Out Today: Glee Warbles, Gorillaz Fall, Kinks Ride Again
It's been a week since the Foo Fighters' album, Wasting Light, hit the stores, and Rocks Off has probably averaged at least one or two spins of the solid disc per day. Right now, we are actually on track four. Will anything top Light this week? That remains to be seen.
Next week will bring new discs by Steve Earle, Explosions In The Sky, The Airborne Toxic Event, Bootsy Collins, and KMFDM's 73rd release (approximately). So far we have only tasted the new Earle album; it's delicious, and goes great with a can of Lone Star and a hot dog. Expect Collins in town June 16 at Warehouse Live.
Here are your recommended new releases for April 19, including a very special tribute to the man who played keys on not only some of the Rolling Stones' most enduring hits, but also created that wicked pounding piano on Led Zeppelin's "Rock And Roll" in 1971.
Gorillaz, The Fall: You may have already downloaded this 2010 tour document from Damon Albarn's supergroup, but if not, here's your chance to own a real copy of the free download from last winter. With a track for almost every stop on the group's tour, Houston is repped by "The Parish of Space Dust" just in time to remind us all over again that we aren't getting a shuttle. Up yours, Chuck Schumer.
Dengue Fever, Cannibal Courtship: The band's first album since 2009's Sleeping Through The Mekong, the new Courtship starts out with the forboding title track, and for eleven tracks and 46 minutes manages to make dysfunction and fright sound swinging. Check out "2012 (Bury Your Heads)" and "Thank You Goodbye" to see what we mean.
Glee the Music Presents: The Warblers: Don't know much about Glee, except for what we read from other bloggers here on Rocks Off, but this album of cuts from the show's group The Warblers wins out for us for the spirited take on Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" and Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream."
Shut yer mouths. We could have done without hearing an all-male chorus sing Neon Trees' insipid radio hit "Animal," though.
The Head & the Heart, The Head & the Heart: This one got bitch-slapped by Pitchfork today, but it's not as bad as they said. Sure, it's unremarkable, but it has its charms. There are a handful of bands here in Houston making this same kind of piano-driven folk that you would be better spending money on today.
O'Death Outside: Rocks Off writer and photog Marc Brubaker has been talking up O'Death for a few months now, and here comes their latest, Outside. If you have an affinity for Murder By Death, Arcade Fire, and Tom Waits, this will be on your Top 10 list for 2011, especially for "Alamar" and its funereal beat.
Billy Joel Reissues: Joel's label announced last year that the Piano Man's catalog was about to go through a massive reissue process, saying in a press release that "newly curated collections of rarities from the vaults, previously unavailable studio tracks and live performances, home video releases and more," would be available starting with 1971's Cold Spring Harbor.
These reissues will be a must for completists, but for casual fans, stick with the greatest-hits double slabs. Sadly, Joel has been reluctant to make any new pop material since 1993's River Of Dreams, but we hear through that proverbial grapevine that Elton John is slowly wearing him down.
Bob Schneider Perfect Day: This is Schneider's 15th solo album since 1998, and by our count, his 65th in all. Perfect Day will satisfy Bob-heads, fans of Big Star-style power-pop, and singer-songwriter cats. Not much new ground has been broken, but every few albums, Schneider manages to rip us all a new one. Not this time.
Kinks Reissues: The Kinks are beginning a heady reissue project, starting with their first three albums, the 1964 self-titled debut, 1965's Kinda Kinks and The Kink Kontroversy. Even without the extra tracks and clearer mixing, these are monster records for anyone in love with original garage and British Invasion stuff. The tracks we have been sent sound stellar, and the packaging looks great too.
Ben Waters Boogie 4 Stu: This is obviously Rocks Off's dark-horse pick of the week, Ben Water's tribute album for the late Ian Stewart, the Rolling Stones' longtime piano player and driver who passed away in 1985 at the young age of 47. Boogie is a joyful celebration of Stu's life, featuring the Stones reformed with former bassist Bill Wyman on a cover of Bob Dylan's "Watchin' The River Flow." Keith Richards sings and plays guitar on most other tracks.
Waters' cousin, PJ Harvey, also makes an appearance on "Lonely Avenue," with Waters playing a piano once used and owned by Ray Charles. Stu himself appears on the closing track, with a Rocket 88-assisted cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home" from a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in the early '80s.
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