The Menahan Street Band is one of a crew of performers -- Sharon Jones, The Budos Band, Antibalas, Sugarman 3 to name a few -- who record on the Daptone Label out of Brooklyn. The Daptone artists as well as a bunch of other musicians are leading the Nu-Soul movement.
Tribute albums are a dicey thing and usually don’t work. “Beat the Retreat” (tribute to Richard Thompson) & “Timeless: A Tribute to Hank Williams” come to mind as ones that really work. This one is equally well done.
Mark it down, guys: October 19th, the day KVNF started getting in Christmas albums. Not to worry, the airwaves won't be jingling for at least another month, I imagine. But with NPR's piece, New Holiday Songs: A Smart Career Move, we can ponder just why it is so attractive for every man, woman and child with access to a mic (read: every man, woman, and child) to record a bit of their own xmas cheer.
In the malevolence of Ty Segall's 2012 album onslaught (this is #4 if you include his tasty, old-time-high-fi collaboration with White Fence), Twins is the most organized- like a less-severe natural disaster. As the cover depicts, we're still in for a mind-bend, but it's as if some of the sheer fuzz was combed & suited by NASA in preparation for a space launch.
Danny Elfman does an indie-pop packed soundtrack for the black and white stop motion remake by Tim Burton of his 1984 short film by the same name. It's cute and expected, but with a few tracks not to miss.
If I were a fire hydrant I would need to be turned off. I am gushing like one over this album. This is some of the best stuff Van has done in a while. Back on the Blue Note label he does Jazz, Blues, his own soul and sometimes all of them all together. I dare you to find a cut you don’t like!
If you haven’t heard The xx before, their unique sound is hard to describe, but it's irresistible. (I still regularly turn to their first record from 2009 for everything from road trips to cooking music.) The music is soft, and although the vocals are lovely centerpieces, they also somehow fade into the songs. Chord arrangements are simple but combine to make beautiful tracks.
Not many artists stay sharp, relevant, and great into their 70’s and later (Picasso, Neil Young, Vladimir Horowitz, et al., come to mind), I have no problem including Bob, at 71, in this elite group. If you are a Dylan fan and don’t have this record you must run, not walk, to your computer and order it.