Scott - Tim Barry,40 Miler (drops tomorrow, April 10, 2012, on Chunksaah) Barry's country and folk tunes have never been the coolest or the catchiest in the acoustic-punk pantheon, but they've always been among the most earnest, which makes sense, given the proud blue-collar ethos of his former group, Richmond, Va.'s Avail. Here, Barry collects an album's worth of his most mature and cohesive songs to date. Subtle ornamentation and accompaniment elevate these tracks to a whole new level, and the plaintive "Driver Pull" may be the best thing he's ever written. Title track below.
Ray - Night Beats, Night Beats (2011, Trouble In Mind Records) Lee Blackwell calls the rainy streets of Seattle, Wash. home, but his voice — an oft-warbled, ominous croon reminiscent of a Zeppelin-era Robert Plant — could have easily surfaced from the recesses of a dingy, mold-ridden basement in rural Tennessee. His band, Night Beats, plays an equally grimy brand of pysch-rock where jangly guitars sound like they've been drudged through dust, caked in spit, then washed in the rolling waves of Huntington Beach, Calif. It's a sound that's hard to peg, but one that Night Beats has been fine-tuning since the release of 2010's H-Bomb EP.
"Dwayne's Drone" from their latest self-titled LP is an especially hypnotic mishmash of glitched vocals, sprawling, and swirling guitar textures that is the sonic equivalent of chasing a double shot of cheap whiskey with ice cold Keystone Light. It might sting a bit on the way down, but leaves your face tingly, and makes everything look and feel really good. The band plays New World Brewery next Thursday alongside Tampa's finest retro yacht-rock trio, The Florida Kilos.
Shanna - The Bird and the Bee, "Polite Dance Song" (2009) The greatest video and song ever for this lovely Monday...
Gabe - Gilbert O'Sullivan, I'm a Writer, Not a Fighter (1973) I can't stop listening to this one, the third solo album from the Irish-born pop singer/songwriter Gilbert O'Sullivan. Although best known for his worldwide smash hit, the heart-breaking "Alone Again (Naturally)" from 1972, O'Sullivan has a light-hearted, cheeky side that might surprise those who are unfamiliar with the rest of his catalog. A penchant for bouncy, witty, melodic pop songs is ever-present on this album as is so on all his early work. Harry Nilsson fans would definitely dig this album. Lots of hooks to get implanted in your brain after listening to this one a time or two, that's for sure. Vocally, O'Sullivan is like the missing link between Paul McCartney and Squeeze lead vocalist Glenn Tilbrook. Pure pop to get Monday off to a rousing start!
Shae - Songs: Ohia, "Coxcomb Red" I am the kind of person who can listen to the same song for hours, if not days. My current obsession is "Coxcomb Red" by Songs: Ohia. Jason Molina, Ohia's fountainhead, has one of those voices that chews me up inside and "Coxcomb Red" is just his plaintive voice against subdued guitar. This song, hitting me hot and fast like a strike of lightning, leaves me stunned, breathless, aching. The pain is laser-focused, aimed directly at my viscera. And I like it. I need more. I've set my mp3 player to loop. Listen below.
Valerie - The Beatles, 1 (Greatest Hits) (2000) I grew a serious appreciation for the Liverpool-born pioneer rockers when I spent some time in England a couple of years ago. This album is comprised of all their classics, the perfect solution to quench my Brit craving for the week.
Taylor - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Greatest Hits (1991) Something about the boppiness and the overly-hokey falsetto has me groovin around my office this morning. Great way to start a week with the right attitude.
Infinite Skillz - E-40, "Function" (2012) I haven't heard the full album (The Block Brochure) but I can not get E-40's new song "Function" out of my head and I don't want to. It's an uptempo track featuring E-40's signature vocals and erratic flow, and right now it is the soundtrack to my busy Monday morning. Listen below.
Justin - Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps, The Screaming End: The Best of Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps (1997) Released as a collection in 1997, the songs were originally recorded between 1956 and 1957. This record hits me on all levels, and is rockabilly at its best. This collection includes familiars like "Be Bop a Lula" and "Race With the Devil," as well as deep cuts like "Pink Thunderbird" and "Who Slapped John?" The production on these songs is fantastic for the era, especially the guitar leads by virtuoso Cliff Gallup, which leap out of the record. (Cliff is the guy that Brian Setzer copped all his Stray Cats solo-arrangements from.) The songs themselves are that perfect mix of a uniquely branded overall sound, yet each track remains different and interesting enough that it's easy to listen to all 20 in one sitting. Like most rock & roll recordings from this era, much of it is recorded live in the studio with the whole band playing at once, and you can hear their 15-year-old drummer, Dickie Harrell, screaming in the background while he's playing — which more than likely accounts for the title of the record. The studio engineer in me always finds something new to love within the production of these recordings, but the rock and roller in me can't help but sing along. Listening to this collection always brings me back to when I heard these songs for the first time.
Shanna - The Bird and the Bee, "Polite Dance Song" The greatest video and song ever for this lovely Monday...
Deborah - Chromatics, Kill For Love (2012) The 80's influenced synthy soundtrack to the Ryan Gosling film, Drive, was right up my alley ... atmospheric, gloomy, and yet somehow effortlessly cool. I've been waiting on this album since falling hard for the Chromatics track from that score, "Tick of the Clock."
I was hooked on this release from the first line of the first song, a cover of Neil Young's "Into the Black," that sounds nothing like the nasally folkster's version. The title track and "Back from the Grave" are also standouts, with building urgency and infectious choruses that've been stuck in my head all weekend. It's "Lady," though, that I can't get enough of. Something about this song and it's dark funk beat makes me urgently need to go rollerskating. You know what I'm talking about...black lights on, doing crossovers and spins, with the lights bouncing all around you from the disco ball overhead? Welcome to my springtime jam:
Nicole (elawgrrl) - Lucero, Women & Work (2012) Even though Lucero's Women & Work has been out for a few weeks now, I still have the record in constant rotation. I can't help but smile when I hear the first few notes from the intro to "Downtown" and the good mood continues from there. A lot of longtime Lucero fans were disconcerted when 1372 Overton Park came out because it reflected significant evolution in the band's sound even containing a horn section. Women & Work continues the band's evolution where Park left off. I have been hearing lots of the same naysayers of 1372 Overton Park discussing how they really like the new record. Maybe it just took them some time to realize horns aren't just for ska bands. I am eagerly anticipating Memorial Weekend, when Lucero will be making several FL stops: May 23 in St. Augustine, May 24 in Orlando, May 25 in St. Pete [at State Theater], May 26 in Gainesville and May 27 in Pensacola. Listen to "Downtown" below.
What the CL Music Team is listening to on this fine Monday to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.
Julie - Joyce, "Clareana" (1980) Here's a sweet South American tune to lift you from the Monday doldrums. If I weren't on a Facebook hiatus, I'd post it on my wall. The Youtube link was just e-mailed to me from Brazilian actor Wilson Loria. I met the impish, gotta-pinch-his-cheeks-adorable performer after his stint in the impressive On My Mind ensemble piece in Gulfport. Because I have an unabashed love for Brazil and Brazilians, I gushed to him about Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, bossa nova and Brazilian films. I also shared with Loria (whose last name is Italian like mine) that I'd seen a wonderful singer named Joyce (pronounced Jwoh-say) for the first time at S.O.B. in Greenwich Village in 1997, and it was one of my favorite live shows. The singer born Joyce Moreno wrote the dulcet "Clareana" for her daughters, Clara Moreno and Ana Martins, who appear in the video. With regard to Loria, brilliant actress Ciara Carinci and my new Ecuadoran artist friend Danny, it was a stellar weekend for meeting Latins, Americans and Latin Americans with roots from the boot. This song is a lovely souvenir of these encounters. Now, I'm ready to listen to that new Céu album. Hit me up, Leilani.
I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...