ANDREA STRAY/Vacancy: "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" didn't bring you down enough? Something that could have easily slipped in when Lucinda Williams was making albums every six years, Stray rounds up pals from top liner act's bands and comes right in with that pissed off sound that makes you stop and think. A debut that's been gestating for a while, pissed off young ladies living in an anti-Joni Mitchell world will get this right out of the gate. This is why Alanis doesn't have an audience to connect with today---they've gone lo fi and organic.
AO MUSIC/And Love Rages On: The voice of Adiemus joins forces with the AO crew for a set that feels like an Adiemus session coming in touch with the native villages of the world in one of those Paul Winter flavored sessions that takes on a cinema scope rather than a personal vision. At times sounding like it could be a soundtrack for an Imax documentary, this is bold, adult listening that fuses so many world beats together than the best thing you can do is sit back and enjoy the trip. The accessible side of world beat, try having this handy the next time you're stuck in traffic and the local ordinances won't let you multi task while driving. So there!
JEFF TALMADGE/Kind of Everything: A Texas lawyer that says screw it, moves to Atlanta not to work for Greenberg Traurig but to be a folk singer? You had me at hello. Kind of a high tech folkie with Americana leanings, Talmadge is right up the alley for any one looking for a solid, new singer/songwriter with something to say. With a background as a studious type, he learned his lessons well from Van Zandt, Clark etc and presents himself a worthy successor to this august lineage. Check it out.
TRAVIS REUTER/Notational Templates: 60s loft jazz with contemporary flourishes, Reuter and his pals keep it progressive and free reflecting this guitar man's move to New York in 2004 and hanging with all the cutting edge types he can find. Angular jazz for the open eared.
LISA HILTON/Underground: Her co-horts are pretty much the same but the vibe is wildly different,. Letting her normal mainstream jazz fall away, Hilton tackles progressive funk in a light 70s Miles Davis vibe. Cocktail party elephant funk? It's always a treat when an old pro comes in with something new and different that has something going for it other than just being different. Still sort of mainstream but wildly ear opening, Hilton is fully in touch with some universal vibe that lifts this session up and away. Hot stuff.
JEFFERSON FOX/Chronicles of Harvey: This guy wears is outsider status proudly. Mixing Tom Waits with Michael Hurley and having David Allan Coe watch over the experiment, Fox takes you on a tour of the dark side of something in a place where Americana is afraid to go and might just be more interesting if it did. Disguised as a well traveled folk singer, Fox is a real wake up call for singer/songwriter fans that a taste for unrepentant cynicism and reality based angst. The heir apparent to early Leonard Cohen, even if they really have nothing in common, this might be the scariest album since "Songs of Leonard Cohen". Check it out, this will really get the blood flowing.
SCOTT ADAMS/I'm Tempted to Stop Acting Randomly: Every "Dilbert" collection has a refrigerator magnet classic but this set has them coming at you regularly. Of course, the topper has to be Wally sending the boss chain e-mails telling him that if he doesn't forward so many of them, he'll die, and the boss doesn't have enough friends to forward the e-mail to. As "Dilbert" really shines when times are bad, this collection of last year's strips sparkles. And in response to newspapers making it harder on comics and the net breathing down the neck of everything commercial, all strip are in color. A bonafide laugh riot from start to finish, Adams is really in his glory here. Workers of the world, unite!
Volume 34/Number 136
March 17, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record
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