Dec. 2006 / Jan. 2007
"The Song He Was Listening to When He
Even for a journo-musician he's getting
too old to know more about music than love, but he's never been a
quick study ("America," "The Song He Was Listening to When He
"Smoke Reality" (Red
Poker-faced folk joker models hippie drag in Cali and
Oregon, then returns to Brooklyn, where she belongs ("Do It on a
Leaf," "I'm a Shark").
"Game Theory" (Def Jam)
right Jay-Z ruined them -- convinced them not
to go for the hook ("False Media," "In the Music").
"YoYoYoYoYo" (Big Dada)
squelchy electrobeats are as funny as their laughing-gas sex rhymes
("Backyard Betty," "Top Billin' From Far Left").
Jerry Lee Lewis
"Last Man Standing" (Artists
Decades later, generation-gap duets are just a bunch of
old guys singing -- pretty good, too ("That Kind of Fool," "Rock and Roll").
Viva L'American Death Ray Music
the Meantime . . ." (New York Night Train)
Television, "Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)" -- that is, roots
music, Lower East Side style ("Thieves Oh Glorious Thieves," "Needle
to the Heart of the Matter").
East River Pipe
"What Are You On?"
Living-room loserdom at a very peak of depressive
tunefulness ("Druglife," "What Does T.S. Eliot Know About You?").
"She's freaky but I like it"?? Dude's more confused than
he wants you to think ("My Love," "SexyBack").
thrash around their garage-rock town ("From: Skulls," "Better Safe
"Classic Live!" (Dig
McGarrigle, Parton, Holiday, Dan Hicks -- add some
Gershwin-Porter-Arlen and she'd have herself the ideal modern
cabaret repertoire ("Work Song," "Searchin'").
Avalanche" (Asthmatic Kitty)
Outtake songs that fail to
top the alternate versions of "Chicago" subsumed by outtake art-rock
Glass-style, which beats Moussorgsky-style, Copland-style,
Messiaen-style ("Dear Mr. Supercomputer," "Adlai Stevenson").
"In My Mind" (Star
Keepin' it playa like he says, for exactly what
that's worth ("Raspy Shit," "Number One").
North Mississippi Allstars
"Electric Blue Watermelon"
They've learned to lilt, or else agreed to let their daddy
show them how ("Hurry Up Sunrise," "Bang Bang Lulu").
"30 Years of Maria
Muldaur: I'm a Woman" (Shout! Factory)
improved with age ("Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You," "Rockin'
"Crazy Itch Radio"
Interchangeable ladies detail interchangeable ups
and downs over beats whose changeabilty supposedly renders them
indelible ("Take Me Back to Your
House," "Run 4 Cover").
"Wolves in Wolves' Clothing"
(Fat Wreck Chords)
They play loaded, they own their masters, they
write off their vacations and still they're not satisfied ("100 Times Fuckeder," "Doornails").
George Jones and Merle Haggard
"Kickin' Out the
Footlights . . . Again!" (Bandit)
Hag keeps getting
Haggier, but that thing in George's voice that was grainy like
cornbread is turning to mush ("Things Have Gone to Pieces,"
Recognized for well-dressed poesy,
remembered for well-camouflaged hooks ("The Perfect Crime No. 2,"
Charlie Burton & the Dorothy Lynch
Repatriated Nebraskan jokes around
for love (or lack thereof) ("I Wonder: Is Propecia Right for Me?"
"Apples & Oranges").
"The Death of Frequent Flyer"
Life is more macaroni than cheese for
a rapper girl fronting alt beats ("The Living," "Peanuts").
Shout Out Louds
"Howl Howl Gaff Gaff"
Note that in nominally socialist Sweden, simple pop
emotions remain a spiritual possibility ("The Comeback," "Very Loud").
James Luther Dickinson
and the Voodoo Tiger" (Memphis International)
producer and damn fine session pianist chooses songs better than he
sings them ("Red Neck, Blue Collar," "Hadacol Boogie").
Great idea for instrumental funk -- Afrika 70 meets
Detroit 00 ("Nu Tunes," "New Song").
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