SONNY LANDRETHSouth of I-10
LANDRETH WRENCHES YOUR breath away with his welding of finger-picking and bottleneck slide guitar playing styles. It propels this wicked masterpiece along like a nuclear-powered train racing toward a meltdown somewhere on a foggy Louisiana bayou.
A Southern moon casts long, voodoo shadows over the biggest, bad-assed rock album you've heard in a long, long time. Cajun accents, bullets of blues and snatches of on-the-verge-of-psychosis Creole waltzes echo throughout, but at it's core this is just great rock and roll.
THE BEATLESLive On The BBC (double album set)
THE NUMEROUS BOOTLEGS have been put to rest with this lovingly produced collection. I suspect that anything of a remotely listenable nature has been included in these 57 tracks, although the whacky 1963 version of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" is conspicuous by it's absence. How could the corporate lawyers, I mean producers, not include a ditty where the lyrics include "Tie me dingo down, Ringo, tie me dingo down?" Fans of the Hamburg-era R&B Beatles will find this a field day of Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins covers, delivered with a crude human energy. Amen.
BIG HEAD TODD & THE MONSTERSStrategem
THEY MAY CLAIM a deliberate, therefore clever, misspelling for their title, but Boulder's least likely export ain't foolin' nobody: this is a warmed-over, derivative roots rock for frathouse beer blasts being passed off as some kinda New Thang.
There's amiable, twangy cowpunk (title cut), like Skynyrd done Meat Puppets style--but Texas Instruments does it far better and with more verve. Then there's smoothly polyrhythmic Deadhead funk ("Wearing Only Flowers")--easily the best tune Jimmy Buffett left off his last record. And there's even some good-timey pop with supple yet too-familiar guitar licks ("Angel Leads Me On")--rumor has it that Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler is suing these guys for character impersonation.
GRANT LEE BUFFALOMighty Joe Moon
ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE couldn't be any more lame, but they somehow tagged Grant Lee Phillips as their "male vocalist of the year." They probably haven't even heard him sing, which is a shame, because his deeply resonant style and songwriting versatility truly is worthy of the positive attention. "Mockingbirds" is the definition of eccentric mesmerization--and also sports the most colorful music video of the decade. Grant Lee Buffalo has managed to create something new and altogether hypnotic. A few awkward and bombastic misfires keep the LP on the cusp of perfection.
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