Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Music Library: Lord Invader, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Loretta Lynn, Los Campesinos!, Los Lobos, Lost Patrol Band, Lothars

Lord Invader - Calypso in New York (recorded 1940s-1950s).  This is a Smithsonian Folkways collection of Lord Invader's excellent postwar calypso.  Lyrical topics range from party music to scathing indictments of American racism.  The man could cook.

Loren Mazzacane Connors - Long Nights (1995) and Airs (1999).  Avant-garde guitarist Connors plays some quite airy improvised music here.  When I was listening to it, I was exhausted and seeking to drown out the whirr of jet engines, and these did so without raising my blood pressure.

Loretta Lynn - You Ain't Woman Enough (1966) and Van Lear Rose (2004).  Both of these albums kick so much ass.  The former features Lynn's domestic first-wave feminist anthem and was produced by Nashville ace Owen Bradley.  For an album clearly assembled quickly to complement the single "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)," every song brings Lynn's smarts and passion to bear on the material.  Excellent stuff.  The second album is her most recent, one of the best - if not The Best - of the "new artist helps revitalize classic country artist" albums.  In this case, the new artist is Jack White of the White Stripes and every one of Lynn's performances on this album is a killer.

Los Campesinos! - Maida Vale Session (2006), "C Is The Heavenly Option," and Hold On Now, Youngster... (2008).  I like these singles and the album so much that I'm surprised I haven't picked up either of Los Campesinos!'s follow-ups.  These tracks have infectious energy and pop melody out the wazoo.

Los Lobos - Just Another Band From East L.A. (1978-1992).  Los Lobos isn't a favorite by a long shot, but I like them enough for about 2/3 of this collection.  They are best when playing rootsy rock & roll or during the droney songs of Kiko (and there's a good Mitchell Froom production).  There's a definite NPR vibe on all of their songs, though, as if they felt it necessary to make a bid for respectability that keeps the band from ever cutting loose.  But it's okay for what it is.

The Lost Patrol Band - "Safety Pin."  This is a rock song.  I have little else to say about it.

The Lothars - Meet The Lothars (1998).  Using three (or is it four?) theremins and an electric guitar, the Lothars (featuring my friend Jon Bernhardt) bring a distinctly rock approach to the avant-music herein.  Good stuff, and they got even better.  I used to have a copy of their 2000 album Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas, too, but I don't know what happened to it.


Jon B. 12:21 PM, May 05, 2010  

I've got a few copies of "Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas" that I could sell you cheap.

Hayden Childs 12:06 AM, May 06, 2010  

I'd like that!

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