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…these CDs right now.

I admit, I got burnt out on reviewing a ton of CDs every month, and I know my reviews probably reflected that sentiment. So instead of reviewing everything I receive (which, in the past, would result in a lot of “eh” reviews) I’ve decided to just publish reviews of music that I’m honestly enjoying.

If you know me, if you love me, if you trust me, check out this music for yourself.

Each artist’s name is linked to their website, so click on it to learn more.

Right now, I’m diggin’:

Luke Winslow-King “Old/New Baby” – This New Orleans-based singer/songwriter gives us Preservation Hall-recorded jazz reminiscent of Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire years.

Moby “Wait For Me” – Moby finally returns to his “Play” roots with this darkly lush, almost David Lynch-ian collection of tracks.

Willie Nelson “American Classics” – Willie hits up the great American songbook, featuring his take on classics like “Fly Me To The Moon,” “Ain’t Misbehavin'” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

The Budos Band “The Budos Band EP” – This six-song EP of unreleased tracks was recorded after their debut release (“The Budos Band”), but before their sophomore follow-up (“The Budos Band II”), fitting perfectly in between the two.

Lyrics Born “The Lyrics Born Variety Show: Season Pho (4!)” – A mixtape of mash-ups and remixes, and you get it all for less than five bucks! Hot!

Pax Nicholas & The Nettey Family “Na Teef Know The Road Of Teef” – Afrobeat perfection from a man who played with the Godfather of the genre: Pax Nicholas, drummer of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70, gets a solo release.

General Elektriks “Good City For Dreamers” – So far, the best album of 2009. Seriously.

KingHellBastard “Y’all Got Excuses, We Got Reasons” – What’s the best part of this rap-and-rhyme-heavy six-song EP from the Brew City Bastards? IT’S FREE! Click here to download your copy.

Codebreaker “Follow Me” – A new single from the Milwaukee-based electro-funk duo, with three remixes from The Juan Maclean, Bottin, and The Outrunners thrown in for added enjoyment!

Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens “What Have You Done, My Brother?” – The Alabama-bred soul chanteuse finally gets a solo album, showcasing her gruff gospel sound over a Daptone background.

Marianne Kesler “Pear In The Pink Thing” – Clearly influenced by singer/songwriter Aimee Mann, Kesler manages to offer her own unique twist to the genre.

Tom Morello & Boots Riley “Street Sweeper Social Club” – It took a little bit of time for it to grow on me, but this marriage of Rage Against the Machine and The Coup is now a welcomed addition to my library. Besides, it features Stanton Moore (Galactic) on drums!

Squirrel Nut Zippers “Lost At Sea” – In preparation for their first full-length release in nearly a decade, the Zippers offer up this, their first-ever live album, as an appetizer. If you dug ’em fifteen years ago, you’ll still dig ’em today.

More diggin’ to come,



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.


Wanna win some free stuff? Don’t we all.

This contest is for a copy of “Naked Willie,” the new full-length album from country legend Willie Nelson.

"Naked Willie" from Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

The prize pack includes:

– One (1) copy of “Naked Willie” CD

One winner will be selected at random from all entries. Winner will receive one full prize pack.

To enter, email me here with your name, age and address. Winners will be notified. Losers won’t. Heh.

Don’t boss him, don’t cross him,


First, a quick review of an album I was sent:

Daniel Park “These Illusions” – I admit, I’m not a fan of singer/songwriters who produce slow ballads with a lot of guitar strumming. It’s just not my bag. This isn’t to say that Daniel Park, who is a singer/songwriter who produces slow ballads with a lot of guitar strumming, is bad at his craft. He’s a solid guitarist, a good lyricist and has a great voice. It’s just that, for me, those elements don’t add up to something I want to hear over and over again. Still, I would suggest picking this up if what you dig is the opposite of what I dig.

Now, on to today’s music. I picked a couple boxed sets today, along with a few regular albums. In the player today:

Disc One: John Coltrane “Interplay (Disc One)”- The first in a five-disc set that was released a couple years back by Prestige Records, this seven-track album gives us some better-known classics (“Light Blue”) and some lesser-known beauties (“Bob’s Boys”). With the shortest track coming in just under eight minutes, and the longest at just over fifteen, listeners are given over 70 minutes of Coltrane doing what he does best: long-form sax jazz that would go on to become legendary.

Disc Two: Willie Nelson “The Complete Atlantic Sessions (Shotgun Willie)” – This three-disc set collects Willie’s albums on Atlantic from 1973 to 1974. The first disc, “Shotgun Willie,” features the release’s original twelve songs, along with twelve additional tracks of outtakes and alternate versions. Backed by a gaggle of female vocalists and an impressive horn section, this album stands out from most albums of the same genre from the seventies. The shining moment is the track “Sad Songs and Waltzes” which, decades later, would become a cover opportunity for the band Cake.

Disc Three: The Cankles “Goddamn!!” – I don’t even think this Chicago hip-hop outfit is around anymore, but if they are you should check ’em out. This release (their first and only, I think) blends live instrumentation with sampled beats, and the production is something most other bands should strive for. Their beats are clearly influenced by early DJ Shadow, but they’re able to add their own sound to the mix and make it completely their own. Though I could have done without the Jerky Boys-esque prank phone calls at the end where they try and get people to say the word “cankles.”

Disc Four: Beastie Boys “To the 5 Boroughs” – The last time I really loved the Beastie Boys was in the late nineties with their release of “Hello Nasty,” but this release from 2004 is an okay effort. I have to admit, I’ve only listened to this disc a handful of times, and the last time was probably over three years ago. And while it’s still a solid Beastie outing, it’s a far cry from anything between “Paul’s Boutique” and “Ill Communication.” It’s all good, but nothing really stands out as being amazing.

Disc Five: The Doors “Live in Boston 1970 (Disc One)” – A three-disc set collecting two live performances at the Boston Arena on Friday, April 10th 1970. The first disc collects 16 tracks from the first show, with a few songs you’d expect (“Roadhouse Blues,” “Light My Fire”) and a few you wouldn’t (“Away In India,” a cover of Muddy Waters’ “Rock Me”). I have a slight man-crush on Morrison, so I’m definitely biased here. But even if you’re not a big Doors head, there’s enough radio hits on the set to keep you content. And Jim’s drunken banter in between songs (or sometimes during songs) are priceless.

Come on, baby, bite my wire,


Old Poop!