#MusicMonday, Vol. 29: Rachel Goodrich, Cheap Trick, Middle Brother, and more

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Gabe Cheap Trick, In Color (1977)

Sophomore effort from the Illinios power pop heroes. Trick's magnetism and sheer brilliance hadn't really been fully realized in 1977 but this, in my opnion, is a prime example of what made (and still makes) this band awesome. Well-crafted pop songs laden with plenty of hooks, crunchy guitars, a steady rockin' beat and those pipes, those trademark Robin Zander growls and screams! A perfect pop album in my opinion and my personal favorite in the Trick catalog. This LP came out two years before the relase of the band's milestone live album At Budokan was released and before FM rock radio airwaves were jammed with Cheap Trick music and contains the original studio version of what's become the bands signature tune, "I Want You To Want Me." Guaranteed to get you rocking and to energize...and it'll give you the urge to pull out Heaven Tonight, it's equally stellar follow-up from 1978. Long live the Trick!

Shawn Jerry Butler, Soul Artistry (1967)

I think it's good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while. It's no Ice Man Cometh, but it does the job. If I was home right now I'd be listening to Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall, pre-gaming for the show in St. Pete tomorrow.

Brad Testface, What to Cut (1998)

Found it in the $1 bin at Aquarious Records in San Franciso last week. Sounds like a lethargic Daniel Johnston, but better..if that's even possible.

Infinite SkillzEmilio Rojas, Life Without Shame (2010)

Rojas achieves the rare feat of spitting frenetically while maintaining enough lyrical content to avoid it being seen as a gimmick or sideshow. I've seen his name and heard the "Hold You Down" track he did with Laws, but this is my introduction to him. Consider me impressed.

Taylor Bibio, Mind Bokeh (2011)

Fantastically trippy instrumentals swishing around my head. Great way to start the week.

What are you listening to right now? We want to know! Leave your answer below in the comments section...

The CL Music Team kicks off the week with some new jams (or old) to launch us into a new work week! Here's what we're spinning now

Leilani Rachel Goodrich, Rachel Goodrich (2011)

Ms. Goodrich is one of my favorite Miami exports. She worked with Grammy-nominated music producer Greg Wells (Katy Perry, Rufus Wainwright) to release a follow-up to her 2008 debut, Tinker Toys, last week on her own Yellow Bear imprint. The petite singer-songwriter of charmingly eccentric folk pop and self-styled "shake-a-billy" infuses her music with a bright breeziness that seems to come as naturally as her quirky vaudeville-inspired and Latino-flavored instrumental embellishments on kazoo, ukulele, charango and percussion (hand-claps and whistling included), and her voice takes the jazz-velvety center-stage with lyrics like "I fell in love with your face, honey, not with your heart" set amidst her odd nonsensical ba-ba-ba's, na na na's and other cute vocal bursts. I have a feeling I'll be spinning this one alot...

Ray Middle Brother, Middle Brother (2011)

Delta Spirit has been on permanent rotation in my household ever since my wife took me to see them open for Dr. Dog on Halloween 2007, and after releasing a stellar LP and their most recent Waits Room EP, I thought that frontman Matt Vasquez could do no wrong. Well, I was, indeed, wrong. He recently joined forces with Deertick’s John J. McCauley III and Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and formed a supergroup to play foil to Monsters Of Folk’s sometimes über-mystical vibe. Middle Brother’s self-titled debut LP comes out tomorrow and is truly likeable on the first listen. It’s pregnant with modern Americana written by dudes who are the same age as I am, and the boys keep you on your heels by alternating between finger-picked laments on love (“Daydreaming”), piano-driven barroom shuffles (“Middle Brother”), and throwback, harmony-filled tunes that sound like they belong on the far end of the AM radio dial (“Someday”). My advance copy didn’t come with liner notes, but it’s fun attempting to match the songwriter to the different styles, and at only 50-minutes long, it’s something you can do over and over again.

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