Tuesday, January 24, 2006

MUSIC: What's On In The Car, Vol. 1

I've decided to introduce a new feature that I'll drop on here from time to time called, What's On In The Car. It's pretty simple. Whenever the fancy hits me, I'll send along a few words about whatever six cds are currently sitting in the six cd changer in my car. Maybe you'll be inspired to check some of these tunes out, maybe not...

So here's the first installment of What's On In The Car (label the record is on in parentheses):

1. Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3---...tick...tick...tick (Down There)
Another total ass-kicker from my man Steve and his wonderful band The Miracle 3. More of what he does, but this time there's a spooky sort of night time desert feel to the proceedings, as they cut this record in Tucson. Great basic two guitars, bass & drums rock, with Steve's typically dark cinematic lyrics on top. He and fellow guitarist Jason Victor are probably the best Television influenced guitar team around these days. www.stevewynn.net

2. The Sir Douglas Quintet---The Collection (Castle Communications)
Picked up a used copy at work of this nice little greatest hits collection cause I didn't have their cover of the 13th Floor Elevators "You're Gonna Miss Me" on anything. Doug & the boys do a more, uh, canabis flavored version compared to whatever the Elevators were on, but it's still pretty rockin' nonetheless. Don't know any other way to say it, so I'll just say it: I can't stand that Doug Sahm is not alive and still making music. http://www.dougsahm.com/

3. Doug Gillard---Salamander (Pink Frost/Big Takeover)
Great solo effort from the former lead guitarist of Guided By Voices, Gem, Cobra Verde & Death Of Samantha. The songs vear to the dark side of the Beatles' White Album street and share the spotlight with Gillard's formidable guitar. Not the greatest of singers, but that's ok. Gillard's voice is still listenable enough to carry the show here, a nice little pop album. www.douggillard.com

4. David Axelrod---The Edge: David Axelrod At Capitol Records 1966-1970 (Capitol Jazz)
If you dig adventurous ‘60's orchestrations, then this compilation of the famed producer’s work for Capitol Records is for you. Known for producing Lou Rawls, Cannonball Adderley, and The Electric Prunes, Axelrod solo records have long been a favorite source of samples for hip-hop & electronica DJs. Some of that work for Rawls and Adderley is represented here, but the bulk of this compilation comes from three of Axelrod’s most innovative and far out solo records, Songs Of Innocence, Songs Of Experience, and Earth Rot. Fans of legendary bassist Carol Kaye should also check this out, as it features some the greatest playing of her extraordinary career. The David Axelrod Information Society

5. The Move---Message From The Country (Reissue) (Capitol)
Ah yes, the mother lode. The 1971 classic, their finest moment, beautifully remastered and repackaged. It’s incredibly hard to convey what this particular music has meant to my existence. I played this record and its companion record Split Ends, just about every day when I was in high school, and on through the years the importance of this music only increases as it continues to influence my musical life. This is Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne---two of the world’s greatest songwriters at the height of their powers as a team, let loose in a studio to do whatever they wanted, resulting in some of the greatest rock music ever recorded. This cd also includes the five monumental singles the band made after the album’s release, all completely essential, plus two album outtakes and a Peel session version of "Do Ya". Already the reissue of the year. www.themoveonline.com

6. Robert Pollard—From A Compound Eye (Merge)
Pollard’s first post-Guided By Voices "big" release is a deeply rich psychedelic masterpiece. As the cd booklet clearly points out, this is an old-fashioned ‘70’s double album with four distinct sides of music. The classic Pollard trademarks are all here: the brilliant melodies, riffs, singing, lyrics, and song craft; but longtime listeners will quickly be able to distinguish that this is definitely not a GBV record. Though not the sound of a rock band playing (Pollard and collaborator Todd Tobias played 99.9% of the instruments), it’s nonetheless one of the "largest" rock records Pollard has ever made. The whole thing plays like 70 minutes of random late night programming from some FM rock station somewhere in 1972---that special period in rock history when established late ‘60's rock sensibilities were merging with the burgeoning new musical sensibilities of the new decade, and any style of music that the term "rock music" could be applied to was all getting played on what was definitely still "free form" radio. Believe it or not, the one thing a majority of these songs remind me of is Peter Gabriel era Genesis, especially in Pollard’s singing---a good thing in my book, but something that may horrify the indie-rock kids, so keep that a secret. Heck, songs from this album like "I’m A Strong Lion" and "Kingdom Without" could have easily fallen off of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. But hey, it’s Pollard, so there is still a lot of rocking out, though this time the Who-flavored power pop is more The Who Sell Out than Who’s Next. I’ve already listened to this record in its entirety about a dozen times, and I continue to hear a hundred or so different things in it with each new spin. What more can you ask for from a rock record? All that’s left to say is the fucker’s done it again. The Pollard legend marches on . . .

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