SAL GOES TO ITALY FOR THE WEEK: EATS PASTA, LISTENS TO CLAUDIO VILLA
TONY & ROB STAY IN NEW YORK: EAT CHINESE TAKEOUT, LISTEN TO YMA SUMAC
TONY WRITES NEWSLETTER SOLO!
TONY GETS SICK OF WRITING HEADLINES, MOVES ONTO NEXT WEEK'S NEW RELEASES
TONY'S PICK OF THIS WEEK, WHICH WE FORGOT TO MENTION LAST WEEK!
RAY CHARLES & THE COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA - RAY SINGS, BASIE SWINGS. Ray Charles wasn't writing or recording particularly good material in the mid '70s, when these previously unreleased live tracks were taped, but as a vocalist he was still on top of his game. So Concord's decision to overdub the muddy sounding backings with brand new tracks from the Count Basie Orchestra isn't actually as ghoulish as the writeups may lead you to believe. My two favorite tracks are both covers of then-contemporary hits: the most soulful "Long And Winding Road" you'll ever hear; and a "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma" that swings like a mother. The new orchestrations fit the old vocals like a glove. Much more so than the zillion-selling "Genius Loves Company," this shows why Brother Ray was called a genius in the first place.
And now... NEXT WEEK'S NEW RELEASES!
BURT BACHARACH & FRIENDS - GOLD. 41 tracks on two CDs by one of the rock era's greatest songwriters, performed in their hit versions by Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, the Carpenters, Pretenders, Elvis Costello, Neil Diamond, Cher and many more.
TONY'S IN-LAWS' PICK OF THE WEEK!
JIMMY BUFFETT - TAKE THE WEATHER WITH YOU. I like wearing Hawaiian shirts and drinking frozen girly drinks as much as anyone, but I've never understood the appeal of Buffett's music. Clearly I'm in the minority, however, as his last album sold approximately 300 bazillion copies. So, um... this is his new album, which I'll probably be forced to listen to by my Parrothead in-laws.
JON CLEARY - ALLIGATOR LIPS AND DIRTY RICE. The first album by one of the musicians that keeps Sal going back to New Orleans on a regular basis, now issued for the first time in the USA!
LLOYD COLE - ANTIDEPRESSANT. The guy is a pretty accomplished singer-songwriter who's recorded some fine things over the last twenty years. But nothing I write could be as eloquent as what our distributor has penned about Cole's latest release: "He twist forgotten youthful dreams with afterthoughts of Scarlet Johnson. Enwitng leaving lovers and thr grateful thoughts left behind." Thank you.
ROGER DALTREY - GOLD. Not to be outdone by Who-mate Pete Townshend's recent "Gold" compilation, Rog gets in on the act with this career-spanning best-of. 34 tracks spanning his entire solo career to date, newly remastered and nicely annotated!
DEAD CAN DANCE - WAKE: THE BEST OF. I saw them live in the early '90s, and they were pretty boring, but their records are very pretty -- like Enya with a goth edge. This 2 CD compilation covers the band's entire 17 year career.
ROB'S PICK OF THE WEEK!
WAYNE HANCOCK - TULSA. I'm letting Rob, the Hancock fan in the office, take this one: "Produced by Lloyd Maines, a great pedal steel player and Dixie Chick Natalie's dad, this is like night and day from the Dixie Chicks, because he's a real country guy. This is one of the finest Wayne Hancock albums -- his first studio album in five years, and it's classic honky-tonk and Western swing. If you want to discover 'Wayne The Train,' this is a good album to start with."
NEW BARBARIANS - BURIED ALIVE: LIVE IN MARYLAND. The first ever official release of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood's late '70s side project, also featuring Keith Richards, fellow former Faces member Ian McLagan, Stones sax player Bobby Keys, Stanley Clarke, and Ziggy Modeliste of the Meters. Wow!
ROBERT POLLARD - NORMAL HAPPINESS. The former Guided By Voices frontman is still recording albums in less time than it takes most of us to floss. His two other 2006 releases have been stronger and more inspired than most of the later GBV albums, so this could be a goodie.
ROBERT RANDOLPH & THE FAMILY BAND - COLORBLIND. Randolph's third album is a continuation of his trademark mix of funk, soul, rock, gospel and blues. Feautres special guests Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, and Leela James.
SISTER HAZEL - ABSOLUTELY. Wow, someone's still letting them make records?
SOUNDTRACK - AMERICAN HARDCORE: THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN PUNK ROCK 1980-86. Sal and I scoffed when we heard about this movie and accompanying soundtrack, but the next day we were blasting Bad Brains and early Hüsker Dü in the office. Dunno if we could take a steady diet of hardcore, but as a change of pace, this 26 track anthology fits the bill. Black Flag, MDC, Minor Threat, Scream (Dave Grohl's first band!), Bad Brains, Flipper, D.O.A. and many more. Reagan sucks, ARRRRRGGGHHHHH!
SPARKS - BIG BEAT. Their 1976 album featuring NYCD alum Sal Maida on bass, now remastered with 7 bonus tracks! What's not to love?
ROD STEWART - STILL THE SAME: GREAT ROCK CLASSICS OF OUR TIME. Anything is better than Rod singing standards, even if it means he's now covering hits by Bread, Bonnie Tyler and the Eagles. Although he also covers Badfinger, Bob Dylan and Creedence, so maybe it doesn't suck as much as I hope it does.
STING - SONGS FROM THE LABYRINTH. You can stop holding your breath now -- Sting's long-awaited Elizabethan lute album is here! Includes songs, instrumentals (featuring Edin Karamazov, the Frank Marino of the lute), and -- are you ready? -- recitations! Oh joy! Get those orders in early!
NIKKI SUDDEN - TRUTH DOESN'T MATTER. Since every artist immediately becomes more popular on his or her death, I thought I'd mention the last album by the late singer-songwriter-rocker and founding member of Swell Maps and the Jacobites, who died earlier this year. I never paid attention to him when he was alive, but his small cult is an unusually passionate one, so maybe we missed out on something.
YOU CAN ORDER ANY OR ALL OF THESE FINE RELEASES, PLUS ANY CDs OR DVDs WE DIDN'T MENTION IN THE NEWSLETTER, BY EMAIL (HEYNYCD@aol.com) OR PHONE (212) 244-3460!
WE NEED YOUR OLD CDs AND DVDs! TRADE THEM IN FOR NEW STUFF OR GET COLD HARD CASH! EMAIL OR CALL!
STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK FOR THE RETURN OF SAL!
UNTIL NEXT WEEK, WE LEAVE YOU WITH THIS:
HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY to all those nice folks throughout the US of A who are making such a big stink about kicking all the illegal immigrants out of the country. Obviously they must all be Native Americans, or else they'd realize that their own forefathers came here from somewhere else and they're being big ol' hypocrites.