Mail Call: Post-Ike/ACL Edition

As you might imagine, the past few weeks have been somewhat hectic for Rocks Off, meaning there's been another heaping helping of yellow and brown envelopes piling up. Let's do this. This time I've added brief quotes from the accompanying press release, provided there is one.


Roy Orbison (Wink, TX), The Soul of Rock and Roll (4-CD box set) - "A live performance of 'It's Over' from Roy's final concert on December 4, 1987 - recorded two days before his untimely death - is just one of many new and highly anticipated tracks in this collection" P-R-C-RB

Various Artists (Stooges, Go-Go's, Wolfmen, Pretty Things, Urges, etc.), Little Steven's Underground Garage Presents: The Coolest Songs In the World, Vol. 6 P-R-Psy

Various Artists (Alice Cooper, Ronnie James Dio, Geoff Tate, etc.), We Wish You a Metal X-Mas and a Headbanging New Year - "Motorhead's Lemmy, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl, for instance, team up on Chuck Berry's 'Run Rudolph Run" R-M

Residents (San Mateo, Calif.), The Residents Present The Bunny Boy - Obsession, insanity and the coming apocalypse have never sounded better" Exp

Jenny Lewis (Los Angeles), Acid Tongue - "The album's tracks, disparate as they are, share a sparkling vitality" I-R-F-C

Grateful Dead (San Francisco), Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978 - "The accompanying DVD features more than 100 minutes of footage; including 13 songs from the third and final Egypt show, which took place during a rare lunar eclipse" R-F-Psy

*Cowboy Mouth (New Orleans), Fearless - "The quintessential New Orleans rock 'n' roll band" P-R (October 11, House of Blues)

Pretty & Nice (Boston), Get Young - "''Piranha' is a ravenous number that recalls the blistered pop audacity of early XTC" I-R-Pu

**Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm (Mississippi), 2 Man Wrecking Crew - "a sound reminiscent of such minimalist rock duos as the Black Keys or the White Stripes" B-R

*Gojira (Bayonne, France), The Way of All Flesh - "This time revolving around the undeniable dilemma of a mortal demise" M (November 30, House of Blues)

*Pale Young Gentlemen (Madison, Wis.), Black Forest (Tra La La) - ""Trading the bouncy piano and old dancehall beats for finger-plucked guitar and quivering strings" I-P-R (November 1, Avant Garden)

*Polysics (Japan), We Ate the Machine - "In addition to their signature synth-driven sound, their identity would be shaped by their unique stage costumes and vocal style 'space language'" D-E-P (October 26, Meridian)

Various Artists, The Rough Guide to Colombian Street Party - "This compilation is a rare snapshot of Colombia's myriad musical jewels" R-F-L-W

Dozan (Jordan), Introducing Dozan - "This modern folkloric chamber group consists of incredibly gifted Arab musicians" W

ohGr (ex-Skinny Puppy, California), Devils In My Details - "seems to encapsulate everything fulfilling about Ogre, artistically, spiritually, and emotionally" D

*Akimbo (Seattle), Jersey Shores - "A concept album spanning 12 days of brutal and savage shark attacks that haunted the New Jersey coast in 1916" R-Pu-M (Mink Backroom, October 12)

Les Paul, Les Paul & Friends: A Tribute to a Legend - "a fitting honor to the genre-crossing icon with an eclectic collection of musicians spanning the musical spectrum" R-P-J-B


Wild Beasts (Leeds, UK), Limbo, Panto - "One listen to the record will leave you confounded, enchanted, perhaps confused" B-I-R-P

Robin Thicke (Beverly Hills), Something Else - "Melding the retro and the modern across 12 tracks" P-RB

Matthew Ballard (Austin), Midnight Drive - "an Americana gem steeped in tradition and packed with Ballard's inventive takes on folk-art conventions" F-C

Mason Proper (northern Michigan), Olly Oxen Free - "a band that can move mountains by breathing softly" I-R-F


Jesus H Christ and the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse (New York), Happier Than You - "This NYC 8-piece insist on following their lauded 2006 debut with classics like 'Connecticut's for Fucking and Nipples' by digging even deeper" P-Pu

*The White Bitch (New Orleans), The White Bitch's Prey Drive - "fun remains just one weapon in the White Bitch's arsenal" E-R-Psy (October 17, Notsuoh)


Pussycat Dolls (Hollywood), Doll Domination - "Earth soon to be in the grips of 'Doll Domination'!" P-RB

*Hey Monday (W. Palm Beach, Fla.), Hold On Tight - "If every Monday were as invigorating and infectious as Hey Monday, there'd be no reason to look forward to weekends" P-Pu (October 7, Warehouse Live)

Dan Evans (Frankfort, Ill.), Goin' All Out - "Dan Evans has wanted to be a country music star since the night his first pickup truck was stolen" C

Colby O'Donis (Los Angeles), Colby O - "Colby O'Donis has got what it takes and there's no turning back" P-RB

River County (Whiteland, Ind.), Rockin' the Country - "tales of love and disaster with pure, honest to goodness storytelling and heavy-hitting music" C-R

Noah and the Whale (London), Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down - "Eventually it occured to Charlie that his compulsion to expel in song his deep-seated morbid anxieties might serve some public purpose" B-F-P

Blue Condition (Dallas), The Memphis Sessions - "The songs cross over several genres but certainly are powerful, well-written rock music" P-R


Blindsided (HBO Documentary) - "Tells the story of a devoted family thrown into turmoil by a child's eye disease" N/A (and damn depressing)


No Depression: The Next Generation (The Bookazine, Whatever That Is) - "This debut issue centers on the regeneration of the roots music community" F-C-R


**Devin the Dude, Landing Gear - "Complex Magazine has dubbed Devin 'the Richard Pryor of rap" R-RB

*KANUDE, Amercicronica - "KANUDE's music takes the listener on a familiar journey through uncharted terrtories" R-P-B-C (Cactus Music, October 17)

*Small Sounds, The Small Sounds - "Hope you like it!" I-R-F (October 20, Big Top)

- Chris Gray

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray