MP3 SAMPLES (ALMOST) ON OUR BLOG FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE!
SUMMER IS (ALMOST) OVER!
THESE HEADLINES ARE (ALMOST) FUNNY!
and now... NEXT WEEK'S NEW RELEASES!
So what do you get when the greatest singer-songwriter of all time releases a new record? A big ol' musical chubby, that's what. After over 20 years of releasing mostly fair-to-middling records, BOB DYLAN somehow turned into a genius again with the release of TIME OUT OF MIND in 1997 and LOVE AND THEFT in 2001. And now he's back with what could easily be called the completion of the trilogy, MODERN TIMES. Recorded with his current touring band, MODERN TIMES is as strong as his previous two records. Dylan sounds inspired, the band is cooking, and he even manages to take two blues classics that have been beaten into the ground by countless cover versions, "Rollin' And Tumblin'" and "The Levee's Gonna Break," and reinvent and reignite them. Not to mention two of the best Dylan originals in recent memory, "Workingman's Blues #2" and "Ain't Talkin'," which are both monumentally moving. If you like Dylan at all, you shouldn't even be thinking about whether to get this record.
BEACH BOYS - PET SOUNDS (40TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION). We won't argue that this is one of the greatest records of all time and a huge influence on everyone from Paul McCartney to Frank Black. But to celebrate its 40th anniversary by releasing an almost identical package to the last two reissues seems unnecessary. True, this does come with a DVD that features a "Making Of" promotional film, a bunch of still photos, and deluxe fuzzy packaging... OK, fine, maybe it is worthwhile. We like fuzzy.
DREAM THEATER - SCORE: 20TH ANNIVERSARY WORLD TOUR LIVE. All new 3 disc set with over 3 hours of live music, 90 minutes of it performed with a full orchestra, recorded at New York's own Radio City Music Hall. Air guitarists rejoice!
RAY LAMONTAGNE - TILL SUN TURNS BLACK. His debut release was a critical success and caused a minor stir amongst fans who think that Van Morrison doesn't put out enough records every year, and this new record is sure to cause an even more minor stir.
SAM MOORE - OVERNIGHT SENSATIONAL. The legendary Soul Man, and one half of Sonny & Cher, releases his star-studded new studio record. Some of the stars studding this release include Sting, Jon Bon Jovi, Van Hunt, and Bruce Springsteen. Also features the last recorded music from the late great Billy Preston.
JESSICA SIMPSON - A PUBLIC AFFAIR. When not splitting the atom and reading Susan Sontag, Simpson spends a lot of time eating paste and adjusting her bosoms. OK, we admit it, the first single is kind of a catchy little ditty. But so is pink-eye.
PETE TOWNSHEND - REISSUES. Promised years ago and finally hitting the streets, one of the four pedophiles in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame sees his solo catalog remastered with a plethora of bonus tracks and new liner notes added. Titles include WHO CAME FIRST, ALL THE BEST COWBOYS HAVE CHINESE EYES, EMPTY GLASS, the masterpiece ROUGH MIX, recorded with Ronnie Lane, all three SCOOP compilations, and the four terrible ones he put out starting in the late '80s.
WATERBOYS - FISHERMAN'S BLUES (COLLECTORS EDITION). Out for the first time in the States, this cult classic now includes a bonus disc of previously unreleased tracks.
PETE YAWN -- er, YORN - NIGHTCRAWLER. Nightcrawler is that perfect mix of pop craftsmanship with singer-songwriter sensibilities, it says here in our new release booklet. We know he has fans. And we're happy for him.
REISSUE OF THE WEEK!
One of our favorite records of the year is by a not-so-new-but-new-to-us artist, JAMES HUNTER, titled PEOPLE GONNA TALK. After listening to that one 79 times in a row, we found out that he has two previous records, both out of print. Until now, that is! BELIEVE WHAT I SAY, Hunter's second album, originally released in 1996, sees its US debut this Tuesday. With guest duets from Doris Troy and Van Morrison, this record is the prequel to the the soul shakin' classic R & B of People Gonna Talk. Great singer (think Sam Cooke meets Georgie Fame), great guitarist, and a great songwriter, too.
#7 on Sal's Top Ten list of the year so far is THE DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND's WHAT'S GOING ON. In the wake of Katrina, Marvin Gaye's political masterpiece takes on new meaning and gets completely reinvented by these New Orleans legends, with guest spots by Bettye Lavette, Ivan Neville, G. Love and Chuck D. This is not just a walk through tribute album land. This is a real winner.
Also out this week are NEW JAZZ RELEASES by:
DAVE HOLLAND QUINTET - CRITICAL MASS. LOUIS HAYES & THE CANNONBALL ADDERLEY TRIBUTE BAND - MAXIMUM FIREPOWER. KENNY GARRETT - BEYOND WALL. JACQUI NAYLOR - COLOR FIVE. TOMASZ STANKO - LONTANO.
YOU CAN GET ANY OR ALL OF THESE RELEASES, OR ANY OTHER CDs AND DVDs YOU MAY BE LOOKING FOR, BY CALLING US AT (212) 244-3460 OR EMAILING US AT HEYNYCD@aol.com!
The first time I saw Jonathan Batiste perform, he was 17 years old and part of a hot 'n' sweatyMaurice Brown jam at the Funky Butt in New Orleans. He was one of two Hammond B3 players, along with two horns, bass, and drums, all crammed into a tiny space in the front of the club. It was a version of Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Dance" that I still can't shake from my memory. (I'm not trying too hard, to be honest) The band smoked, as Maurice and his cats always do. But it was Jonathan that left the impression that particular night. Long arms that kept him further back from the keyboard than most, and a certain confidence in his playing that transcended the room, it was hard to keep your eyes off of him.
The next time was this past April and he was fronting his own trio in the Jazz Tent at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. (photo taken by Sal) As a 20 year old musician, you're pretty much a seasoned veteran in New Orleans. Decked out in a three piece suit and suspenders, he wowed the already enthusiastic crowd with his Monk via Professor Longhair performance. A few Monk standards and some Batiste originals made up a set that was a perfect mix of everything you hope for in a Jazz Fest performance. It was the first set of the first day of the first weekend, and I had already found my moment of the week.
I saw Jonathan Batiste again last night, at Dizzy's Club. Backed by Ivan Taylor on bass and legendary drummer Louis Hayes, Batiste once again took over the room. Or tried to, at least. Unfortunately, a Monday night set by some upstart, isn't really as exciting for a family of 8 from Finland who were too busy devouring their chicken and ribs to notice any musicians on stage. The band was obviously thrown together for this performance, and while not quite as comfortable as he is with his usual trio, Batiste played off of Louis Hayes' lead and together they burned through "Green Chimneys" and "Evidence," two Monk tunes, as well as some originals off Batiste's new CD"Live At the Rubin Museum."
The highlight of the evening was when Batiste introduced 20 year old vocalist Jennifer Sanon. What came next was one one of the most beautiful performances in recent memory. They opened this portion of the set with an amazing rendition of "Good Morning Heartache." Sanon's reading of this Billie Holiday tune made the hair on my neck stand up. There was no oversinging and no vocal theatrics. Sanon sang this song as if she had been singing it her whole life. The crowd put down their wings and bleu cheese, and payed attention. Then came, "Embraceable You," "All Of Me," and an original called "Jen's Blues," all sung with the same grace and perfect pitch as the opening. It was hard to believe that this brilliant set of music was put together by two people who are not yet old enough to drink.
Keep your eyes and ears open for Jonathan Batiste and Jennifer Sanon. They are worth your time and money. And more importantly, they are making music that is pure and lasting. This is what I call "Back To Basics."
MORE THOUGHTS ON XTINA This is a letter from an NYCD customer and Blog devotee, who at first, was a bit excited by the hype surrounding "Back To Basics," the new Christina Aguilera CD. After listening, he....well...read on.
I listened to the album from beginning to the end with no interruptions. With each cut I got more pissed off. There’s not a memorable memory or hint of originality in any of it. Short phrases cobbled together constitute the melodies. None of them matter as they are just launching points for her to do vocal exercises. Her singing is like the speed metal guitarists that were prevalent in the ‘80’s. They can play a hundred notes a second but none of them matter. I listen to people like Chrissie Hynde or Shelby Lynne or Bonnie Raitt who may not be able to match her vocal histrionics but can convey more with their silence than current singers can with all their laryngymnastics (copyright pending).
I agree with what you said in the newsletter. She tries to come off as someone who is trying to pay homage to all these great singers of the past but she doesn’t get it.
The pinnacle of this masturbation session is the song ‘Thank You (Dedication to the Fans)’ which contains countless messages from fans who thank her for everything from saving their lives to curing the carbuncles on their butts. You’d think she’d cured cancer. She should have called it ‘I’m so fabulous, the world can’t to without me’.
I saw her on Letterman this week (before listening to the album) and she started with doing those f*****g arpeggios. OK. We get it. You did your vocal exercises when you were a kid. Keep those cards and letters coming, folks.
TONY AND SAL'S END-OF-SUMMER BEST OF 2006 SO FAR LIST!
CHRISTINA AGUILERA: WHY WE DON'T LIKE HER AND WHY YOU SHOULDN'T EITHER
BRUNO KIRBY R.I.P.
and now... NEXT WEEK'S NEW RELEASES! VARIOUS ARTISTS - FROM THE BIG APPLE TO THE BIG EASY: THE CONCERT FOR NEW ORLEANS (DVD). On Sept. 20, 2005, Madison Square Garden hosted one of the first benefits for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Featuring such New Orleans greats as Allen Toussaint, Buckwheat Zydeco, Irma Thomas, Dave Bartholemew, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Neville Brothers, and the Original Meters, as well as pop heavyweights Elton John, Simon & Garfunkel, Lenny Kravitz, John Fogerty, Jimmy Buffett, Cyndi Lauper, and, of course, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall, or as we like to call them, "Elvis n' Di." Two DVDs worth of musical genius, featuring amazing performances by New Orleans giants you may not be familar with, plus inspired sets by the people you know and love. The proceeds from the DVD go entirely to benefit the victims of Katrina, so when you buy it, you're not only getting some great music, you're helping out people in need. What's not to love?
PRINCE - DIAMONDS & PEARLS (DVD). First time on DVD for this collection of video clips and concert footage. All proceeds go to the Assless Pants Foundation.
Another DVD that's already out but we keep forgetting to mention -- THE CLASH - RUDE BOY (DVD). Partly a documentary, partly... not a documentary, this features great live footage of the Clash at the peak of their career. First time on DVD!
DAVID GILMOUR - DAVID GILMOUR & ABOUT FACE (REISSUES). Originally released on Columbia in 1978 and '84, respectively, and long out of print, Pink Floyd guitarist Gilmour gets remastered on Capitol. No bonus tracks, but they're priced to move!
GOV'T MULE - HIGH AND MIGHTY. One of the hardest working men in show business, Warren Haynes releases his band's new studio album, which shies away from the lengthy jams of their live shows and focuses on big, Zeppelin-esque riffs and an AC/DC-like four-on-the-floor beat for most of this tunestack.
SOPHIE B. HAWKINS - LIVE: THE BAD KITTY BOARD MIX. As Sophie herself says, "For me, this CD is about the improvisations, not the songs you already know. Like an instrument of our heart using the breath of our soul to speak, to cry out." Yeah, sounds great, Soph. We'll take a box.
PARIS HILTON - PARIS. There are things worse than the lead single from this heiress-turned-whore, namely the other eleven songs on the record. Whatever. Leave her be. If we had a trillion dollars, we'd probably be making bad records and documenting our oral sex abilities, too.
NOUVELLE VAGUE - BANDE A PART. The French band who takes all your favorite '80s songs, lounges them up, and makes them suitable for playing in all your favorite Upper West Side restaurants is back with more of the same "Boy, this is really cute for five minutes, but really sucks after ten" kind of stuff, although we're curious about their Cramps cover.
PRINCE - ULTIMATE PRINCE (2 CDs). Long delayed after the umpteenth battle between Prince and Warner Bros., this 2 CD retrospective gives you one disc of the obvious hits and another of remixes and B-sides, some of which are making their debut on an officially released CD. Most diehard Prince fans will have all of this material, but for people looking for more than just a 12 track best-of, this set is 4 U!
P.F. SLOAN - SAILOVER. The first studio album in many a year from the legendary songwriter, this new set features some new takes on older Sloan stuff, with special guest appearances by Lucinda Williams, Frank Black, Buddy Miller, and Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals.
VARIOUS ARTISTS - ROGUES GALLERY: PIRATE BALL. Producer Hall Willner, along with an all-star lineup that features Bono, Sting, Nick Cave, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed, Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams, and Rufus Wainwright, sing sea chanteys and more about pirates' treasures, the horror of the sea, and barnacle glue.
M. WARD - POST-WAR. Singer-songwriter whose last record, "Transistor Radio," was a critics fave, releases his fifth album with a little help from some friends, most notably Neko Case.
BIG RELEASE OF THE WEEK!
OUTKAST - IDLEWILD. Andre 3000 and Big Boi, the Harvey Keitel and Lorraine Bracco of the hip-hop world, finally release their 3-years-in-the-making followup to the extraordinary "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below," which also doubles as the soundtrack to their upcoming film of the same name. Advance word is that this release is super-hot, and based on the couple of tracks that we've heard, we agree.
ORDER ANY OR ALL OF THESE FINE, FINE CDs AND DVDs by email (HEYNYCD@aol.com) or phone (212-244-3460)! And feel free to order anything we didn't mention, too!
SAL AND TONY'S TOP TEN OF THE YEAR SO FAR!
It's still summertime and most of the big new releases of 2006 haven't even come out yet, but we've found plenty of great records to listen to. Here are our lists:
SAL: 10. TWILIGHT SINGERS - POWDER BURNS. 9. LINDA RONSTADT & ANN SAVOY - ADIEU FALSE HEART. 8. CORRINE BAILEY RAE - CORRINE BAILEY RAE. 7. DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND - WHAT'S GOING ON. (out on 8/29!) 6. RACONTEURS - BROKEN BOY SOLDIERS. 5. BOBBY PREVITE - COALITION OF THE WILLING. 4. JAMES HUNTER - PEOPLE GONNA TALK. 3. ELVIS COSTELLO & ALLEN TOUSSAINT - THE RIVER IN REVERSE. 2. STANTON MOORE - III. (out in September!) 1. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - WE SHALL OVERCOME: THE SEEGER SESSIONS.
TONY: 10. NEKO CASE - FOX CONFESSOR BRINGS THE FLOOD. 9. TWILIGHT SINGERS - POWDER BURNS. 8. FRANK SINATRA, JR. - THAT FACE. 7. ELVIS COSTELLO & ALLEN TOUSSAINT - THE RIVER IN REVERSE. 6. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - WE SHALL OVERCOME: THE SEEGER SESSIONS 5. RACONTEURS - BROKEN BOY SOLDIERS. 4. GNARLS BARKLEY - ST. ELSEWHERE. 3. THE ESSEX GREEN - CANNIBAL SEA. 2. JAMES HUNTER - PEOPLE GONNA TALK. 1. BELLE & SEBASTIAN - THE LIFE PURSUIT.
These lists are subject to change once the following CDs are released:
UPCOMING FALL RELEASES, MANY OF WHICH WILL PROBABLY MAKE OUR TOP TEN LISTS!
BOB DYLAN THE ROOTS MOTORHEAD BLACK CROWES RAY LAMONTAGNE AUDIOSLAVE BEYONCE DIANA KRALL BLACK KEYS JOHN MAYER MADELINE PEYROUX SHAWN COLVIN BOB SEGER KASABIAN ELTON JOHN ROBERT RANDOLPH SCISSOR SISTERS LOS LOBOS LEMONHEADS TV ON THE RADIO
And that's only through September! So if you missed any of what's on our lists, you'd better start catching up now!
AND WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, SELL US YOUR OLD CDs AND DVDs! Call or email!
CHRISTINA AGUILERA - BASICALLY, WE DON'T LIKE HER
First of all, let's clarify something. We're not just being snarky because we think our musical tastes are above appreciating a huge pop star. We were genuinely curious about BACK TO BASICS, especially when Christina kept mentioning in interviews how it was influenced by singers like Billie Holiday and the Andrews Sisters. Love her or hate her, there's no denying she's got a big voice. And love her or hate her, there's no denying that with the exception of one song, called "Candyman," which utilizes a drum machine playing a swing beat while Aguilera sings the melody in three part harmony to the tune of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," nothing on this record sounds like Billie Holiday, the Andrews Sisters, or anything other than Christina Aguilera's other records. Which is fine, but don't call it a jazz record. It's like calling a tuna fish sandwich a hot dog.
It's not the record we hate so much as the marketing behind it, and the people falling for it. It's a decent pop record -- some winners, some clunkers. But if Aguilera is boasting about the influences behind it, cleaning up her act, and dressing like Jo Stafford, why the hell does all of the first disc sound like any generic top 40 song? It only makes us think "What a lousy jazz record." And what gets our goat is that poor, unsuspecting shnooks will fall for the hype, thinking it's an entree into the world of jazz. Imagine how disappointed they'll be if they actually buy a Billie Holiday CD and she's not whooping and growling and yelling and screaming and all the other histrionics that Aguilera employs on all her songs.
In closing -- as usual, without hearing a note of Back To Basics, we automatically hated every second of it, because of the false hype, not to mention Christina's pointing out in every interview how she'd get inspired to record the album by putting on red lipstick. If she really wanted to sing like Billie Holiday, she should've tried shooting heroin. The bottom line is, we listened to the whole thing. It's a C+ pop record, being devoured and loved by people who should know better, and have yet to listen to a single note by Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, or any of the legends that Aguilera cites as inspiration. Hey, we didn't start with the comparisons -- she did.
UNTIL NEXT WEEK, WE LEAVE YOU WITH THIS:
The great character actor BRUNO KIRBY passed away this week at the age of 57. His performances as the young Clemenza in "The Godfather Pt. II" and Billy Crystal's best friend in "When Harry Met Sally" are just two of his many great moments onscreen. And as a not-so-regular customer of NYCD, he was always friendly and respectful. And he loved Harry Nilsson. He will be missed.
TOM PETTY's excellent new album, Highway Companion, has gotten us listening to a lot of his older material as well. After much deliberation, coupled with boredom brought on by a slow day at the office, we have determined that Tom Petty sings with four separate and distinct voices:
1. THE DRAWL. Used mostly on his earlier recordings, such as "A Woman In Love" -- "Sheeza wowmuh ee-uh laaaaaaahhhhhve." His enunciation seems to have improved over the years, as he rarely employed The Drawl after the mid '80s, although the chorus of "Free Fallin'" is great Late Drawl.
2. THE HIGH-PITCHED QUAVER. As The Drawl was gradually phased out, The High-Pitched Quaver was utilized more and more, although it's in evidence as early as "Here Comes My Girl." The vast majority of his new album is H.P.Q., while the best-known example may be "Into The Great Wide Open."
3. THE QUASI-DYLAN. Not quite singing, not quite speaking, it sounds like Petty's doing a sorta half-assed Bob Dylan impersonation. The quintessential Q.D. is when he sings the title phrase of "Yer So Bad," before switching to High Pitched Quaver on the next line. He employs Quasi-Dylan on many songs, but rarely for more than a line or two. Surprisingly, "Jammin' Me," which Petty co-wrote with Dylan, has more Drawl than Quasi-Dylan.
4. THE PSEUDO-MEXICAN ACCENT. The Drawl taken to the next level. Frequently used on early classics like "A Woman In Love" ("Don' say a wor', don' seh naah-theen") and "Breakdown" ("Issawright if you lahve meh/Ees awrigh' eef you dun'") but rarely, if ever, since then. And that's probably a good thing, in this age of political correctness. Although it would be great to hear him do a cover of "Cuban Pete."
So what are you waiting for? Put on some Petty and find out how many voices you can hear! (Tony's spent the last day saying things like "OK, that's Pseudo-Mexican in the verse and Drawl combined with High-Pitched Quaver on the chorus...") If you know of any songs that utilize all four Petty voices -- also known as a "Tom Petty Grand Slam" -- email us at HEYNYCD@aol.com with the name of the song and at which point he uses each voice, and you'll be entered in a drawing to win a FREE COPY OF HIS NEW ALBUM!
Tune in next week and we'll discuss all four great songs written by Freedy Johnston!
CHRISTINA AGUILERA - BACK TO BASICS. It's probably not terrible, but hearing her talk about what a big influence Billie Holiday was on the record, and how she "got in the mood" to sing "jazz" by putting on bright red lipstick, is enough to make Peanuts Hucko roll over in his grave. That said, the mash-up of her latest single, "Ain't No Other Man," with the instrumental track from Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman" is pretty great. Do yourself a favor and track it down.
MMMM, THAT OLD CAR SMELL...
Next week sees the re-release of ELLIOT EASTON's CHANGE NO CHANGE, originally released in 1985, and BENJAMIN ORR's 1986 album LACE, both on the Wounded Bird label. Out of print for many years, Easton's record features 12 songs (plus 5 bonus tracks), all co-written with Jules Shear, and has more of a Byrds-like, jangly pop feel than his work with the Cars. Ben Orr's record, which actually had a hit single, "Stay The Night," didn't stray far from the cold electronics of Panorama-era Cars.
ARE YOU FEELIN' THE FUNK?
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD's umpteenth hits compilation, creatively titled GREATEST HITS, is actually worth it this time around, as it comes with a bonus DVD featuring various live performances, including a few from the now-legendary Shea Stadium show.
HEY HEY, IT'S THE EXPANDED EDITIONS!
Unjustly underappreciated by everyone except the reissue department at Rhino Records, the first two records by THE MONKEES (THE MONKEES and MORE OF THE MONKEES) now get remastered and vastly expanded. Each album now features both stereo and mono versions of the original records, many early takes and demos, and outtakes that didn't originally see the light of day -- including a few previously unreleased tracks that Rhino somehow missed the first twenty times they went through the vaults. Seriously, these are great collections, and if you're a fan of '60s pop, you can't go wrong with either of them.
ROGER POWELL - AIR POCKET. Keyboard geek best known for his stint with Todd Rundgren's Utopia follows up his mid '70s synth-fest release, Cosmic Furnace, with the much more accessible Air Pocket. Produced by Rundgren and originally released in 1980, it features the Utopia concert staple "Emergency Splashdown" and the Rundgren-penned "Windows," which not only appeared on Utopia's Oops! Wrong Planet but is also one of the only songs in history whose lyrics feature the word "careened." Thank you.
ALL RAITTY NOW!
The first release from VH-1 Classic's "Decades Rock" series, BONNIE RAITT AND FRIENDS, is a live document featuring Raitt and such friends as Alison Krauss, Norah Jones, Ben Harper, and Keb' Mo'. They play each other's songs both separately and as duets, and it all comes together nicely on both the CD and DVD. Let's hope we see an official release of the ELVIS COSTELLO episode.
FROM SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS
Just when you thought the vaults were empty, here comes a 2 CD Deluxe Edition of SUBLIME's chart-topping 1996 self-titled album. In addition to the hits ("What I Got," "Santeria," and whatever that other one was), you now get 15 bonus tracks, eight of which are previously unreleased. Can the deluxe 2 CD version of School Of Fish's debut be too far off?
MARIA MULDAUR - HEART OF MINE: LOVE SONGS OF BOB DYLAN. Muldaur's career has been getting a bit of a resurgence thanks to some solid releases such as the star-studded Richland Woman Blues and her tribute to Memphis Minnie, Sweet Lovin' Old Soul. This new release again features New Orleans' own David Torkanowsky on piano, as well as Amos Garrett, Hutch Hutchinson, and Cranston Clements. It's a surprisingly good reading of Dylan songs such as "Buckets Of Rain," "Heart Of Mine," "Moonlight," "Golden Loom," and many more.
TRACE ADKINS - DANGEROUS MAN. Don't know if anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line cares, but the new album from the man who brought us "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" is supposedly going to be huge. Available in regular and limited edition packages. We were told that in order to prepare for this release, Adkins listened to some old Tex Ritter and put on red lipstick.
NEXT WEEK'S BIG NEW HIP-HOP RELEASES!
DUBEE A.K.A. SUGAWOLF PIMP DRU DOWN & LEE MAJORS EQUIPTO FED-X JT THE BIGGA FIGGA KEAK DA SNEAK LUNASICC PILLIONARES SYDNEE PWATEEYAY TUM-TUM
YOU CAN PLACE YOUR ORDERS FOR ANY OR ALL OF THESE FINE NEW RELEASES BY EMAIL (HEYNYCD@aol.com) OR PHONE (212-244-3460). We're sure we didn't mention everything you might want, so if there's anything you're looking for, new or old, let us know!
Billboard magazine reports that many indie retailers have been complaining how few new releases are available during the summer months, and how we get drowned in high-profile releases from September to Christmas. Well, obviously, our shorter newsletters are a reflection of the lack of new major releases. Start saving your money now, because between Labor Day and the end of December, you'll be flooded with new music from your favorite artists. What we're trying to say is, it's not our fault there's nothing coming out. Blame the geniuses at the major labels (all two of 'em) as usual!
UNTIL NEXT WEEK, WE LEAVE YOU WITH THIS:
We know you watched Mike Douglas every day at 4 PM. It's OK to be sad. Find time this weekend to sing "The Men In My Little Girl's Life" to the barrista at your local Starbucks while waiting for your latte.
Your friends, Doris Day, Gladys Knight, and Shirley Afternoon
IT'S SO HOT THAT WE DIDN'T HAVE THE ENERGY TO TURN OFF THE FERGIE SINGLE
ELVIS COSTELLO -- ENOUGH ALREADY!
FEW NEW RELEASES TO TALK ABOUT, BUT WE'LL TELL YOU ABOUT THEM ANYWAY
OUT THIS WEEK!
DMX - YEAR OF THE DOG AGAIN. He's supposed to be good, right?
G. LOVE - LEMONADE. The absolute king of scrunchy-face dancing releases his seventh identical album in a row.
VARIOUS ARTISTS - MONSIEUR GAINSBOURG. Franz Ferdinand, Cat Power, Portishead, Tricky, Carla Bruni, and James Iha, among others, lead this celebrity-studded tribute to the great Serge Gainsbourg, which also includes the great Michael Stipe revisiting "L'Hotel," which is French for "The Hotel."
JOURNEY - REISSUES. The great Portuguese singer Steve Perry and friends get their classic late '70s and early '80s catalog remastered, with bonus tracks added, just in case you ever wanted to hear Journey outtakes. But in all fairness, ESCAPE is a really good album. Also released are upgrades of DEPARTURE, EVOLUTION, INFINITY, and GREATEST HITS.
JOE LOVANO - STREAMS OF EXPRESSION. The new record by the great tenor saxophonist, featuring one of the last performances by the amazing John Hicks on piano.
OLLABELLE - RIVERSIDE BATTLE SONGS. After releasing one of the strongest debuts in recent memory, Ollabelle follows it up with more of the same amalgamated stuff that made it so... NEXT! (Gosh, it's hot...)
ALLEN TOUSSAINT - REISSUES. Delayed for a few weeks, we believe these two classic records from the New Orleans legend, SOUTHERN NIGHTS and LIFE LOVE AND FAITH, are finally out and ready to order. Those who ordered before, please re-order!
OUT NEXT WEEK FOR YOUR PRE-ORDERING PLEASURE!
THE CURE - REISSUES. THE TOP, from 1983, THE HEAD ON THE DOOR, from 1985, and 1987's KISS ME KISS ME KISS ME all get newly remastered, and each one features a BONUS DISC chock full of B-sides, remixes and unreleased tracks. Also out as a 2 CD remaster is BLUE SUNSHINE, by Robert Smith's early '80s side project THE GLOVE.
ANI DiFRANCO - REPRIEVE. How much do we dislike Ani DiFranco's music? This album was recorded in New Orleans, and Sal couldn't care less. But if you like her, you'll probably like this.
DIRTY PRETTY THINGS - WATERLOO TO ANYWHERE. The first Libertines-without-Pete Doherty album is finally out in the States, and while it doesn't compare to the Libertines' classic debut album, it's a hell of a lot better than the Babyshambles record.
GIN BLOSSOMS - MAJOR LODGE VICTORY. The most highly anticipated release of the summer... isn't this record.
NINA GORDON - BLEEDING HEART GRAFFITI. How 'bout that Gin Blossoms record?
HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH - LIVE IN CHARLESTON. Are these guys all touring together or something?
Also being released in the "Why the hell are these bands still together? They were selling for $1.99 at NYCD when they were popular 10 years ago" series....
DOG'S EYE VIEW - HEARD YOU MISSED US, WELL WE'RE BACK.
BEMSHI - PRONOUNCED "BEMSHI."
MAGGIE'S DREAM - SYMPHONY OR SCRUNCHY-FACE.
TRIPPING DAISY - I GOT A GIRL PT. 2: I HAD A GIRL
SIGUR ROS - SAEGLOUR (EP). From a band that makes Devendra Banhart sound like a polka party comes yet another unpronounceable, pretentious piece of artsy hooey. Sure to be big! Don't be embarrassed to order it! We need the money more than we need to make fun of you.
SLAYER - CHRIST ILLUSION. Their first album in six years, featuring the first single, "Skeleton Christ," written by Carole Bayer Sager.
TEARS FOR FEARS - GOLD. This 2 CD set features 24 tracks culled from their last 17 best-ofs.
MAVERICKS - GOLD. This 2 CD definitive compilation from Raul and the boys is the first double CD compilation of theirs available in the U.S.
LOUVIN BROTHERS - MY BABY'S GONE: ESSENTIAL 1955-64. 30 tracks from the seminal country duo, who were a huge influence on Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, and many more.
ORDER ANY OR ALL OF THESE FINE RELEASES BY EMAILING OR CALLING! HEYNYCD@aol.com, (212) 244-3460.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG, where we've been very busy updating it so that you, our readers, no longer have to log in or sign on to leave comments, good or bad! See Sal's review of the Dixie Chicks, Tony's review of Wayne Newton, and much much more!
SELL THINGS TO US SO WE CAN SELL THEM ON AMAZON AND YOU CAN BUY THINGS FROM US ON AMAZON!
What the hell are ELVIS COSTELLO and Universal Music thinking?!?!?! Billboard magazine reports that Universal has acquired the rights to Costello's first 11 records (from "My Aim Is True" through "Blood & Chocolate") and will now release "definitive" versions of each of them, with all titles containing exclusive tracks that weren't on the reissues we bought on Rhino two years ago, which had exclusive tracks that weren't on the definitive Ryko editions ten years ago, which had exclusive tracks not on the original Sony releases. Who is the winner here? Are we, as Elvis Costello devotees, expected to shell out another $18 per CD because we need the extra two or three tracks? Are we supposed to feel sorry for the labels when they cry poverty thanks to declining CD sales? Is it any wonder? (And while we're at it, why is anyone allowing Nina Gordon to keep releasing records?)
We know there are people out there reading this newsletter who have plenty to say on this subject, whether it's defending the reissues or simply explaining the label politics to us. But as Costello fans and retailers, this seems like nothing more than a mugging -- and the victims are the fans who are the last remaining CD buyers.
Write to the Attorney General! Write to the Better Business Bureau! Write to Elvis Costello and tell him to put a stop to this madness! Write to Diana Krall and tell her that her husband sweats too much! But take action! (And if any of you have the bonus tracks, let us know -- we're really excited!)
UNTIL NEXT WEEK, WE LEAVE YOU WITH THIS:
Hey Con Ed! Air conditioner, essential. Hamilton Beach blender, non-essential. Got it, shtoonks?
Your friends, "Wipe Me Down" Sachs and Glistenin' Sal Nunziato Call or email!
AND THE AWARD FOR LAMEST LINER NOTES OF THE YEAR GOES TO... I must confess that Third Eye Blind have been a guilty pleasure since "Semi-Charmed Life" splattered itself all over the airwaves a decade or so ago. Their ultra-catchy hooks and 98-cent musings on life and love may have sounded tailor-made for an episode of Dawson's Creek, but they rarely failed to score a direct hit to my pleasure center. Sure, it was a little difficult to tell, say, "Jumper" from "How's It Going To Be" from "Deep Inside Of You." But they had a highly respectable run, scoring a half-dozen hits or so before they faded from sight. I was happy to pick up their new best-of, A Collection, even if its 19 songs are about ten more than I need. But if you're thinking of buying it, don't open the booklet!
The liner notes start off with a fawning essay describing Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins as "a Berkeley lit grad who liked Lou Reed and disliked what [he] called 'institutions.'" Jenkins apparently appreciated Jane's Addiction, who were supposedly a big influence on the band, for the way they "created erotic sonic vistas of virtually topographic dimensions." Uhhh, OK! "Perhaps more significant than their sales," we are instructed to believe, "is Third Eye Blind's cult following and influence on their contemporaries." Like who? Dog's Eye View? Seven Mary Three?
But the best, dear reader, is yet to come: "'It's an interesting thing that happens with music,' Jenkins says. Give it a couple of years and the marketing wears off. And then what's left is the songs.' This collection shows how, with Third Eye Blind, what's left is awesomeness." Dude, I know Third Eye Blind are a pretty sweet band, but is awesomeness, like, a word?
If you can stomach any more, Jenkins does some track-by-track commentary. "Deep Inside Of You," we learn, is "so Suicidal Tendencies." In what universe?! And on "Semi-Charmed Life": "It is often that what is seductive ends up sick and sad." Ain't that the truth!
Isn't it ironic, as another '90s hitmaker once said, that Stephan Jenkins was much more eloquent and less annoying singing "Doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo" than explaining what it means? Let me know when Third Eye Blind reunite with the Spin Doctors and Hootie & The Blowfish for a "Gee, Weren't The '90s Awesome?" nostalgia tour. Until then, someone put a muzzle on the guy.
Saw the Dixie Chicks last night at MSG. That's right, "saw" them. Did NOT hear them. Why? Because the drug-addled, drunken, trippin' hippies at the Led Zeppelin show I saw in February of 1975 were more attentive and well-behaved than the screaming, and mostly yapping freaks at last night's concert. It was one of the only concerts where I actually was hoping for 19,000 people to start an offkey sing-a-long. It would have at least proven to me that people were paying attention.
From the moment the lights went down, the crowd started screaming. Very exciting. From the first mandolin strum of...uh...one of the Chicks, the crowd started....TALKING!! YES! TALKING!
"Oh my God, I love her!" "Look at those heels." "Pam would have loved this. But she's away. Did you see Pam's new haircut?" "Oh my God, I love this." "I'm gonna cry. I love this."
It wouldn't stop. I know you will find this hard to believe, but the din of the conversation actually drowned out the music. The crowd would not stop.
DIXIE CHICK: "This song is for Mel Gibson." PERSON BEHIND ME: "Did she say Mel Gibson? Oh my God, that's so funny. What'd she say about Mel Gibson? Oh my God, that's so funny." DIXIE CHICK: "I know we've been in the papers lately." PERSON IN FRONT OF ME: "WOOOOOOO HOOOOOO! Oh my God, I'm gonna cry. Look, Stanley Tucci. I love this song." MY WIFE: "Well, then shut up and listen to it." DIXIE CHICK: "This is called 'Cowboy Take Me Away'" PERSON TO THE LEFT OF ME: "Oh my God, I'm gonna cry. I love this one. Is that your beer? I can't drink beer. I want one of those champagnes with strawberries. Oh my God, I'm gonna cry."
Well, I really like the new Dixie Chicks CD and I thought hearing them on a suffocating summer night would be a nice way to keep cool. I was wrong. Oh my God, I'm gonna cry.
We do public speaking engagements! You need a couple of witty, bitter, snarky guys to talk about the music industry? Let us know! Email us at HEYNYCD@aol.com! Hey, we've been in the Times, so we know what we're talking about.