News This Week - Archives

The Smell Of Greasepaint, The Roar Of The Mouse!

New This Week

I'm pretty excited as I write this, and I'll bet you would be, too!

Why? In about 10 hours, on Tuesday morning, I'll be at the dentist's office getting a root canal!

The down side? Maybe it'll hurt! The up side? It may be more fun than listening to this week's new releases! Either way, sleep enters the picture!


Modest Mouse: No One's First And You're Next (Epic)  It's a great week when a budget-priced release of also-ran tracks and B-sides by a "platinum-selling" "alternative rock" "band" is the hottest release, but with an album cover like this, who wouldn't want to pick it up? Featuring "newly recorded" songs from the We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank and Good News For People Who Love Bad News sessions and a couple of "rare" b-sides, this can only be a prelude for their long anticipated next real record, provisionally entitled We Like To Use Excessive Quotation Marks To Denote Irony Because Frankly It Disturbs Us That Some People Out There Are Waiting For Us To Record "Here I Come To Save The Day" And We Don't Want To--Featuring Johnny Marr! Honestly, I really do floss, so why am I here?

Autumn Beds - Modest Mouse

Gloriana: Gloriana (Emblem/Warner)  Unlike Glorioski, their cult counterparts in Poland, Gloriana show every sign of perhaps making it big in the American record industry! They meet all of today's contemporary standards! There are four of them, two guys, and two girls! They are physically attractive! One of them--Cheyenne Kimball--got her start as a star in an MTV reality series before releasing her first solo album The Day Has Come in 2006! She even sang at that year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Their new album's product description notes that the group's "soaring four-part harmonies have been compared to music icons such as the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac"! Sadly, some suggest the comparison was made by a studio technician who noted that the actual waveform their music produced, when analyzed, looked more like that of a vacuum cleaner than the vocal work of such greats as the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac! As always, editing is everything! I love this stuff!

The Way It Goes - Gloriana

The Hooters: Both Sides Live (Megaforce)  Time sure flies! These poor guys may as well have called themselves the Massive Knockers for all the good name recognition's going to do them; hopefully they can eat for free in restaurants bearing their name! But this two-CD set has got a lot of music on it: One disc recorded in Philadelphia in 2007 including such tracks as "And We Danced" and "All You Zombies," another disc entitled "The Secret Sessions" featuring much of the same material recorded in the acoustic format! Is it any good? It's all every Hooters fan ever dreamed of! And check out the size of those melodicas!

K'Jon: I Get Around (Universal Republic)  One of the week's better albums here by Detroit R&B singer K'Jon--no relation to any condiment!--who many people first heard singing "Miami" on the 2Fast 2Furious soundtrack! He's making some noise now on the basis of his fab track "On The Ocean," and should appeal to fans of Anthony Hamilton and that whole "neo-soul" thing that was kicking around a few years ago! Considering the names of those singles, it's no surprise he's getting bugged driving up and down the same old strip! Tip: Friends don't let friends say "Gesundheit " in front of him!

On The Ocean - K'Jon

Tantric: Mind Control (Silent Majority Group)  In many ways in the tradition of Saliva, Fallout Boy, Papa Roach, Days Of The New, Lifehouse, Fuel, Local H, Eve 6, Lit, Stabbing Westward, Staind, Clutch, Daughtry and...what? Oh, sorry, someone's at the door! Anyway, yeah, they still look cool!

Mind Control - Tantric

John Surman: Brewster's Rooster (ECM)  Anyone who's followed British jazz since the mid-'60s--and I'm sure that's most of us!--has a soft spot in their heart for saxophonist Surman, who's consistently produced some of the most adventurous and forward-looking music in the genre. Much of his solo work for the prestigious ECM label has tended to veer toward Terry Riley-esque minimalism or more "traditional" classical works incorporating his bass clarinet; this is his first conspicuous foray into the sort of jazz he recorded ages ago for the Deram and Dawn labels, and it's absolutely fabulous. Aided by the standout trio of guitarist John Abercrombie, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Jack DeJohnette, Surman, at 65 or so, probably has no opinion on the Eminem/Mariah Carey controversy!

Slanted Sky - John Surman

Julian Plenti: Julian Plenti Is...Skyscraper (Matador)  This charming, upbeat and admirably textured record is actually the work of Interpol frontman Paul Banks, who apparently adopted the pseudonym because he was deeply ashamed by the record--well, I'm guessing--and also as a tribute to his favorite pink & white candy! It's the sort of album that's kind of tangential but that you might really get into if you heard it a lot--say like that Henry Badowski album on IRS back in 1981 called Life Is A Grand...! Hopefully the similarly ellipsis-inclined Mr. Plenti won't follow Badowski's example upon poor sales and withdraw "from music and public life," and instead get back to his good ol' band and start sounding like Joy Division again!

Only If You Run - Julian Plenti

Anjulie: Anjulie (Hear Music)  She's from Canada, her music's been heard on The Hills and The City, and she opened for Jesse McCartney during his tour this year! She's the product of a Guyanese-Canadian marriage and has "exotic good looks"! What about you? Her debut single is called "Boom"! Talk about making an impact! I think she's quite talented, and would like to see her prosper! Help me, and, indeed, Anjulie, in our respective quests!

Boom - Anjulie

Scott Hardkiss: Technicolor Dreamer (God Within)  A surprisingly good album by the San Franciscan techno/trance dude who coincidentally is also a member of a group called Hardkiss! Here he makes actual music and songs instead of pressing buttons, going to the store for cigarettes, and coming back home to hear the new record he just made! It's bolstered by an excellent CD package, including the typical "being tempted by the wanton mermaid" imagery most of us have grown to love, and exciting tunes such as "Hey Deejay!," "Beat Freak," and the disturbingly titled "Interlude"! Furthermore, by not including a pretentious "u" in the "technicolor" part of this album's title, Scott has proven he's a real artist! I'm down with him, as they say!

Hey Deejay! - Scott Hardkiss

Mac McAnally: Down By The River (Show Dog Nashville)  I think one of the major reasons that movie Gigli was such a conspicuous flop was because nobody even wanted to take a chance and pronounce its name wrong!

Blame It On New Orleans - Mac McAnally

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