort.

After a five year absence due to the passing of his wife, James Hunter returns, this time with a Daptone producer and the result is the very hip and very soulful "Minute By Minute." Again, this is another artist who found his niche and stayed with it. Maybe producer Gabriel Roth had something to do with it, but "Minute By Minute" leans a bit more towards early James Brown than Hunter's previous releases. This is not a bad thing.


Gene Oberto said...

I was hoping you would notice the Emmylou/Rodney effort. I was completely gobsmacked by how every song just felt like your favorite T-shirt. The songs just slid over me and felt real comfortable.

Raul Malo might have the best voice in music and I love the way he flavors the songs with a taste of Calle Ocho, Miami.

Johnny Marr & The Healers did a song called "down on the Corner" which I really like. Unfortunately, for me, he's never got close to that, no matter who he plays with. Thanks for the warning.

Ken D said...

I'm going to see James Hunter tonight. Can't wait.
(Has it really been 5 years?)

From what I've heard from Emmylou/Rodney C and Mavericks records, I agree. Very strong but no surprises.
Heard that Emmylou and Rodney will be touring with Richard Thompson next month!

sclinchy said...

+1 on the James Hunter. If you notice, it's pretty much in mono too.

Ken J Xenozar said...

Saw Rodney Crowell and Emmylou on Letterman. Lord, those harmonies. I wish more great male/female duets would happen.
John Doe always seems to get a few in.

Noam Sane said...

You know, I think Micheal Bolton gets a bad rap.

Haha, not really, he blows.

So does Johnny Marr, who seems to consider himself a guitar god. Don't get it.

I'm looking forward to the Crowell/Emmy Lou...if it's anywhere near as good as her Knopfler joint, I'm psyched. That record is on regular rotation here.

Aprreciate the heads-up on James Hunter...he was always a trio before, right? Should be innerestin'.

I've become a big Cory McAbee (Billy Nayer Show) fan lately. Check out "Stingray Sam" on Netflix sometime, peoples. The dude is a genius.

A walk in the woods said...

I don't "get" Radiohead/Thom Yorke's projects at all. Seems like all furrowed-brow self-important stuff to me, and even worse, it lacks a sense of humor. Lighten up, Thom, m'man!

Anonymous said...

I'm probably the biggest Radiohead fan amongst your personal friends, and I gotta say, this Atoms For Peace record leaves me cold.
Usually , I think nearly all their stuff is rich with feeling, and even if it's techno, rich with melody. This stuff just sounds like Radiohead B-sides. The emotion seems to be missing this time.
( and I loved the first Thom record, and the shows that supported it )
Thanks for keeping the faith with regular posts and honest opinions, no matter where they fall.

Ken D said...

Saw The James Hunter Six last night... superb! The songs, the singing, the guitar — the guy is amazing.
And if his intro is to be believed, his plane landed just an hour before the show; if that's how he plays when jet-lagged, watch out for him when he's had a night's sleep.
He's live on the radio at noon, 3/1:

cmealha said...

When you metioned James Brown in relation ro James Hunter I was worried about the excess that some of the Daptone stuff is prone to. However, based on the Amazon samples, it sounds like some fine stuff that's sounding really good to these ears. I don't hear much James Brown except for maybe"The Gyspsy" but then again I haven't heard the whole thing. It's on its way and I'm eagerly anticipating its arrival. I'll let you know if I feel differently after hearing the whole thing.

Sal Nunziato said...


I don't necessarily mean "Hot Pants" James Brown. The first song on the James Hunter, "Chicken Switch" could be on any of JB's early 60's records, when he was still doing some jump blues and R&B without the funk.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning the new Mavs record. Took a listen today. Really love all the uptempo songs and the mix of Tejano, altcountry, Roy Orbison and ska riddims(!). The slower songs - not so much.