There has been a lot of new releases since the last issue. I would like to share a few of the more interesting and/or noteworthy ones with you.
I, Swinger, Combustible Edison (SubPop)
In the dark, smoke-filled cocktail lounges one can often hear vile and vapid music performed by some equally vapid lounge act. Make no mistake, this CD is lounge music but it is fabulous lounge music. At times it also will remind you of the soundtrack from a B-movie of the 50's. The music floats and draws you into the far-flung archipelagos of hypnotica. From the sound of the cheesy organ to the plinking of the vibraphone you will find this CD to be swingingly sophisticated as well as exotically primitive.
Latin Playboys, Latin Playboys (Slash)
Sounding nothing like Los Lobos (two members are from said band) this CD incorporates a hodgepodge of blues, rock, psychedelica, Latin, and world beat rhythms into one vibrant recording. You will be surprised by what you hear no matter which track you decide to listen to. A totally amazing outing and sure to be one of the years best CD's.
The Bridge Between, The Robert Fripp String Quintet (Discipline)
The string quintet is Trey Gunn, The California Guitar Trio, and of course, Robert Fripp. This is a very intricate and intriguingly beautiful blend of the Trio's acoustic guitar work with the occasional smattering of Fripp's guitar playing and his equally wacky frippertronics. The music presents an exciting challenge for the listener from rock tracks without drums, to Bach pieces with distorted guitar and mood changes as extreme as that between the beauty of "Hope" and the terrifying despair of "Threnody For Souls in Torment." I hope you are up to the task.
Aye, Angelique Kidjo (Mango)
This eagerly awaited follow-up to her debut album Logozo is in most respects just as gratifying. An excellent example of afro-pop sung in the native language of Benin, one does not need to understand the words to fully enjoy the frenzy of this CD. Anyone who cites Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Peter Gabriel, The Meters and U2 as inspiration can't go wrong.
Weight, Rollins Band (Imago)
In my age, heavy metal is a chunk of lead and punk is someone who bugs old people. H-O-W-E-V-E-R, this CD is awesome. All the rage and fury of Henry Rollins will permeate through your speakers, grab you by the throat and smack you across the face. He should run for political office. He's got my vote.
Some quick thoughts on a few others.
Message for the Mess Age, NRBQ (Rhino)
America's greatest bar band back with another healthy dose of pure, down-to-the-roots rock and roll.
Purge & Slouch, Giant Sand (Restless)
This is what Frank Zappa would have sounded like if he went country, delightfully warped, but brilliant.
Don't forget to keep your ears open, you might hear something you like!