Monday, May 18, 2009

Music Library: Che Arthur, Cheap Trick, Chemical Brothers, Chet Baker, Chi-Lites, Chic, Chills, Chocolate Genius, Chris Bell

Che Arthur - The Me Generation EP, All Of Your Tomorrows Were Decided Today, and Iron. I've known Che since we were both about 10. He's a hell of a great guy, one of the few people I've ever known who befriends everyone he meets and knows how to maintain those friendships long into time (plus he even has a wikipedia page). And he's a hell of a musician, too. His songs definitely have a kinship with the music of Husker Du, but there's all kinds of other highly intellectual elements in there: prog-metal, math rock, punk, even avant-jazz. The first of these was a tour-only EP, all acoustic. The second and third are full-blown albums. Great, great stuff! There's a new album due to drop next week, so I'll be sure to review it as soon as I have a copy.

Cheap Trick - "Violins (Live)". Yes, I have only one Cheap Trick song. And I sorta like Cheap Trick. But this isn't a very good song.

The Chemical Brothers - Surrender and Come With Us. Why do I have these? They were part of a gift from a friend. I like the Michel Gondry videos for songs contained herein, but GOD do I hate these albums. I think I'm going to pare these down to the songs from the Gondry videos, and delete the rest.

Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine. Somewhere between cool jazz and Sinatra swinging melancholy. And excellent.

The Chi-Lites - There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated at the Conference Table)." That's some lovely harmony and soul. I wish I had more of their stuff.

Chic - "Open Up." From Real People. I like Chic, don't know why I don't have more.

The Chills - Kaleidoscope World, Brave Words, Submarine Bells, and Heavenly Pop Hits. Some of the best kiwi-pop out there outside The Clean and The Bats, the Chills have a pop aesthetic that beams through their darkness, which is how the best power-pop works.

Chocolate Genius - Black Music. Great rock album with a firm commitment to not sounding like most other African-American rock songwriters. The standout track is "My Mom," a song about an elderly parent struggling with senility or Alzheimer's. Wrenching.

Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos. The collection of songs and demos by the former leader of Big Star who passed away far too young. The title song and "You And Your Sister" are the standouts, but there's a lot of beauty here, giving listeners a sense of the tragedy of his loss. Maybe his need to proselytize comes on a little thick at times.


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