Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blitzen Trapper "Furr" (2008)

Furr is an absolute delight.  Blitzen Trapper drawn from a wide variety of classic rock sources, yet always sound like their own band.  You can break down elements in each song, playing connect the dots to the boomer versions, yet they skillfully avoid the pitfall of sounding absolutely derivative.  And oh yeah, unlike so many 21st century indie bands, the songs are actually good!

Madlib "Medicine Show vol 1: Before the Verdict" (2010)

The first volume of Madlib's "Medicine Show" series is a bit schizophrenic.  It comes across as more of an odds & sods project, with guest vocalist Guilty Simpson being the unifying factor.  That in & of itself is a weakness, at least for me, as I am not much of a GS fan.  In theory, the tension between his dead serious, street level rhymes, & Madlib's playful intellectualism should be intriguing.  In practice, Madlib seems pulled down.  When working with more talented collaborators he steps his game up.  Here, he feels too much like he's going through the motions.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Handsome Family "Scattered" (2010)

Scattered is an odds & sods collection from The Handsome Family.  Some covers, some demos.  Its focus, so much as it has one, is on the folky/country side of the band.  There are a couple of more punk rock tracks, but they are not nearly as effective as the rough ballads that dominate this collection.  This is clearly not the best place to start, but a worthy listen if you like the band.

Snooks Eaglin "Out of Nowhere" (1988)

Another fantastic contemporary blues album from Eaglin.  Why did his run of albums in the 80s not get any widespread critical response?  Was it because he was on an independent label?  Was it the fact that he wasn't following in the popular Stevie Ray Vaughn path?