1. ELLIOTT YAMIN – S/T (Sony/ATV Hickory)
Post preview appearing at the Birchmere on May 17th.
I admit – I did this Post previewagainst my will. I had no desire to talk to an American Idol also-ran, and didn’t think any of his ilk needed my boost to get attention (I had my eye on the Todd Snider/Dan Bern show that week), but my editor is a fan and wanted a story. Yamin gave me a perfunctory interview and I wrote the story with a sense of obligation, not enthusiasm. And then the show sold out before the preview appeared anyway (I was afraid that would happen), and I got an email from a reader whining about it. So, a loss all around.
And then there was this problematic preview .
Good music, glad to be a part in promoting it, but I got the %$#&ing date wrong! Don’t ask how; it was just sheer distracted stupidity on my part, and I hung my head and begged forgiveness from the editor, who accepted my apology and didn’t rub it in. Curious note: before I realized what I’d done, I’d forwarded the link to one of the act’s publicist, who wrote back a gushing thank you. So she didn’t catch the problem either – or was too kind to mention it. I like to think that maybe people read the story and called for tickets, learned of the error and went anyway. But I still felt like a jerk. The acts who deserved better:
2. BRETT DENNEN – So Much More (DualTone)
When I got a copy of this awhile back, it was in a jewel case, but now it’s a digi-pack.
3. ALO – Roses & Clover (Brushfire Records)
In the world of Dead-inspired jam bands (are there any other kind?), this group stands out for having a gentle lilt and a total lack of self-indulgence (at least from what I hear on the CD).
4. LUCAS REYNOLDS – The Space Between the Lines (self-released)
Reynolds is in the band Blue Merle, and his solo EP is a pleasant affair, though he stumbles on“100 Different Directions.” It’s a sweet acoustic number, but he sings “100 different erections” repeatedly in the chorus and the joke is over the second time he does it.
5. MAGGIE SANSONE – Mystic Dance (Maggie’s Music)
Sent in connection with her appearance – and Post preview - at a free outdoor arts series.
And finally, the second annual Throwdown local music festival.
So far, far behind in the O/CD tally, so here’s a slew of recent acquisitions:
My Own Cash Money:
6. BJORK – Volta (Elektra)
Still crazy after all these years, god bless her.
7. RUFUS WAINWRIGHT – Release the Stars (Geffen)
Still gay and grandiose, god bless him.
8. WILCO – Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch)
When Terry gets stuck on an album, we hear it at least once a day. God help me, I hope I like this one, too, ‘cause it’s day one and it’s on its third go-round. Relieved to say that, so far, I do like it.
9. Elton John (Island)
10. Tumbleweed Connection (Island)
11. Madman Across the Water (Island)
Three discs for $12.oo? How could I resist? Costco strikes again. “Tumbleweed” is one of my all-time EJ classics.
12. BRAZILIAN GIRLS – Talk to La Bomb (Verve Forecast)
This month’s your music $6.99 automatic shipment.
13. WONKAVISION Magazine Presents the T-4 Project
A beautifully designed and generally well=written magazine covering artists I know next-to-nothing about.
Fun finds at the thrift store for $1.50 each:
14. VARIOUS ARTISTS – From Gdansk to Krakow: Songs and Dances of Poland (EPM Musique)
I married a Pollock.
15. ELIZABETHTOWN – Music from the Motion Picture, Vol, 2 (RCA/Vinyl)
The movie was a mess, but the second volume of songs – with Tom Petty, Ryan Adams, Pinback, The Concretes and more – proves again how much care Cameron Crowe puts into his soundtracks.
16. NUSRAT FATAH ALI KAHN – The Day, The Night, The Dawn, The Dusk (Shanachie)
Ages ago, I interviewed the late Jeff Buckley and, when I asked him about musical influences, he mentioned Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn. I though he was being pompous, having never heard the name (and this was way before Eddie Vedder, “Dead Men Walking,” etc.). I owe them both an apology, and later (because of Eddie Vedder and “Dead Man Walking”) realized who and what Buckley was talking about. Terry and I even went to see the great (and big) man in concert and it was surreal and wonderful – Indian families dressed to the nines, men having near-possessed dance fits in the aisles, people throwing dollar bills at the stage. Yeah, we love Nusrat in our house.
Coming to Town:
17. GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS – Ongiara (Nettwerk)
Glad to make this band my pick for the next Post preview. A lovely, plaintive album that’s reminiscent of “After the Gold Rush”-era Neil Young and a touch of My Morning Jacket. Coming to the IOTA on June 7th at which show the opening act will be:
18. ELENI MANDELL – Miracle of Five (Zedtone Records)
Because I was too lazy to get up and find the CD for the correct label info, I did a quick Google search and discovered the she has nine (!) CDs to her credit. And here I thought she was a new artist.
19. The INNOCENCE MISSION – We Walked in Song (Badman)
They were supposed to play Jammin Java tonight, but had to reschedule. I hope all works out with whatever the problem is, but I’m selfishly glad ‘cause I couldn’t go tonight and I really want to see them, This is a lovely, restive CD, and reminds me of a band I miss a lot – remember the Sundays?
20. The NIGHTWATCHMAN – One Man Revolution (Epic)
Jammin Java on June 23rd
21. ARI HEST – The Break-In (Columbia)
The Birchmere on May 30th
22. PINK MARTINI – Hey Eugene! (Heinz Records)
These guys have been bubbling under like tasty bargain champagne for years now and this summer they’ll headline at Wolf Trap Filene Center on June 18th.
23. BEBEL GILBERTO – Momento (Ziriguiboom/Six Degrees)
This is perfect Sunday brunch music and you can hear it yourself at Merriweather Post on June 23rd with Thievery Corporation and Manu Chao.
24. ADRIENNE YOUNG – Room to Grow (Addiebelle Music)
Young was green before green sounded good, and she’ll be at IOTA Club and Café in mid-June.
25. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE – World of Friends (KOCH)
Good First Impressions:
26.LUKE BRINDLEY – S/T (self-released)
Local guy makes good (music). Co-owner of the lovely Jammin’ Java venue and frequent collaborator with his brother Daniel in the Brindley Brothers band, Luke creates salt-of-the-earth pop rock with a slight alt. country tinge.
27. OF GOD and SCIENCE – S/T (detach records)
The PR compares them to Elbow, Spoon and Doves, mighty high standards indeed. I haven’t put them in that echelon just yet, but I’ll be back to listen again.
28.TIGER ARMY – Music from Regions Beyond (Hellcat)
29. JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN – Real Life (Cheap Lullaby Records)
Glad to see this in the mail – the buzz from Britain has been strong - and it comes with a second disc of B-sides.
30. BOTTOM OF THE HUDSON – Fantastic Hawk (Absolutely Kosher)
31. TENDERHOOKS – Vidalia (Rock Snob Records)
PR compares them to Wilco, Gram Parsons, Big Star.
32. VARIOUS ARTISTS – Oxblood Records First Blood (Oxblood Records)
33.MUSTANGS and MADRAS – La Lechuza (Latest Flame)
Too much random noise for my taste. Out July 10th
34. RAUL MALO – After Hours (Universal)
At first, I thought this was a bit of a novelty number – cover versions of country chestnuts like “Welcome to My World,” Buck Owens’ “Crying Time,” Roger Miller’s “Husbands and Wives.” But about halfway through, my sniggering gave way to a feeling that hey, these are good songs!
Out July 17th
35. The MASONS – Let You Down Easy (75orless Records)
Come and Gone (in concert)
36. BRIAN VANDER ARK – Angel, Put Your Face On (self-released)
37. JAKE ARMERDING – Walking on the World (self-released?)
38. COLIN HAY – Are You Lookin’ At Me? (Compass Records)
39. RICHARD SWIFT – Dressed Up for the Lowdown Secretly Canadian)
40. MATT MAYS & EL TORPEDO – S/T (00:02:59)
41. SONS of WILLIAM – S/T (self-released)
42. CHRIS TRAPPER – Hey, You (Starlit Records)
43. WILLY MASON – If the Ocean Gets Rough (Astralwerks)
Pleasant but Teflon singer/songwriter – as in nothing stuck for me.
And just a big ole list of recent mailings…
44. BETWEEN The TREES – The Story and the Song (Bonded Records)
45. ECCODEK – Voices Have Eyes (White Swan)
46. CORNELIUS – Sensuous (Everloving Records)
47. BRITTANY SHANE – S/T (self-released)
48. The PIERCES – Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge (Lizard King Records)
49. The CLIENTELE – God Save the Clientele (Merge)
50. 1997 – …A Better View of the Rising Moon (Victory Records)
51. RODDY HART – Bookmarks (Compass Records)
52. MARIA McKEE – Late December (Viewfinder/Cooking Vinyl)
I like the carnival notices on the inside packaging: “See what the belly dancer does on her day off”
53. SHAKES – Sister Self Doubt EP (IamSound Records)
54. ALL OUT WAR – Assassins in the House of God (Victory)
55. LEIANA – No Going Back (Page Records)
56. VULTURE WHALE – S/T (d’Elegante)
57. LOU RHODES – Beloved One (Cooking Vinyl)
58. PARIS BENNETT – Princess P (TVT)
Another American Idol also-ran!
59. MAVIS STAPLES – We’ll Never Turn Back (Anti-)
60. (Yoko) ONO – Open Your Box (Astralwerks)
16 remixes of classic Ono – three of “Walking on Thin Ice” alone.
61. (Yoko) ONO – Yes, I’m a Witch (Astralwekrs)
17 tracks, all of them collaborations with a who’s who of the Current Cool Kid Scene – Cat Power, Peaches, Le Tigre, Polyphonic Spree, Flaming Lips and more.
The most telling thing about Yoko these days is how NOT strange she sounds. In a world of Bjorks and such, it is apparent how she broke down the barrier so that women with unconventional voices can take their rightful place in the CD bins. You Go, Yoko!
62. LISA GERRARD – Sanctuary DVD
Director/producer/stalker Clive Collier does a disservice to this revered artist by presenting her in a humorless, hagiographic documentary, full of ponderous statements and slow-motion worship. He as much as says so in one of the DVD extras, admitting that he didn’t want to use clips of her laughing or showing her great sense of humor since he though it would disrupt the flow. So instead, he are left with thinking that Gerrard is a sourpuss who takes herself entirely too seriously. Interviews with Brendan Perry (only a little though he’s there in concert and documentary footage) and Russsell Crowe and others are part of the coronation. Collier should have let the music do the talking, as the concert pieces and moments from “The Insider,” “Gladiator” and “Whale Rider” show that she is a talent worth heading.
Here’s one Gerrard quote that left me scratching my head:
“Brendan and I have had conflicts from the beginning because we’ve both had an equilibrium of passionate synchronicity whether it be in unison or in diversity or division of [thought?]”
For contrast, palette cleansing and going out on a happy note, I give you a quote from KT Tunstall, in Q Magazine after winning Best Track at the Q Awards for “Black Horse and Cherry Tree”:
“Getting an award for making music is like having a job eating cake and then getting an award for eating more cake than anyone else.”
Who would you rather hang out with?
Thanks for hanging in there. Here’s a reward, like staying until the very end of the credits at the movie (do it at the new “Pirates” movie and you get an extra scene!)
- Buy at Kill Rock Stars Pre-order