Creedence Clearwater Revival,
Mike & The Ravens,
Cedar Hill Refugees,
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
THE HIGH FIVE!!
- Eddie Allen "Jazzy Brass for the Holidays," DBCD
- Fedde Le Grand "Output," Ultra
- Danny Adlerman, Yosi and Kevin Kammeraad "...And A Happy New Year," The Kids at Our House/Yosi/Cooperfly
- Justin Moore "Self-Titled," Valory/Universal
- Moss "Tombs of the Blind Drugged," Self-Released
Rosanne Cash "The List," Manhattan/EMI
With any icon lineage we are bound to be at least vaguely tied to the name as much as the art. Despite the shadow of a giant illuminating her path, Rosanne Cash has stood on her own two feet despite any preconceived notions of what a Cash would actually be.
Of course, she personifies the soul and hopeless love affairs of her father, but who could live entirely in their progenitor recording history? No, Rosanne has made her way through this dreary world with more hope and less anger than her father. Gender socialization, alcoholism, or whatever we'd like to blame it on, Rosanne Cash is the Cash with less demons under the bed. Features cameo's from Springsteen, Costello, Tweedy, and Wainwright.
*****Shelton's Single of the Week: "Dearest Forsaken"*********
EDITOR'S NOTE: Will make you happy, and that's what music ought to do.
Dennis Jones "Pleasure & Pain," Leroy's Boy/Blue Rock
While the layout originally led me to believe this was a soundtrack to a porno (which I still wouldn't be surprised if it was), Pleasure & Pain is Big Band Blues as it ever is.
Nothing spectacular here folks, just straight-ahead monstrous blues dance numbers. On every single track. Dennis Jones, for all of his goofball artwork, certainly knows how to write some amazing blues.
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Opus Collection," Starbucks/Concord
Is Starbucks doing something right? Is it possible? First the Talking Heads, and now the Opus Collection has given us the crowning moment of rock history, Creedence Clearwater Revival.
As always, "Best Of" collections sicken me with the butchering of full works of art (think redistributing a single Warhol Campbell Soup Can), but what gets me the most worked up is that Starbucks is releasing only the "Best Of's" by the best. This CCR highlight CD collects every major single, a few randoms, and an insert telling the story of the band. Embarrassingly perfect.
******BEST ALBUM OF THE WEEK*********
Shelton's Single of the Week: "Fortunate Son"
Mike & The Ravens "No Place For Pretty," Zoho Roots
Incredible rock'n'roll from a time when the genre was actually respectable. While today we are left with only fossilized remnants of the once magnificent genre, there was a time when the style erupted and swayed as any great genre should.
Enter Mike & The Ravens: a dinosaur quintet from the 60's. And I'm not lying when I tell you this is spotless: jangly, driving rock and roll as best as it's ever been played. Headed up by a crew of teenagers, the band never really went anywhere because, as the story goes, they were all arrested in '62 for playing the "devil's music" in a church.
The band lives up to the legend of their demise: while obviously not satanic by any means, it is as rebellious as dance music can get.
Fruit Bats "The Ruminant Band," Sub Pop
A folk-rock opus composed of Eric Johnson and his dream-team of geniuses, The Ruminant Band is what Fruit Bats have been working towards for their entire career. Not necessarily a change in sound, but more a perfection of their inner workings, the album is best put as well rounded.
Things fit snug, the creativity is balanced with the Fruit Bats' stylistic elements (a vaguely 60's rock feel blended with the alt-folk of present day), and production...well, could we expect anything less than perfect from a Sub Pop record? Another folk album done right.
******ARTIST TO WATCH!!!*******************
Palenke Soultribe "Oro," Self-Released
Electro Cuban-Dance. No, not the typical Cuban-jazz we are used to here at JSITop21, but actual dance hits. Far more interesting than what you'd take for traditional club rhythms, Oro takes a base layer of downtempo, smothers it with traditional Cuban melodies and structures, and serves it all as is.
Sum 41 "All The Good Shit: 14 Solid Gold Hits 2000-2008 CD/DVD Set," Island Def Jam/Universal
While pop punk has been all but replaced by mall-emo on every radio station, a few slivers of hope still exist. Sum 41 is not one
of them. Even in the hayday of sideways trucker hats and wallet chains, there existed a few embarrassments to the rest, and Sum 41
seems to always have been that.
With a front-man's voice that surpasses Fat Mike in snottyness and certain leanings to rebellion in the most bland of arenas (not
even a single "fuck you, dad"), the band has routinely put out mediocre single after mediocre single. While better than another
Angels and Airwaves record, I'd save your money for the new Blink album.
************LATE BUT GREAT***********
*******Shelton's Single of the Week: "OWNER OF A LONELY HEART"**********
EDITOR'S NOTE: Try to subdue his hormones with common sense - no hope.
Flying Machines "Self-Titled," Meteor/EMI
When I was in school, ADHD was the big scare of young parents. Could our children be unable to learn because, gasp, they can't focus? The whole ordeal blew over, and most people have taken up the diagnosis as half-reality. Those people have never heard Flying Machines. Queen, Coheed and Cambria, Yes, The Killers, The Police...their list of influences and their audible copyright infringements could span every page of Wikipedia if allowed to run wild.
The Flying Machines are as eclectic as it gets, taking a very Rush approach to starts and stops, but switching between genres instead of time signatures. The album is insanely catchy, but more than enough for any listener to swallow.
Kittie "In The Black," E1
While the Spice Girl's spout of "girl power" was parallel to Obama's use of a trademarked "Hope", Kittie instead leads by example: heavy, dark, and unwavering metal riffing.
The fact that Kittie consists entirely of women, one of the most ignored groups in metal, is only consequential.
In The Black's intensity ignores gender, putting their money where Spice Girl's proverbial mouth would be. And, as an
added bonus, Kittie wins the award for First Metal Album of the Year to use singing appropriately in metal. Fucking grim.
Zona Jones "Prove Me Right," RCR/A2M
A full dose of rodeo injected right into the blood stream. Prove Me Right takes up-and-comer Zona Jones in his trek to singing to country fans worldwide.
Zona's sights are on stadiums around the USA, choosing to settle himself deep into the big sounds and overblown
orchestration of the more mainstream of country acts. So grab your cowboys hats, and shimmy on down and get this record!
Barenaked Ladies "Snack Time!," Desperation/Nettwerk
While I was entirely convinced this was a Cake album for the first few tracks, Snack
Time! shows Barenaked Ladies in possibly their best light. Upbeat children's music, with the traditionally genius songwriting skills of
Hearn and crew, the record matches any previous release in humor and hooks, but manages to do it with an even more goofy style. And it
fits, so much better. This album, as anyone can guess, transcends age. Yeah, it's just good.
***********LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL*****************
Eulogies "Here Anonymous," Dangerbird
Here Anonymous is perfect indie rock. I mean it: this album is perfect. Emotion, chorus hooks, and the perfect amount of dynamics, Eulogies have been making steady ground since their self-titled debut.
Even more influenced by '90s loser rock, the band's sound is evolving in the most basic of senses: each release
is just getting better and better. I cannot say enough good things about this record.
State Radio "Let It Go," Ruff Shod/Radio D'Etat
State Radio pick up where frontman Chad Urmston's first success story, Dispatch, left off: straightforward alternative rock with the workings and conscience of a band doing anything but what they are.
Opening for The Dave Matthew's Band is perhaps the furthest thing from what logic would say this band would be doing; State Radio surpass everything that band has ever done making great, emotionally charged music instead of on stage masturbation and pointless noodling. Let It Go leaves nothing to be desired, just pure and intense rock music the way it should be played.
************POLITICAL ALBUM OF THE WEEK*******************
******Shelton's Single of the Week: "SONGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME"*************
Kava Kava "Forwards," Midnight Swing
Contracting from the current rise in bad electronic dance rock, Kava Kava has focused the electronic effects and groove and created what we all knew was possible: good music. Forwards stands on its own two feet for originality: I honestly could not think of a single musical project parallel.
The most surprising thing about Kava Kava is their intense funk influence. While George Clinton wouldn't have
jumped at the name of this band, the group none the less carries a rhythm and repetition of heavy bass progressions
that is distinctly inclined to the P-Funk era. Fun and intricate, Forwards is the best in TV soundtracks today.
Jesse Terry "The Runner," Self-Released
12 tracks of epic folk-rock. While the similarities between Terry and Springsteen are more conceptual than audible, The Runner nonetheless fits the stylistic elements of the like: complex songwriting, perfect use of instrumentation across the board, and lyrical themes that are anything but the standard heartbreak and drinking songs.
Terry's voice is unique, a bit more high pitch, and possibly less masculine than his predecessors, but the extra character pushes the record just over the edge into being an ideal folk-rock album.
**************** NEW ALBUM OF THE WEEK**********
Alexander Zonjic "Doin' The D," Heads Up/Concord
So what is the "D", you ask? You're guess is as good as mine, but if Zonjic's attempt of adding porn groove to smooth jazz
is any indication, it may be more scandalous than Kenny G. But just slightly. Lots of synthesized instruments behind the doer
doing his flute in every which way. Pretty boring.
Stacy Peavy "This Is My Life," Self-Released
Peavy is a country girl, and little left to say beyond that. The sass, the moves, the ability to leave a loser lover...yup, Peavy knows how to play the game. Square-dancing galore, This Is My Life can bring out the "Yee-Ha!" in us all.
Matthew Barber "Ghost Notes," Outside/Factor
Barber plays streamline singer/songwriter alt-rock, performed as perfect as possibly done. Full band sounds and no fear of going with the mood,
Ghost Notes strikes chords similar to a present day Dylan. Of course, without all the razz-ma-tazz that ol' Bobby lived by, but Barber still
makes his mark in the same niche. Catchy tracks and upbeat lyrics, the album is solid for anyone interested in something new.
"SO NICE GOTTA DO IT UP TWICE" (created by the original NYC D.J., Jocko, 1955)
EDITOR'S NOTE: He drives around aimlessly - feeling there's no way to be in his kind of hell, no way to extinguish a
flame that burns, burns, burns.
Baker "Self-Titled," Self-Released
While not technically impressive, Baker's rather typical brand of country/Americana gives an honest view of what Baker is capable of.
No fiddling around, no shifty time changes or heavy distortion...Baker's self-titled debut is as straightforward as it gets. Song writing
is not the best I've ever heard, but in a sea of hopeless swimmers, the doggy-paddle can still look impressive.
******Shelton's Single of the Week: "Why I'm Leaving"*************
Cedar Hill Refugees "Pale Imperfect Diamond," Effigy
Another attempt at blending the polar regions of music. East meets West, North meets South, yada ya...a concept that is a bit of a bore to me, but, as proved by Cedar Hill Refugees, ends up with fantastic output.
Pale Imperfect Diamond dices up the works of folk music internationally, and tosses it to form a homogenous mixture of American folk with pieces of other traditionals backing. The album credits 35 musicians, if that gives any indication as to the eclecticness we are working with here.
Moby "Wait For Me," Little Idiot/Mute
Nine times out of ten, Moby is the bane of my existence. Generally, his music is chilly and boring, mainstream accessible "liberal music" for yuppies who want to feel modern.
Wait For Me, while still boring, liberal, and from the most accessible electronic artist out there, has at least dropped the "chilly" factor. Moby's attempt at a down-tempo album has succeeded, but still takes the signature feel of Moby albums, i.e. devoid of soul. This is what it is; if you like Moby, this will be one of the most beautiful things you have ever heard. If not, this is just another Moby album.
***************If You Like Music You're Gonna Love This******************
******Shelton's Single of the Week: "INVINCIBLE"*************
POLITICAL SONG OF THE WEEK
Artist: The Coup
Song: "My Favority Mutiny"
There it is... check it out
Move, if you got the nerve
Lash out for your just desserts
It's not just the words
Some of y'all heads up in the clouds
I'm a bring y'all back to earth
It's black back to birth
Bullshit y'all talking bout
Out ya mouth, I'm not concerned
Cause y'all got to learn
It's your turn like Detroit Red
When his head had an ultra perm
The long walk to burn your bare heels
So worn were your boots
The game camouflage like army suits
But I can see it more clear cause I came with the Coup in here
Ring the alarm and form the troops
Send them out into the world, go to war on a flute
Eye to eye with the enemy you sworn to shoot
Now I'm comin at ya next, sick of hearing something wrong with me
Motherfucker something's wrong with you
When you see they just way to smart to question
The enemy the brothers of a dark complexion
The governments of the world is shark infested
They heavy on weaponry like Charlton Heston
Man yeah it gets low here real low
Know what I'm talkin' 'bout?
I ain't rockin' with you, so what what you goin do? (it's my favorite mutiny)
I ain't rockin' with you, your logic does not compute (it's my favorite mutiny)
Death to the pigs is my basic statement
I spit street stories 'til I taste the pavement
Tryin' to stay out the pen while we face enslavement
Had a foolproof hustle 'til they traced the payments
I was grippin' my palm around some shitty rum
Tryin' to find psalm number 151
To forget what I'm owed, as I clutch the commode
Alright, put down the bottle and come get the guns
Now get off the chain like Kunta Kinte with a MAC-10
They want us gone like a dollar in a crack den
Steadily subtracting seeds and stems
Mind cloudy through the wheeze and phlegm
I weed my brain off that and the Jesus hymns
If we waiting for the time to fight, these is thems
Tellin' us to relax while they ease it in
We gettin greased again
The truth I write is so cold it'll freeze my pen
I'm Boots Riley it's a pleasure to meet you
Never let they punk ass ever defeat you
They got us on the corner wearing pleather and see-thru
All y'alls' gold mines they wanna deplete you
I ain't just fine to rap on the track, I'm fine to clappin them back
And it's been stackin' to that
Five hundred years before Iceberg ever leaned back in the 'Lac
Before they told Rosa black in the back
Before the CIA told Ricky Ross to put crack in a sack
Before Gil Scott traded rappin for smack
This beat alone should get platinum plaques
I'd rather see a million of us ecstatic to scrap
'Cause if we bappin' them back we automatically stacked
Tariq, Boots and me
Activating the community
Up in the bay like Huey P
But the beast got it twisted, I'll untangle it
Black mind is entwined like the ropes they used to hang us with
This my favorite shit, I came in the game with a new way to spit
That got you questioning who you bangin' with
Take it back to Imhotep
Throw a step deeper like a poor righteous teacher with holy intellect
Killer flow for all my real niggaz lap it up
Inform the family of the jiggaboo(?) that there's been a death
Once again you can feel hip-hop
The underground still about my glock
Gangsta like fuck the cops
Tell 'em Kweli a revolutionary mc, and that ain't about to stop