Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Music Library: K-Otix, k.d. lang, KaitO, Kaki King, Kaleidoscope (UK), Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Built To Spill, Dylan (again), Flaming Lips, Jerry Lee Lewis

K-Otix - "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People."  Built on Kanye West's "Gold Digger," this is the definitive song expressing rage over Hurricane Katrina.

k.d. lang - Absolute Torch and Twang (1989) and Ingénue (1992).  These are lang's last country album and first pop album. I quite like the former, despite the hi-gloss on the sound, and have a pretty tepid reaction to the latter.

KaitO - Band Red (2003). Top-notch jagged punky indie-rock.  There's a bit of Pixies in the sound and a healthy dose of Kleenex/Liliput, but KaitO has a pop melodicism anchoring each song, which is pretty cool.

Kaki King - ...Until We Felt Red (2006).  King is a virtuoso guitarist in the school of instrumentalists like Michael Hedges and Eric Johnson, especially the latter.  This album is produced by John McIntyre of Tortoise, and it sounds sort of like an Eric Johnson album as worked over by Tortoise: lots of skill, lots of noise, but not a lot of passion.  She sings on this album, which isn't necessarily a good thing (as it rarely was when Michael Hedges sang).  I don't know.  I think there's potential in her as an artist, but I never really connect with the music.

Kaleidoscope (UK) - "(Further Reflections) In The Room Of Percussion."  Ah, the psychedelic sound of a bad trip. 

Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio - "Mendelssohn: Trio No. 1 in D" and "Mendelssohn: Trio No. 2 in C."  Cello, violin, and piano trio playing, as advertised, Mendelssohn.  Lovely!


Built To Spill - Perfect From Now On (1997).  Hooray for indie-rock!  Built To Spill's Neil Young-meets-Pavement sound is well named.

Bob Dylan - Together Through Life (2009). As much as I love Dylan - and I think it's safe to say that I love Dylan - I wasn't in a hurry to pick up this album.  Seems like recent Dylan albums are uniformly excellent without being particularly mindblowing.  He's settled into his role as the best living bluesman, and here he delivers 10 tracks that are as witty and wise as you'd expect from someone deserving of that title.  Love the reference to Larry Brown with the cover picture, too.

The Flaming Lips - Embryonic (2009).  I first heard this when it was streaming on the Colbert Nation website, but I didn't pick it up until eMusic suddenly acquired some of the Warner Brothers catalog.  This is a fantastic album, maybe a bit unfocused, but I think lack of focus actually helps the Lips be better. Beautiful, weird, and dark, like the best of the Lips.

Jerry Lee Lewis - Live At The Star Club, Hamburg (1964). When I covered Jerry Lee Lewis back in, what?, November maybe?, my friends Alan and Bruce agreed that I needed to hear this album.  Bruce brought me a copy last week, and OH MY GOD, Jerry Lee and the Nashville Teenagers are on fire throughout.  There's a good reason this is considered one of the best live albums of all time.  Awesome.  Awesomely awesome.  My favorite moment, as promised by my friends: the crowd is chanting "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" and the Killer joins in, just because.


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