Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Music Library: Cowboy Nation, Cowsills, Coyle & Sharpe, Cracker, Cramps, Crazy Backwards Alphabet

Cowboy Nation - We Do As We Please. From the punk of the Dils to the alt-country Rank & File to this, a mostly acoustic tribute to the Western side of the Country-Western equation, the Kinman brothers have followed their own muse. This is actually a pretty great album, featuring a fantastic cover of "My Rifle, My Pony, And Me" from Rio Bravo and the original of "Big Train," which Mike Watt achronistically covered on his first album back in 1997.

The Cowsills - "Indian Lake." I downloaded this while accumulating bubblegum music in the wake of having read Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth in the early 00s. It's alright, in the way that a lot of music that copped the sound of the early Beach Boys were alright.

Coyle & Sharpe - "Werewolf" and Audio Visionaries: Street Pranks And Put Ons. The original radio street pranksters, Coyle & Sharpe were able to talk ordinary people on the street in the early 1960s into taking their increasingly bizarre and hilarious questions seriously. Most of these are fun fun fun.

Cracker - Kerosene Hat, Gentleman's Blues, Countrysides, and Greenland. David Lowery's post-Camper Van Beethoven band is a far more commercial affair, and indeed, when I saw them play in 1993, most of the audience consisted of asshole frat-boy types and the opening band was the uber-bland Counting Crows. That said, I'm pretty fond of them. Lowery's obviously having fun when he ties his clever and misanthropic lyrics to big power chords and chant-along choruses.

The Cramps - Gravest Hits EP, Songs The Lord Taught Us, Psychedelic Jungle, and Bad Music For Bad People. Man! What can I possibly say about the Cramps that hasn't been said a million times already? People who enjoy the kind of music called rock & roll love the The Cramps. Some critics apparently consider Bad Music For Bad People to be a watered-down version of a better best-of that was released in England, but for me, well, that's the Cramps album that I first heard at 15 years old, and that's THE Cramps album for me. Besides all these other ones, I mean.

Crazy Backwards Alphabet - La Grange 7" and Crazy Backwards Alphabet. Conceived by Matt Groening and implemented by Henry Kaiser and John "Drumbo" French, this is the only Russian/avant-jazz/Texas boogie/prog-rock album that I can think of. At least out of the bands on SST.


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