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-Shady

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First, I want to plug two quick albums that got sent to me for review.

The Whore Moans “Hello from the Radio Wasteland” – You know, for whatever reason, I just never really got into the whole punk rock scene. But even for a guy who isn’t big on the whole genre, the Whore Moans (in addition to having the best name ever) were able to hold my interest for every one of this album’s thirteen tracks. Part of this is due to the fact that they are able to switch their sound up enough over the span of the record. One of my main problems with a lot of punk is that every song sounds exactly the same. The Whore Moans don’t suffer from this. Sure, some of the tracks are standard punk fodder. But songs like “Wall of a Song” and the album closer (and almost ballad-like) “Here Comes America” keeps the album diverse enough for non-punkers, but true enough to the genre for die-hards. They’ll be at Warped Tour next summer. Mark my words.

Point Juncture, WA “Heart to Elk” – Oddly enough, Point Juncture, WA is from Portland, Oregon. Not sure why exactly, but that’s the case. Regardless, “Heart to Elk” is a sweet little album that falls somewhere between the worlds of Yo La Tengo and Stereolab. I can’t find much on the group itself, but I’m guessing their female vocalist is Amanda Spring. If so, Spring adds a wonderful vocal softness to a well-structured wall of instrumentation. One does get the feeling that Point Juncture, WA might be going through a bit of self-realization, figuring out the ins and outs of producing an album of music as opposed to performing live in a club, but that’s what adds a great human element and D.I.Y. feel to “Heart to Elk.”

Now, with that out of the way, on to today’s music. For some reason, three of the five CDs I blindly picked today are mix albums, so I had an extremely diverse day of music. In the player today:

Disc One: Various Artists “Wild, Cool & Swingin’ Too!” – Over twenty swinging hits from the likes of Vic Damone, Julie London and Jack Jones. Of course, the classics are here, too, like Tony Bennett, Mel Torme and Louis Prima, but when you’ve heard those guys a hundred times over it’s the more obscure tracks that stand out. Best song: “Snootie Little Cutie” from Bobby Troup.

Disc Two: Various Artists “Super Soul Hits of the ’70s” – Soul power from the Chi-Lites, Fuzz and Brenda & the Tabulations. We’ve got classics like “Proud Mary” from Ike and Tina Turner, but “Groove Me” from King Floyd are a bit more fun. Best song: “Somebody’s Watching You” by Little Sister.

Disc Three: Various Artists “Songs from the Tastes Like Chicken Player: Mix 8 (The Totally Eighties Mix – Disc 1)” – From the seventies to the eighties! This collection is so eighties it makes me want to bomb the USSR! Yeah, this was one scary decade, and songs like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from Simple Minds are proof positive. I actually had to turn the volume down when “We Are The World” started up. Best song: “Always Something There To Remind Me” by Naked Eyes.

Disc Four: Pupy Costello & His Big City Honky Tonk “Beer-Drinking Songs” – Back when I lived in Milwaukee I had a neighbor named Pupy Costello. Swear to God. He had a little honky tonk band called the Big City Honky Tonk, and would play a few spots in and around the Milwaukee/Madison area. What you’ve got here is a collection of a dozen shit-kicking country classics (and a few not-so classics) as sung by my old neighbor. How ya been, Joe? If you want to learn more, visit them here.

Disc Five: Why B + Steve Marxx “No Request Sound Presents: No Requests Volume 2” – Also from Milwaukee, this is a mix disc featuring the many talents of area DJs Why B and Steve Marxx, with special appearances from Kid Cut Up and John Swan. From Def Harmonic and the Gorillaz to M.I.A. and Kanye, Why B and Marxx tackle it all, leaving the listener with a mix that’s smoother than a crotch after a bikini wax. Yes, it’s that smooth. Learn more about them here.

Every time you go away / You take a piece of me with you,

-Shady

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