What a deal! Thanks to the completely arbitrary whims of mankind, you're now reading the first entry of what's certain to be an award-winning blog previewing all the great music that's "out there" this week! Sort of! My goal? To highlight some of the more interesting of this week's new music releases and emerge with my dignity fully intact! You probably think that's easy, but hey--in a few minutes, I'm actually going to write words about someone named Tum-Tum! Do you think that would make my mom happy?
KELLY CLARKSON: My December (RCA) One thing you should know is that if I were emperor of TV, I'd change the name of American Idol to Name That Clownhead--but, sadly, I'm just a guy named Dave! That said, I have to admit I kind of like Ms. Clarkson, not so much she's a "winning" live performer--it's true, I just saw her last week!--but because let's face it, supposedly she's just released an album her label hates! That means if you buy it and hate it, you're playing into her label's hands! Don't be duped by the man!
SINEAD O'CONNOR: Theology (Koch) Speaking of female artists vastly loved by the American public, plucky Ms. O'Connor has had more than a few close "shaves" with controversy--not to mention "brushes" with the court of public opinion! So much so, in fact, that many of us simply forgot she existed! But she's back, with an astounding two-disc set, featuring dual acoustic/electric sessions recorded in Dublin and London respectively. More importantly, her material is based on the Old Testament! Boy, if Pope John Paul II was still around to hear this, you can bet he'd have a ripping time!
RYAN ADAMS: Easy Tiger (Lost Highway) This week's new album by the prolific Mr. Adams features a guest appearance by Sheryl Crow and a stunning 20-minute title suite devoted to the harrowing experience of Roy Horn--that's right, of exciting duo Siegfried & Roy!--and the critical mauling he received after getting bitten on the shoulder by a seven-year-old male tiger in Las Vegas! You'll be shivering with raw excitement mid-suite when Sheryl sings an eerie chorus of "Leaving Las Vegas" and...and...and...oh, forget everything you just read. Except "critical mauling."
THE AUTOMATIC AUTOMATIC: Not Accepted Anywhere (Columbia) A hot new band from Cardiff, Wales--you might've seen their performance in Y! Music's WHO'S NEXT section a few months ago--the stunningly-named quartet have an ultra-catchy hit in "Monster" and potential beyond belief! In many ways like Duran Duran, '80s Brit hipsters Medium Medium and my current hip-hop hero Tum-Tum, these guys are so inside they're sure to be an "Automatic" add at radio! I am so into hip marketing!
LOVE: The Blue Thumb Recordings (Hip-O Select) Something of a stunner for longtime fans of Arthur Lee, this unexpected set features newly remastered versions of Love's two Blue Thumb albums, Out Here (1969) and False Start (1970) and both sound better than ever. The big deal, if you care--and I do --is the third disc, which features the group playing material like "August" live during a 1970 UK tour. I'm absolutely certain that if you bought this world hunger would end!
TUM-TUM: Eat Or Get Ate (T-Town Music/Universal) You know, it really burns me up when people start citing declining record sales and saying things like hip-hop is dead! Ask them why and they'll tell you it's because mid-America is tired of hearings about "ho's" and "bling." So here's what you do: Sit them down and make them listen to Tum-Tum's completely enthralling 50-minute sonic essay on the philosophical concept of Darwinism and its impact on postmodernism's most conspicuous "tipping points!" Then get a life, for God's sake!
BRYAN FERRY: Dylanesque (Capitol Music Group) May I be frank? While I have long enjoyed the songs of Bob Dylan and--going back to the early days of Roxy Music--the voice of Bryan Ferry, I do believe that this is one completely unnecessary album at best. However, an album featuring Bob Dylan singing Roxy Music covers would be a wonderful addition to his catalog! Why can't these old guys ever get things right?
BEASTIE BOYS: The Mix Up (Capitol) Totally fab instrumental package from a trio not necessarily known for releasing totally fab instrumental packages! Like sitting in a 42nd Street theatre seat and being forced to watch Black Belt Jones and 3 Tough Guys while wearing a blindfold! As its title hints, only one stunning omission--the sound of a rocket taking off and an intermission reel hawking Flavos Shrimp Rolls as being "shrimply delicious"--makes this less than perfect!
3 INCHES OF BLOOD: Fire Up The Blades (Roadrunner) I have absolutely no idea how this band sounds, but since they're produced by some clown from Slipknot, I think I can guess. And while I don't think our lives would necessarily be enriched by listening to this album, I do wish them well. Hearing a disc jockey announce "That was 3 Inches Of Blood" would be a marvelous change of pace!
POPA CHUBBY: Electric Chubbyland Volumes 1 & 2 (Blind Pig) In some ways the best-named being in all of contemporary music, Popa Chubby--known to a secret few as Ted Horowitz--had two choices, as I see it. One was to record two full volumes of Jimi Hendrix covers and release them. The other was to get a gig as the new spokesman for Subway. And, I'm proud to announce--commerce loses, art wins!