upset by the title (Cut) or the bands name (The Slits).
These mud-covered grrls were a 70s punk band in England, and this, a reissue
of their major opus, (Koch) is a happy, silly, romp through musical mud, kind
of like punk for kindergarten.
Speaking of kindergarten, remember Schoolhouse Rock? If you can still
sing Three Is The Magic Number, sing along with its composer Bob
Dorough on Sunday At Iridium (Arbors Jazz). Dorough, a jazz
man from way back, performs at this New York club every Sunday with his combo,
and this recording of one of his sets shows off his eclecticism and personal
Mark Dignam, a contemporary Irish folk singer, mates acoustic
guitar folk with modern lyric subjects on Box Heart Man (Times Beach
Records). With a touch of humor and an occasional punkish edge, he sings of
a world where one always waits for the next check to come in and where the household
chores must be divvied up.
John Golds subtly sardonic lyrics and deadpan post-punk singing
make The Eastside Shake (www.johngoldmusic.com) an excursion into
the latest angry young man angst, acoustic style.
Shawn Colvins Polaroids (Columbia) brings
together the best tracks from her past albums, including provocative covers
of songs by The Police and Talking Heads, the early Steady On, and
the Grammy-winning Sunny Came Home. Colvins clear, sensual
voice glides gracefully over sad, sweet songs that linger in the mind.
From Milwaukee comes Decibully with their third album, Sing Out
America (Polyvinyl). The title sounds folksy, but the music rocks, with
tuneful songs about current-day angst. Highlight: the a capella Temptation,
which evokes the Beach Boys at that stage just before Smile.
Ive got something new for you, sings John Legend on
his debut Get Lifted (Sony) and does he ever! With extra-smooth
vocals and impressive songwriting, Legend takes the sound of classic R&B
and updates it, helped out by the likes of Snoop Dogg and Kanye West.
Its a tall order, but Legend, like Stevie Wonder, may yet live
up to his chosen surname.
Roscoe Gordon, who passed away in 2002, was a blues artist whose songs
traveled further than he did. Many of these can be found on No Dark In
America (Dualtone), including the uplifting title song, an answer to
9/11, and other songs that showcase Gordons piano chops and humor. Recorded
a few months before Gordons death, this is a legacy to a musician who
never gave up.
Dark, dank, spooky
are the words that come to mind for The Low Lows by Parker
and Lily (Warm). The mysterious voice of Parker Noon sings bleak
thoughts to a quietly ominous electronic beat.
Its party time with the Soul Rebels on Rebelution
(Barn Burner Music). This New Orleans combos mix of jazz, reggae, and
hip-hop is eminently danceable with some changes of pace (the soulful Spend
Some Time) and a lot of great instrumentation reminiscent of a parade
down Bourbon Street.
Chandni (Around The Corner), an Indian word meaning night
light, is the latest album by prolific Danish ambient composer Hjortur.
Its mostly instrumental tracks with vocal touches that soothe and lull
the listener. Hjorturs musical setting of the pop homily, The
Paradoxical Commandments, could be the new centurys Desiderata.
I Was There (IPO) is pianist Roger Kellaways tribute
to Bobby Darin, for whom he served as an accompanist. Kellaway plays
songs originally performed by Darin and demonstrates how good solo piano and
traditional pop can sound.
Hollies Reunion (Fuel 200) is a concert recording from the 1983
reunion tour of one of the best-loved 1960s British bands. With the original
lineup, including Graham Nash, on hand, the Hollies deft lyrics, sprightly
melodies, and strong harmonies sound great for any decade.
The Avila Brothers change pace often on The Mood (Universal),
switching from irreverent scratch street mixes to R&B to rap dance tracks.
Youll hear everything from flutes to what may be the singing voice of
Watch for Playing For Change, an upcoming documentary about street musicians,
scheduled for cable this spring. This soundtrack album (Higher Octave) features
street performers such as the Goat Dirt Road Band, Los Pingues,
and Delta Dream Box, strumming guitars and banjos, playing a true roots
folk music hearkening back to the days of Woody Guthrie.