Thursday, May 29, 2014

Music Library: Waco Brothers, Wake Ooloo, Wall of Voodoo, Walter Franco, Wanda Jackson, Warren Zevon, Abigail Washburn, Mike Watt, Wayne Shorter, We Are Wolves, Weakerthans

The Waco Brothers - ...To The Last Dead Cowboy (1995), Cowboy In Flames (1997), and Electric Waco Chair (2000). Jon Langford's first Mekons side-project, the Wacos are an outsider's take on outlaw country and fun as hell. And jeez, Langford knows how to make things awesome.

Wake Ooloo - Hear No Evil (1994), What About It (1995), Stop The Ride (1996). Glenn Mercer's first post-Feelies band also featured Dave Weckerman. Not as great as the Feelies, but pretty damn great, anyway.

Wall of Voodoo - Call of the West (1982). Some of my friends love Stan Ridgway's noir-pop. I like "Mexican Radio" like everyone else, but I'm not crazy about the rest of this.

Walter Franco - Ou Não (1972). Lovely tropicalia.

Wanda Jackson - Wanda Jackson (1958), There's A Party Goin' On (1961), Two Sides Of Wanda (1964), and Queen of Rockabilly (compilation, 1957-64). The queen of rockabilly is a correct assessment.

Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy (1978). Similar to Randy Newman, I can see why so many of my friends adore Zevon's music, but it doesn't really move me.

Abigail Washburn - Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet (2008). This is a bluegrass banjo player attempting compositional music. I do not much care for it, although I appreciate her ambition.

Mike Watt - hyphenated-man (2011). I reviewed most of Watt's solo work elsewhere. This one came out in 2011, a 30-song Minutemen-like rock opera about the works of Hieronymous Bosch. It is freakin' ridiculously excellent.

Wayne Shorter - Footprints Live! (2002). I like Shorter best when he's under Miles Davis's thumb, but here he attempts some Davis-in-1970-style jazz, and it's pretty good.

We Are Wolves - Total Magique (2007). Eh.

The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site (2003). Highly recommended by a trusted friend, but I'm not that crazy about it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Music Library: Vienna Philharmonic, Viktor Vaughn, Kurt Vile, Violent Femmes, Vlach Quartet, Volcano Suns, Voxtrot, Vulgar Boatmen

Continuing with short reviews in a rush to finish this thing out.

Vienna Philharmonic - Mahler: Symphony No. 4 (1988). Mahler-iffic!

Viktor Vaughn - Vaudeville Villain (2003) and Venomous Villain (2004). Another of MF DOOM's personae, the Vaughn (taken from Victor Von Doom, Doctor Doom's real-name-as-destiny) moniker means that DOOM raps but the production is by others. Excellent stuff, even if it doesn't have DOOM's own unassailable beats.

Kurt Vile - Constant Hitmaker (2008), Childish Prodigy (2009), The Hunchback EP (2009), Square Shells EP (2010), Smoke Rings For My Halo (2011), and Wakin On A Pretty Daze (2013). With Fahey-like acoustic guitar chops and a Neil Young-ish ability to crank out pleasing solos, Vile is a fun, but slight, listen. I tend to think of him as the hipster Jack Johnson, actually. Also, Kurt Vile is his real name.

Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes (1982), Hallowed Ground (1984), Why Do Birds Sing? (1991), and "Crazy." Do I really even need to discuss these guys? Sorry for the smarmy Dennis Miller in the video below.

Vlach Quartet - Beethoven: String Quartets, Op. 18, Nos. 3 and 4. Beethoven-iffic?

Volcano Suns - The Bright Orange Years (1985), All Night Lotus Party (1986), Bumper Crop (1987), Farced (1988), and Thing Of Beauty (1989). Peter Prescott's super-fun post-Mission of Burma band.

Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Wives EP (2006), Biggest Fan EP (2006), and Voxtrot (2007). Brit-flavored indie-pop from Austin.

Vulgar Boatmen - You and Your Sister (1989) and Please Panic (1992). Ultra-tasteful folk-punk from Florida.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Music Library: Ventures, Verbena, Verlaines, Vernon Wray, Versus, Vetiver, Vic Chesnutt, Victoria Williams

Looking cool, guys!

Almost three months! I am really losing steam with this damn all-encompassing project. I think I'm going to post some terse posts for a while in an attempt to catch up.

The Ventures - Ventures In Space (1963), Walk Don't Run '64 (1964), and Play Guitar With The Ventures, Vol. 2 (1965). Excellent surf-guitar. The last one is an instructional album that breaks down four of their songs for lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and bass. Very cool.

Verbena - Souls For Sale (1997). Great moody rock from Alabama.

The Verlaines - Hallelujah All The Way Home (1985), Bird Dog (1987), Juvenilia (1987), Some Disenchanted Evening (1989), Ready To Fly (1991), and Over The Moon (1997). One of the best kiwi-pop bands, the Verlaines stand on the line between post-punk noise and power-pop. Highly recommended stuff.

Vernon Wray - Wasted (1972). Fantastic outlaw country album by Link Wray's brother with more than a touch of Townes Van Zandt in his lyricism.

Versus - Secret Swingers (1996) and Shangri-La EP (2000). Essentially great indie-rock band. I thought I had more of their albums.

Vetiver - Vetiver (2003), To Find Me Gone (2006), and Thing Of The Past (2008). Lumped in with the  freak-folk semi-genre, but more of a 70s-style Laurel Canyon thing.

Vic Chesnutt - Little (1990), West Of Rome (1991), Drunk (1993), "The Night The Lights Went Out On Georgia," Is The Actor Happy? (1995), WFMU 1995 (bootleg), About To Choke (1996), The Salesman And Bernadette (with Lambchop, 1998), Merriment (with Mr. and Mrs. Keneipp, 2000), Silver Lake (2003), Ghetto Bells (2005), Extra Credit EP (2005), Christmas At The 40 Watt (bootleg, 2005), North Star Deserter (with Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, 2007), Dark Developments (with Elf Power, 2008), At The Cut (2009), and Skitter On Take-Off (2009). Chesnutt was one of the greatest songwriters of our time. His lost is a devastating black mark on the backwards-ass American health system.

Victoria Williams - Happy Come Home (1987), Swing The Statue! (1990), Loose (1994), and Musings Of A Creekdipper (1998). Ms. Williams, like Mr. Chesnutt, was the beneficiary of one of the Sweet Relief albums, but I like her music much less these days. Too much twee. There are a few good songs here and there, but her eccentricities just haven't aged well for me.

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