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…gets some love from Beck. Check it out for yourself here.

Music and art,

-Shady

This short documentary about Lidell’s upcoming album, “Compass.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Also, check out this short video of Lidell talking about Beck’s Record Club:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Musicians multiply,

-Shady

…check out this press release I just got about Beck:

BECK.COM
EXTENSIVE OVERHAUL TO FEATURE DEBUT OF RECORD CLUB
Beck & Friends Form Music Club To Re-Record Entire Albums In One-Day Sessions and Post a Track a Week

Beck.com will be undergoing an extensive overhaul in the next month. It will feature several new sections, including Record Club, a regular meeting of various musicians to record an entire album in one day.  Due to the time constraints involved in recording a record in a day, an album will be chosen to be covered and used as a framework for the proceedings. Nothing will be rehearsed or arranged ahead of time. A track from these sessions will be uploaded once a week on Beck.com, as well as through the web sites of those involved in the project.

Record Club will be an ongoing experiment visitors to the site will be able to follow from week to week.

The first album attempted–one of the few everyone could agree on–will be The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Musicians involved in upcoming Record Clubs include Devendra Banhart, MGMT, Jamie Lidell and Nigel Godrich.

Holy balls. This could be very cool.

Sweetness,

-Shady

So here’s the deal: I have a little more than 70 CDs to review. So I’m going to do a few batches of these short, one-sentence reviews to get caught up.

Sound good? Awesome!

Let’s go!

Sleeper “Behind Every Mask” – A nice attempt at making a minimal electronic album from little more than blips and bleeps, but it often relies too heavily on being more noise than it is music.

Various Artists “Luaka Bop: 21st Century, 21st Year” – Luaka Bop offers up this fantastic compilation (celebrating their 21st year in existence) featuring 14 of the label’s superstars including Jorge Ben, Shuggie Otis, Susana Baca and Mr. Luaka Bop himself, David Byrne.

Cheer-Accident “Fear Draws Misfortune” – A haphazard and scattered mix of experimental avant-prog-rock that falls somewhere between a watered-down Zappa album and a creepy off-off-off-Broadway musical.

Dazy Head Mazy “Mercury Said 65” – If you ever attended H.O.R.D.E. Fest or own any CD from Blues Traveler, Barenaked Ladies or Hootie and the Blowfish you’re gonna have a huge boner for Dazy Head Mazy… and I’ll let you decide whether or not that’s a good thing.

Say Hi “Oohs & Aahs” – The project of solo singer/songwriter Eric Elbogen, Say Hi’s first label debut is an inspired disc of fable-like storytelling laid over subtle sounds and strumming.

Willie Nelson “Naked Willie” – Only Willie Nelson has the power to take 17 of his vintage RCA tracks (originally released from 1966 to 1970) and strip them down to the bare singer/guitar essentials… and thank Christ, because the result is Willie sounding exactly the way he had intended to be heard: on top of his game and naked as hell.

The Prodigy “Invaders Must Die” – Liam Howlett and Co. return with the familiar heavy bass and harsh beats that made their 1997 album “The Fat of the Land” a dance floor favorite, giving us a new Prodigy album that is laced with vintage Prodigy sound.

Dengue Fever “Sleepwalking Through the Mekong” – An ABSOLUTELY AMAZING CD/DVD soundtrack/documentary collection. The documentary follows Dengue Fever lead singer Chhom Nimol as she returns to her native Cambodia to tour during the 2005 Water Festival. The accompanying soundtrack features classic tracks from Cambodian musicians like Sinn Sisamouth and Meas Samoun. And yes, I’m aware this review breaks the one-sentence rule, but it’s one of the best things I’ve been sent to review in awhile and therefore deserves the love.

ApSci “Best Crisis Ever” – A fantastic follow-up to 2005’s “Thanks For Asking,” this husband/wife duo returns and continues to push the boundaries of experimental hip-hop, delivering familiar ApSci beats in a mixture of the fresh and new; a shining star in Quannum’s already bright sky.

Iggy Pop “Preliminaries” – The most bold, beautiful and bizarre Iggy Pop album to date, featuring The Stooge himself crooning in a Leonard Cohen-esque fashion (but in French), singing love ballads and trying his hand at… jazz?

J. Todd “Ryzzynynce” – An electronic instrumental bit of brilliance from Milwaukee’s own J. Todd, with sexy-smooth synthesized sounds and sweet samples, “Ryzzynynce” is the perfect album to have playing on loop throughout the day as you bust your ass to get shit done… like writing a thousand CD reviews.

Bibio “Ovals & Emeralds EP” – A new six-song EP from Bibio (who I covered not too long ago), a one-man band whose scratchy, old-timey instrumentals transform your CD player into a phonograph.

Beck “One Foot In The Grave” (Remastered) – This remastered version of Beck’s 1994 release gives fans an album that is now nearly twice its original size, with all of its previous tracks as well as a ton of new b-sides… and now it’s all cleaned up and pretty sounding!

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Your Funeral… My Trial” (Remastered), “The First Born Is Dead” (Remastered), “From Her To Eternity” (Remastered), “Kicking Against The Pricks” (Remastered) – Nick Cave’s entire back catalog is getting a major reworking with remastered versions done up in 5.1 surround sound. These mark the first four in a set, and if they’re anything like what’s coming it’s going to be a very nice collection to own. Each disc is now a double-disc set, with one containing the remastered album and the other containing the disc in 5.1 sound. Also included on each disc are b-sides and singles. Sure, if you’re a huge Nick Cave fan, chances are you already own all of this music. But you don’t own it like this.

More coming… goddammit.

-Shady

But first, two quick reviews of CDs I was sent recently:

Richie James Follin “Battle” – Follin’s solo debut is admirable for a couple different reasons. First, this front man of The Willowz was able to break away from his group and create something different. Second, all of the album’s twelve songs were recorded in one day. Pretty impressive. And Follin’s sound (think of a softer and whinier Jack White, or a modern day take on old school Lou Reed) works well with the band of musicians he put together to record with. My only complaint, and it’s something you’ll rarely hear me say, is that the album could have been produced a tiny bit more to give it more of an overall cohesive sound. I’m typically not one for noticeable production–and I’m all about the idea of recording an album in 24 hours in a house filled with fun, friends and fried chicken–but I think there could have been just a bit more care taken after the instruments were set down.

Here We Go Magic “Here We Go Magic” – If the now-defunct Beta Band were once fronted by a mid-eighties Paul Simon, they would sound a little something like Here We Go Magic’s self-titled debut LP. I’ve listened to this disc three times now and with each listen I’m liking it more. I might even keep this CD, and that’s saying a lot for me. Here We Go Magic is, essentially, Brooklynite Luke Temple. Together with Baptiste Ibar on bass and Peter Hale on drums, this trio has created an album that hearkens back to the long-lost days of Porno for Pyros. In fact, the track “I Just Want To See You Underwater” could seriously be a B-side from “Good God’s Urge.” One of the glowing qualities of this disc is that, while it contains lyrics, it doesn’t feel the need to cram them in every nook and cranny of each song. I appreciate¬† when a musician knows when to sing, and when to shut up and just let the music speak for itself. It shows that Luke Temple knows a thing or two about making music, which is more than I can say for about 90% of the people out there doing it today.

And now, in the player today:

Disc One: The Ornette Coleman Double Quartet “Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation by the Ornette Coleman Double Quartet” – Two tracks: a 37-minute classic called “Free Jazz,” and a 17-minute first take called, appropriately enough, “First Take.” Both tracks were recorded live and in their entirety in the studio with two quartets playing simultaneously. The first quartet (Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Scott La Faro and Billy Higgins) can be heard exclusively on the left channel of your stereo; the second quartet (Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard, Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell) can be heard on the right channel. Together, these eight musicians perform free-form jazz that sounds as if it’s anything but. For fun, listen to the disc three times in a row: first, just through the left channel; next, just through the right channel; and finally, with both channels playing simultaneously.

Disc Two: Beck “Guero” – Shit, man, Beck can do no wrong. I don’t know what he puts in his music that makes it so addictive, but everything this kid puts out, from the rough-cut days of “Satan Gave Me A Taco” to the fully-realized masterworks off “Modern Guilt,” is virtually flawless. After impressing me with nearly ten albums of solid material, the odds of me disliking something from Beck in the future are pretty slim. “Guero” is no exception.

Disc Three: Various Artists “Ghost World (Soundtrack)” – Classic blues mixed with Bollywood theme songs. “C-H-I-C-K-E-N Spells Chicken” by The McGee Brothers is one of my favorites, but it’s not as good as the disc (and movie) opener “Jaan Pehechaan Ho” by Mohammed Rafi. But that might also have something to do with watching Thora Birch dance around in cat glasses and a red nightie. Purrr….

Disc Four: The Roots “Things Fall Apart” – I know people always refer to this album as being one of the quintessential hip-hop albums of the late nineties, but… they’re right! I always dug “Things Fall Apart,” but I think the older I get the more I like it. Is that possible? Will I eventually want to marry it and have it bear my children? Lordy, I hope not, because that would be really uncomfortable. Mostly for me. This disc is proof that The Roots will be remembered as one of the most influential hip-hop acts during the turn of the century. That is, if they can shake that whole “Jimmy Fallon’s House Band” stigma.

Disc Five: Os Mutantes “The Best of Os Mutantes” – Late sixties Brazilian psychedelic rock! Not your cup of tea? It will be. Want proof? Just try not tapping your foot to the classic track “A Minha Menina”, which McDonald’s recently raped in this commercial for Happy Meals:

I knew you wouldn’t be able to do it!

Pois ela é minha menina,

-Shady

My good friend Mercedes Helnwein is in the new Beck video for “Gamma Ray.”

You can check it out for yourself here:

She’s the one with big hair who isn’t Beck.

Someday Beck will be in MY music video,

-Shady

Old Poop!