Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Music Library: C.W. McCall, Caetano Veloso, Caitlin Cary, Cake, Calexico

Onwards into the Cs!

C.W. McCall - "There Won't Be No Country." Classic country that doesn't really stand out.

Caetano Veloso - Caetano Veloso [1967], Caetano Veloso [1971], Prenda Minha, and "Haiti." Veloso's career spans many tumultuous decades. He's been called the Bob Dylan Of Brazil, but that sort of diminishes him, makes him seem like a shadow of a different guy. And Veloso's definitely his own man. I was fortunate enough to read his autobiography Tropical Truth a few years ago, which discusses his role in the tropicalia movement, being exiled from Brazil in the early 70s, and his comeback. The first two albums I have are from the tropicalia period. They are also the first and third of his five self-titled albums. That's right; he out-self-titled Peter Gabriel, and he started a decade prior. The second of these is mostly in English, recorded while in exile in London. It's also a lot more, well, in turns sultry and bizarre, especially with all the odd effects-laden vocal noises. Prenda Minha is a live album from the late 90s, and it covers a lot of different styles from Veloso's career, including tropicalia, weepy bossa nova, reggae-influenced funk, and other sounds I don't really have a name for. "Haiti" is also live, but the song itself was Veloso's contribution to a 1993 25th-anniversary compilation of tropicalia artists.

Caitlin Cary & Ryan Adams - "The Battle." S'okay. No Depression stuff.

Cake - "Nugget." Not a fan.

  • Spoke. Most of that kitchen sink desert-rat sound is right here from the start.

  • The Black Light. This one pulls the drawstring tight. Americana-mariachi-Morricone-jazz-noir.

  • 98-99 Road Map. Live concert-only album.

  • Descamino EP. Heavy on the fake jazz, light on the fun stuff.

  • Hot Rail. This is my favorite of the classic Calexico albums.

  • Travelall. Another tour-only album, heavy on the instrumental Morricone-ish fake jazz, but much better than Descamino.

  • Aerocalexico. Live tour-only album.

  • Crystal Frontier EP. More a single than an EP.

  • Even My Sure Things Fall Through EP. Now that's an EP. Pretty good!

  • A Feast of Wire. The last of the great classic Calexico albums.

  • Scraping. Live tour-only album.

  • Alone Again Or EP. Four song EP built around the Love cover it's named for.

  • Quattro EP. Yet another four song EP.

  • Garden Ruin. Ugh. Calexico made the worst Whiskeytown album.

  • Carried To Dust. An attempted return to form. Not bad, but not great, either.


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