Tuesday, December 27, 2005

More Musical Favorites

Here is the rest of My Favorite CD's of 2005:

Get Behind Me Satan - White Stripes MR WHIT GBM W62

Eric Greenwood in a review for DrawerB says, "It isn’t until you’ve given it your full attention that the album starts to reveal its true depth and worth with songs that stick to your bones." I couldn't agree more or say it better.

Listen Here - Eddie Palmieri MJ PALM LH P62

Palmieri puts a latin spin on a few jazz standards with the help of some high profile guests such as John Scofield, Michael Brecker, and Regina Carter. "In Flight" opens the album with Carter stealing the show and setting the bar at an impossibly high level. The rest of the album tries to live up - but falls just a little short. Still a great listen.

Manual Guajiro Mirabal - Manual Mirabal Q CUBA MGM N02

Another Latin gem from the people who brought you the Buena Vista Social Club. Manual Guajiro Mirabel is the trumpet player that you may remember from BVSC. It is hard to imagine that at age 71, this is the first solo album for Mirabel. Quite a debut!!

Magic Time - Van Morrisson MA MORR MT M02

A year would not be complete without a great album from Van the Man. Lots of typical "blue-eyed soul" - but even the typical sounds fine from Morrisson. He keeps things fresh with interpretations of jazz standards: I'm Confessin', This Love of Mine, and Lonely and Blue.

Plans - Death Cab for Cutie MA DEAT PLA D42

I can't say that I'm enamored with their name - but Death Cab for Cutie delivers an album that I loved to listen to. They sometimes remind me of early REM. Plans is their major label debut after four albums on "indie" labels.

Happy New Year Everyone!

The Blog is Back!!!

Yeah, Yeah, I know - its been a while - but the blog is back. My pre-New Years resolution is to try to be a bit more regular about posting. It's right up there with "I will lose 20 lbs before springtime." So we will see.

As we approach the end of the year, we enter the season of the "Top 10." It is the time when critics dig deep into their bags and come up with lists of obscure titles that are bound to make you scratch your head and wonder if you are living on a different planet!!! Today, I offer my list of obscure musical CD's. These are items that are all available in the library collection. Some are so obscure that they actually appear on a few critics' lists. Here are some of my favorites of 2005, in no particular order:

I'm Awake It's Morning - Bright Eyes - MA BRIG IWA B72

I spent a lot of time listening to this one when it was first released and I am still moved by Conor Oberst's quavering voice. It doesn't hurt to have Emmy Lou Harris sitting in on a few tunes. This has got a real rootsy and folk feel to it as opposed to the more energetic Digital Ash which was released simultaneously.

Chavez Ravine - Ry Cooder MJ COOD CR C72

Cooder has given us an incredibly interesting album both musically and conceptually.
He captures the feeling of the largely chicano community of Los Angeles in the 50's as it was about to be displaced by the building of Dodger Stadium. The accompanying booklet is a real treat, too.

De Nova - Redwalls MA REDW DN R27

What a fun group! They remind me of the Black Crowes, but they also sound very much like the Beatles on a lot of these songs. Somehow they manage to find their own voice and the result is a fun album that touches a lot of musical bases.

Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punks MA GOGO GP G71

One critic says this group does to gypsy music what the Pogues do to Irish music. They are certainly a high energy group - think Boris and Natasha after one too many cups of espresso!! But this music was made to be revved up.

Illinoise - Sufjan Stevens MA STEV CFI S14

This is part of an ambitious project that will eventually yield an album about each of the 50 states. The music is complex, the writing poetic, and the singing terrific. This is unique piece of work. Definitely worth a listen or two.

More to come.