Saturday, May 31, 2008

Randy Newman's Seabiscuit

Newman's score effectively conjures up vivid memories of the 2003 melodrama directed by Gary Ross. This is nice enough stuff, but I prefer Newman's more whimsical work ("Cars," "Leatherheads").

Friday, May 30, 2008

David Johansen's Live It Up

American Beat Records, the coolest reissue label on Earth, recently unearthed a bunch of the once and current New York Doll's solo efforts, all of them worth your ear time. This, a lively concert recording, is the best of the lot, with Johansen improving on his studio efforts and delivering smoldering renditions of Animals classics and "Build Me Up Buttercup."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pink Floyd's The Basics (iTunes)

The appeal of this band always escaped me, but there it was, a smartly-selected anthology of 25 songs on my girlfriend's iTunes, put there by her 17-year-old daughter who also digs the Dead. Pink Floyd were album artists for sure, but they comp nicely. My favorite is "Wish You Were Here," a song whose appeal is so great that a lot of the local bands play it frequently, but as Dylan would say, there's nothing to turn off. Still, nothing here knocks me out as much as David Gilmour's guitar solo on Paul McCartney's "No More Lonely Nights."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rolfe Kent's Sideways

Score to Alexander Payne's superior comedy is rare in that it works outside the context of the film. Engaging pseudo-jazz, bouncy for the most part. And you gotta love those song titles!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else

Okay, this is a no-brainer. Cannonball plus Miles plus Blakey? There's no word for it, except "DAMN!"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation's Mighty Rearranger

Perhaps the best of Plant's solo albums, Mighty Rearranger finds the former Golden God and his band successfully merging Eastern and African sounds with the blooze that has permeated our guy's work since the Band of Joy days. The 2007 Rhino reissue includes five bonus tracks, the highlight of which is the extraordinary "Red, White and Blue."