I don't exactly want to share too much, but what the heck--since this blog is called NEW THIS WEEK, I might as well mention the newest thing yet!
Driving home from work tonight--the first workday since Daylight Savings Time departed--traffic in Los Angeles was so bad, I decided to kill some time by listening to CDs and looking at my iPhone!
So the usual drive--which I've been taking for years--was spiced up by my phone telling me which available wireless networks were available in the neighborhoods I was driving through!
The verdict? Maybe I never wanted to know I was driving by CUTEBOYE and TRANNY CHASER's houses!
Tomorrow I'll just stick to reading the newspaper!
Susan Boyle: The Gift (Syco Music/Sony BMG) Like most of us, I believe Susan Boyle to be the greatest female vocalist of the week--and her new album, featuring Susan's picture on the right-hand side of the cover, is about as impressive as you can get! Recent news that the international singing sensation was collaborating with Lou Reed was startling in and of itself, but the result--Boyle's stunning title track rendition of the Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat classic--is nothing short of revelatory! Boyle's sympathetic take on a young man named Waldo so transfixed by love that he literally mails himself to the object of his affection--so daring when Reed & crew committed it to vinyl in the late '60s--now seems like a daring protest against man's inhumanity to man, the soullessness of today's crass culture, and the inevitable cancellation of this season's top TV shows! Well, at least it does to me! Don't miss this great album!
Kid Cudi: Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager (G.O.O.D. Music) Hotter than ever and at the cutting edge of all that is hip, young Mr. Cudi here recounts the legend of Larry Rager, the little known astronaut who followed Neil Armstrong down the ladder after the historic moon landing and then got lost while looking for a nearby 7/11! Cudi, heard here with a wealth of guests including Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, and Cee-Lo, takes on the so-called "green cheese myth," the urban legend that the moon landing itself was in fact shot in a Phoenix-area industrial district, and the notion that a significant number of record buyers might be into albums featuring tracks titled "Marijuana," "Mojo So Dope," and "Trapped In My Mind"! In all, yes, it is shameful--and the album cover's revealing portrait of Cudi himself, forced to stay in detention after class while the rest of his friends play stickball, is jarring in its savagery!
Dave Matthews Band: Live In New York City (RCA) It wouldn't be the holiday season if there weren't a brand new live Dave Matthews Band album! And so here it is, just released and bursting at the seams with pride! Impeccably played, impeccably played, impeccably impeccable, and filled to the brim with tunes both new and old, guaranteed to set fans afire with enough enthusiasm to keep them aloft for at least another 12 months, when another live Dave Matthews album is sure to appear! Featuring two discs as well as a version of "All Along The Watchtower" containing a "Moog-infused bass solo," according to the product description, this album would absolutely be first on my list if CDs were edible and my cupboards were bare! Sadly, in both cases they're not! But that sort of commitment shouldn't be overlooked!
Cee-Lo Green: The Lady Killer (Elektra) Containing the spectacular non-hit "F*** You," labeled "One of the greatest songs in the history of humankind" by The Dallas Observer--apparently not the newspaper but some guy who hangs around shopping malls with binoculars--the first solo album by Green in six years is certain to draw significant attention! Why? Because he's a talented singer, because everybody likes a bit of controversy now and then, and because with the elections out of the way, there really isn't much to talk about except for the inevitable death spiral of the record industry and a political gridlock now certain to last at least two full years! Hey, this week a homeless person was actually sleeping on my porch! Anyway, great album, Cee-Lo!
Reba McEntire: All The Women I Am (Valory Music Group) The latest album from country superstar Reba McEntire is here--ripe and ready and chock-full of great tunes like "Turn On The Radio," "If I Were A Boy" and countless more! A sophisticated concept album featuring the singer taking on the personalities of famous females through the ages--Helen Of Troy, Cleopatra, Eleanor Roosevelt, Madame Curie, Jackie Onassis, Annette Funicello, Marie Antoinette, Miley Cyrus--and then just as quickly abandoning them, hoping no one would notice, the album is highlighted by its cover illustration of the singer housed in a giant-sized aluminum helmet that, were it to be normal-sized and placed over one's head, would be certain to protect one from bad thoughts and gamma rays! At least hypothetically!
Oceano: Contagion (Earache) It's not often I can beat the remarkable John Kordosh to the punch, but the much-loved Framed writer has clearly missed the boat when it comes to the vastly talented Oceano--a lovable bunch of deathcore heavyweights whose talents may indeed rival those of Gummo and Hose-o combined! Breezing though a series of happy-go-lucky romps such as "Sadistic Experiments," "Exist In Confinement," and "Regulated Disposal Of Life," Oceano recall the more rocking side of Loggins & Messina--though album opener "Precursor To Enslavement" does share a chord or two with Pratt & McClain's memorable "Happy Days" theme! In short, I have seen the future of music--and 70 percent of it consists of water!
Syd Barrett: An Introduction To Syd Barrett (EMI/Harvest) Anyone who's heard of legendary Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett but hasn't yet heard his music would be well-advised to pick up this new collection, which gathers together many of the memorable tracks he recorded with his former band as well as highlights from the unique solo albums that came following his departure. Colorful, very lyrical, and odd in a manner that has yet to be successfully duplicated, the songs paint a picture of a highly creative artist whose path sadly took a few too many unfortunate twists and turns. Five tracks here have been remixed by Floyd guitarist David Gilmour (who produced Barrett's solo albums), including the band's own, Barrett-composed "Matilda Mother." Additional bonus: Put the CD in your computer and you'll be able to download the never-before-released, 20-minute "Rhamadan" bonus track.
Alter Bridge: AB III (Alter Bridge Recordings) Like most of us, I usually listen only to hardcore Gangsta rap from the early '90s--so if you take a look at this album's cover, you can't blame me for thinking a masterpiece was a'coming! Little did I know that the "AB" depicted in fact stands for Alter Bridge, the band best known as being three-fourths of Creed, and that these guys actually sound like Type O Negative! Not really, but what a great joke! Word is dental assistants find their name unpleasant!
Cassandra Wilson: Silver Pony (Blue Note) A great new album by one of contemporary jazz's finest vocalists, Silver Pony blends live and studio performances together, features guest appearances by saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and John Legend, and is an altogether seamless document representing one of the year's best new albums. Special bonus: It's quite good!
The Greenhornes: **** (Third Man) A masterwork! One of the best albums of the century! There is nothing better than this! Beatles, watch out! An apparently cynical move designed to fool hapless consumers into believing that this album was actually rated four stars by somebody--anybody--when in fact it's the actual title and they're trying to fool you! This is how music writers lose work!