Be warned: At least some of these CD reviews were written out longhand while I stared at beautiful Pickerel Lake while vacationing in northern Michigan. A good many of them were accompanied by a fairly well-stocked bar. For the Bob Pollard album, that was probably appropriate. I also check out new releases by Mike Stern, Mindy Smith and Peter Mulvey.
In terms of my daughter's summer break, the season is nearly at an end. Back-to-school time has become something of a bittersweet ritual in the eight years that I've spent at home with her since being relieved of my graphic design career in 2001. I've been trying to ease my pain by listening to new album releases from Pictures of Then, The Hooters, Cale Parks, Walter Trout and Julian Plenti.
Whatever you think of their music, you have to give The Fiery Furnaces style points. Currently on a pace to release 10 albums by their 10th anniversary next year, the band's relatively straightforward and simple arrangements and ideas on 'I'm Going Away' is slightly disconcerting for fans of their more esoteric Indie Pop excursions.
The passage of time has been on my mind lately; two good friends have passed through the portal this year and the celebrity body count has been unusually high (and high profile) in recent weeks, proof that no matter how well connected or wealthy or insulated from real life you happen to be, the words of Jim Morrison in 1969 ring true for each and every one of us: "The future"s uncertain and the end is always near." I'm passing time this week with new CDs from The Dead Weather (Jack White's newest side project), Drive-By Truckers, David Thomas Owen IV, Robin Trower and Bleu.
For those of you who have enjoyed my vinyl reminiscences in this column since its inception back in January, please accept my sincerest apologies for their absence in recent postings. My schedule of late has precluded me from combing through my LP collection and pulling out selections to commit to CD, with billable assignments far outweighing my capacity for discretionary listening.
There's a great passage in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' where Chief Bromden explains how Big Nurse controls the clocks in the hospital, tormenting the patients by slowing the by slowing the clock down during the majority of the week and then speeding it up during visiting hours. It's also indicative of my life lately; I never seem to have enough time. Still, I'm here to discuss new CDs from Patterson Hood, LANDy, Otis Taylor, Foreign Born, Lemonheads and Tortoise and a new film of The Turtles' wild ride in the 1960s.
I'm once again foregoing my vinyl burn this week and keeping the reviews on the light side. Next week looks to be absolutely packed with titles (a quick count reveals at least 14 discs and a DVD in the stacks that I could cover). This week I check out new CDs from Holly Williams, Candye Kane and Clock Hands Strangle and two reissues from Big Star.
They can put a man on the moon, so why can't someone engineer the 30-hour day? Between writing and planning to write and the administration of my writing and downloading and listening and that other devourer of time, family life, the only thing left to cut into is sleep. Here's what I've been listening to this week: new albums from Sonic Youth, Adam Freeland, Slim Twig, Rhett Miller and Trey Anastasio and classic vinyl from Chuck Prophet.
Another crazy week in Bakerville, and it's only going to get more hectic as the weeks proceed. My daughter's last day of school is next Thursday and, once she's home for the summer, my daily schedule gets slightly more complicated. But I'm excited to check out new CDs from Ryan Bingham, Iggy Pop, Daddy, Elvis Costello and Mark Everett and Eels.
This week's posting has been winnowed by a killer combination of my MidPoint Music Festival judging duties and a long holiday weekend, so try to contain your disappointment at the shortage of reviews. This week I tackle new releases from Michelle Shocked, Viva Voce, Maurice Mattei & the Tempers, Chris Gaffney, Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women and Hatcham Social.
Man, this is shaping up to be an excellent year for music. As we approach the halfway point of 2009, I’m amazed at the quality of tuneage that’s been released so far this year. My only regret is that I can’t cover all of them, but I will continue to tilt at musical windmills nonetheless. This week it's new CDs from Jarvis Cocker, The Oxygen Ponies, Chuck Mead, John Vanderslice and White Rabbits, plus classic albums by Tommy Bolin.
Looks like another light week, not for lack of titles to cover but lack of time to cover them all. But even as I transfer another handful of discs from the "Review This Week" stack to the "Better Luck Next Week" pile, the calendar reveals a couple of light title weeks coming up very soon. So eventually everything will get its chance in the drawer and in this forum. Until then, there’s no present like the time. This week: new CDs from Paul Carrack, The Church, Hanne Hukkelberg, The Datsuns, Jeremy Enigk and Wooden Birds and a classic album by Game Theory.
One light week and look what happens: The CD piles are teetering precariously, and if the cat comes in and rubs her cheeks on that stack one more time, the walls are definitely going to come tumbling down. Let's check out new albums from New York Dolls, The Smithereens, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Beck Hansen, Immaculate Machine and The Green Pajamas, plus vintage New Wave from Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club.
This week's posting might be a little lighter than weeks previous, and there's no vinyl reporting this week either. I just didn't feel the joy of rooting through the shelves this week. But let's take a quick look at new CDs from Samantha Crain, A Camp, Paleface, Tim Easton, Los Straitjackets and Heaven & Hell.