Thursday, April 09, 2009

Music Library: Buddy and Julie Miller, Buddy Holly, the Budos Band, Buena Vista Social Club, Buffalo Springfield, Built To Spill

Buddy and Julie Miller - Buddy and Julie Miller. Buddy Miller is a popular Americana guitarist and his wife Julie is a popular Americana and contemporary Christian singer. They'd been married for a number of years before recording their first album together, but it sounds as natural and lived-in as a home jam session. They clearly spend a lot of time singing and playing music together. This album is good-to-great. Julie Miller wrote most of the songs on it, and they include a mix of standouts and standbys. The Richard Thompson cover that opens the album is the best track, though.

Buddy Holly - Original Master Tapes. Most of Buddy Holly's singles are collected on this album. Hey, did y'all know that Buddy Holly was extraordinarily talented? I have to express an overwhelming fondness for the silly backing vocals of the Crickets, too. A wop bop, oh boy.

The Budos Band - "Chicago Falcon." Why, yes I do like Fela Kuti and early 70s-style funk. Thanks!

Buena Vista Social Club - Buena Vista Social Club. I know people love the hell out of this Cuban music. And I think it's okay Latin jazz, but it certainly fails to blow my little Grinchy mind.

Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again, and Last Time Around. I sure love me some Neil Young, who contributed my favorite Buffalo Springfield songs and performances. But like with The Byrds, who I'll get to in another day or two, I really don't love everything. Or even like everything. Some of these songs sound so particular to the moment of its release that it's hard to me to hear them the way they were meant to be experienced. Try to picture "For What It's Worth," for instance, without seeing images of Woodstock and Civil Rights-era Birmingham. Impossible! Pop culture has laid its claim. The third album, which is essentially a bunch of singles by the different songwriters, is especially sucky.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Once More With Feeling soundtrack. The songs of the Buffy musical. As brilliant as that episode was (and it really was lovely, a resonant and pure experiment, manna for us Buffy fans), I don't enjoy these showtunes out of context.

Built To Spill - Keep It Like A Secret, Ancient Melodies Of The Future, You In Reverse. Oh, hell yes. BTS is indie-rock heaven. For my money, Keep It Like A Secret is almost untouchably great, especially for those first three songs, which may the pinnacle of guitar-based 90s indie-rock. The next two albums are also fantastic, although not up to the peak of Keep It Like A Secret. I should probably make an effort to hear the prior BTS albums. I don't even know if I've ever even heard Perfect From Now On, which I think a number of people list as their favorite.

Built To Spill & Caustic Resin - Built To Spill Caustic Resin EP. This is Doug Martsch screwing around with one of his favorite hometown bands. Four songs and a whole lot of guitar histrionics. Not the most essential thing of his career, but a pretty pleasant way to spend a half-hour, anyway.


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