NYCD: The Blog

Wednesday, March 08, 2006




Let's get right to it, shall we?



BIG AL ANDERSON - "AFTER HOURS." New studio record from the extraordinary NRBQ guitarist who quit many years ago to start a new life in Nashville. This record does have a country feel to it, but fans of NRBQ's romps through all genres of music will like it as well.

HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS - "RE-WHIPPED." Herb's 1965 classic "Whipped Cream And Other Delights" gets remixed and revisited, with help from guests like Ozomatli, Medeski Martin & Wood, Mocean Worker, Thievery Corporation and many more, including lots of new trumpet work from Mr. Alpert himself. The result is one of the only albums to ever remix decades-old material and not be an embarrassment to everyone involved. In fact, it's pretty damn good.

BUZZCOCKS - "FLATPACK PHILOSOPHY." With their 2003 self-titled release, the Buzzcocks proved that they still had it, and on their new release, the hot streak continues. A solid record full of hooks, melody, and the punk energy that put them on the map in the first place. If they play their cards right, they could be the new Arctic Monkeys!

NEKO CASE - "FOX CONFESSOR BRINGS THE FLOOD." We love her, she's gorgeous, we love her work with the New Pornographers, we're going to see her at Webster Hall, and we dig her new record. So buy it.

EXENE CERVENKA & THE ORIGINAL SINNERS - "SEV7EN." "Due to personnel changes," it says here in this press release, "her band now includes three members from the Sevenshot Screamers." Well, in that case....

CHEAP TRICK - "DREAM POLICE" & "ALL SHOOK UP" (REMASTERS). A classic and a shoulda-been classic finally get remastered and expanded. "Dream Police," from 1978, was the solid followup to "Live At Budokan," which put Cheap Trick on top of the world for a little while, and "All Shook Up," from 1980, had Sir George Martin behind the boards and the makings of a Beatleesque classic. Unfortunately, it was a little too bogged down in strings and "Sgt. Pepper"-like production to really break through, but it has aged well, and now, with the awesome bonus tracks (including the long-lost "Found All The Parts" EP), both of these are essential.

DAVE DAVIES - "KINKED." We're happy that he's feeling better and creating music again. We're just not that excited about hearing live and studio versions of Kinks classics yet again. But maybe if we get behind him and support this record, he'll be inspired to make some new music. So order it now!

DAVID GILMOUR - "ON AN ISLAND." His first studio recording since Pink Floyd's soul-numbing "Division Bell," this continues where "Division Bell" leaves off -- slow, depressing, and dreamy, with blistering guitar playing throughout most of it. On a positive note, Gilmour's voice sounds just as it did 30 years ago.

GRATEFUL DEAD - REMASTERS. For those of you who didn't get the second super-expensive box set that came out a year or two ago, you can now get the following titles separately, remastered and with bonus tracks: "BLUES FOR ALLAH," "MARS HOTEL," "SHAKEDOWN STREET," "TERRAPIN STATION," and "WAKE OF THE FLOOD."


JAMES HUNTER - "PEOPLE GONNA TALK." First listen made everyone here at NYCD say "What the hell is this great '60s soul record, and how have we not heard it before?" The answer is because it's a new record by a 43 year old British guy. With a voice like Sam Cooke's and songs and arrangements right out of the Stax-Volt studio in Memphis, "People Gonna Talk" is an album that reaches back 40 years for its sound and style, but the singing, playing and songwriting are so good and spot-on that it never sounds gimmicky.

JON LANGFORD - "GOLD BRICK." The latest album from the Mekons' co-founder and a man who rarely lets a week go by without putting out a new record. It just so happens that this one really is good. More mature and introspective than fans of his punkier work would expect, but as passionate as ever -- think latter-day Joe Strummer.

LITTLE WILLIES - "LITTLE WILLIES." Has Norah Jones' popularity turned off so many people that the news of a new record generates about as much excitement as a Quarterflash reunion? We mentioned this two weeks ago, gave it a stellar review, and got little response. Well, it's out, and it's still damn good. Norah, along with Richard Julian and members of her "Feels Like Home" band, runs through some obvious and not-so-obvious country songs, as well as a few originals, showcasing a playful Jones both on vocals and piano. This is a winner, regardless of what Entertainment Weekly said.

VAN MORRISON - "PAY THE DEVIL." Van Morrison has probably released a new record since this came out yesterday morning, but it certainly isn't going to be as good as this one. This was one hell of a surprise to our ears -- not unlike the Little Willies, Van takes a stab at country classics with a few originals, and the results are inspired. One of the best records he's put out in years, regardless of what Women's Wear Daily says.

MATISYAHU - "YOUTH." The best Hasidic reggae record we've heard all week.

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON - "THIS OLD ROAD." Stripped down and raw, not unlike ol' Kris himself, this is a moving record from one of America's songwriting treasures.


DONALD FAGEN - "MORPH THE CAT." His first solo album in 13 years. We guarantee it ain't gonna sound any different from the last one. Pristine production that'll sound like Chuck Rainey is in your living room, lyrics that will make you go "Hmmm, clever," and songs that'll make you realize that Donald Fagen looks just like Richard Nixon. Thank you -- we hope that our description aids you in your decision to buy this CD.

HARD-FI - "STARS OF CCTV." Already out in England, this is the acclaimed US debut from the new British sensation, Hard-Fi, who are the 31st new British sensation this year.


PRETENDERS - "PIRATE RADIO" (BOX SET). The only true rock goddess, except for maybe Lorna Luft, gets anthologized thanks to Rhino/Warner Bros. The remastering would be enough, since their early CDs sound like they were pressed on slices of baloney. But not only do you get 4 CDs worth of remastered goodies, you get a ton of rarities, early UK singles, soundtrack-only covers, B-sides, and three songs that our good friend "Steve With The Knee," America's most fanatical Pretenders fan, had never heard of. It also includes a bonus DVD whose contents we are a bit hazy about. The first 25 copies come with a limited edition Slim Jim autographed by Chrissie Hynde!

PRINCE - "ULTIMATE." The Purple Shmecklehead precedes his new, dumb, no-one-cares-anymore studio release, "3121," with this new, dumb, no-one-cares-anymore anthology, claiming to feature unreleased tracks and remixes.

JULES SHEAR - "DREAMS DON'T COUNT." The somewhat legendary Jules Shear releases his ninth studio album, featuring his usual brand of melancholy, heartbreaking lyrics, a string section and an accordion.

BENT FABRIC - "JUKEBOX." The 82 year old Danish pianist whose only hit single, the immortal "Alley Cat," charted in 1962, somehow gets rediscovered by a bunch of dance music producers, and makes a surprisingly good album. It's not just a bunch of DJs scratching over his old records, either -- it's all-new songs, which Bent himself co-wrote and plays piano on. Ultra-catchy pop a la Smash Mouth, with more danceable beats, including the hit title track, best known as a recent iTunes commercial.

WILLIE NELSON - "YOU DON'T KNOW ME: THE SONGS OF CINDY WALKER." Another Tuesday, another new Willie Nelson record. Cindy Walker's songs have been recorded by Bob Wills, Gene Autry, Eddy Arnold and others, and let's face it, a bad Willie Nelson record is still a good Willie Nelson record. Or was the phrase, "A bad Willie Nelson record beats a good Charles Nelson Reilly record"?

If you want any or all of these records, CALL US (212-244-3460) or EMAIL US (!


Have trouble making it to our office to pick up or sell your stuff during regular business hours? Well, fret no longer -- Tony will be staying late just for you every Wednesday! He's around until at least 6:30, and later if you call with advance warning. Now you have no excuse! Come on by! (as long as you call first and bring Mallomars)


We don't always like the New York Times' Kelefa Sanneh -- in fact, we never do -- but we've gotta admit that this quote from his review of the Matisyahu concert is pretty brilliant: "Perhaps Matisyahu's fans aren't familiar with a little-known group of performers who still make great reggae records: Jamaicans."

Your friends,
Saul Marley and Peter Toshowitz


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