Category: Albums of 2013

Lovesick Saints ‘Dia De Los Muertos’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#933 in the Series) is Lovesick Saints, Dia De Los Muertos Chandler, Arizona is more likely to be known as a bastion of conservative politics and suburban way of life than for a thriving punk rock and alternative music scene.  Usually one has to travel at least into Phoenix proper, or make the journey a few hours further west on I-10 to SoCal before engaging with any meaningful punk music. But listen to the music of Lovesick Saints and learn that being surrounded by such a homogenous atmosphere as Maricopa County can, perhaps counter-intuitively, produce a social consciousness and yearning that combine to forge intelligent, powerful alternative punk and rock music reserved usually...

Ummagma .. ‘Rotation’ b/w ‘Live and Let Die’

  Today’s Cool ‘Album’ of the Day (#906 in the Series) is Ummagma “Rotation” b/w “Live and Let Die.”  To paraphrase the bio on their website, Ummagma is a Canadian-Ukranian duo comprised of Alexander Kretov and Shauna McLarnon. They deliver an eclectic yet harmonious kaleidoscope of dream pop, post-punk, ambient/ethereal, shoegaze and spacerock, creating sublime resonance, beats and rhythm to create other worldly soundscapes. Truthfully, it would be hard for me to describe them any more clearly than that. If you are a fan of shoegaze (Lush, My Bloody Valentine), dream pop (Air, Chvrches, The Cranberries), or space rock (Pink Floyd, The Verve) then in all likelihood this is a band you should give a listen to. More specifically,...

Nick Lowe ‘Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family’ – NEW MUSIC REVIEW

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#896 in the Series) is Nick Lowe,  Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family. I love Christmas albums. I have a pretty good collection of them and I usually find something old every year that I add to it. It is rare that I find something new as I am very picky and traditional about my Christmas music. Let’s face it. We have the traditional carols and then about a dozen or so once original pop Holiday songs penned from the 1930’s through the 60’s that get redone over and over again. It is rare that an artist is brave enough to mess with that and if there is anything...

Popkissed .. ‘It’s a Fine Day’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#893 in the Series) is Popkissed, It’s a Fine Day (Aquavit Records) If you loved Madonna’s hypnotic hit “Frozen,” then you’re sure to dig the equally trance-inducing sound of the Norwegian duo Popkissed. The beat is just as steady, driven by simple, catchy drumlines and encompassed by Lill-Ann Blauenfeldt’s bold, controlled vocals. She might not command the Material Girl’s vocal range, but there is something about Lill-Ann’s heavy alto that lends her delivery an almost tangible intimacy. Creating the vivid soundscapes through which Blauenfeldt’s husky musings float like a restless lark is producer Robert Solheim. These two talents are the heart and soul of Popkissed, an electro-pop act that has just upped the ante...

The Bottle Rockets ‘The Bottle Rockets’ and ‘The Brooklyn Side’

Today’s Cool Albums of the Day (#s 891 and 892 in the Series) are The Bottle Rockets – The Bottle Rockets, The Brooklyn Side When it comes to game changing bands that first began surfing the banzai pipeline of the Americana tidal wave that began in the early 1990’s and gained momentum in the new millennium, The Bottle Rockets, along with The Blasters, Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, and The Old 97’s, were among the first explorers to plant the Roots-Rock flag on American soil, and now, courtesy of Bloodshot records, we are treated to a re-mastered, deluxe edition treatment of the band’s first two albums, The Bottle Rockets, and The Brooklyn Side. Formed in 1992, from the not so musical...

The Ria Reece Band ‘The Ria Reece Band’ – NEW MUSIC REVIEW

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#890 in the Series) is the self-titled debut by The Ria Reece Band With the amount of musical talent Montreal is churning out, it just might be that there’s a new Motown north of the border. The latest off the conveyor belt is a four-piece band hell-bent on instilling in us a reverence for the roots of rhythm and blues. The Ria Reece Band doesn’t do half-baked and there is a richness in their instruments and in Ria’s gravy-sweet vocals that will appease the staunchest of soul purists. Their mastery of the intricacies of the raw, passionate melodies of the sixties and seventies belies the fact that The Ria Reece Band was...

The Waterboys ‘Fisherman’s Box: The Complete Fisherman’s Blues Sessions 1986-1988’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#887 in the Series) is The Waterboys, Fisherman’s Box: The Complete Fisherman’s Blues Sessions 1986-1988 This may be one of the more interesting box sets of the year – a year that has already seen many. They have been some really great ones and some that I have to shake my head and wonder if there was really a need for that. They have come in all shapes and l sizes. There have been career spanning Boxes by Stephen Stills and Duane Allman, Re-releases of several artists entire discographies and a number of deluxe sets expanding albums of long ago such as Nirvana’s 20th anniversary release of In Utero, Van Morrison’s Deluxe...

Sturgill Simpson ‘High Top Mountain’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#886 in the Series) is Sturgill Simpson, High Top Mountain High Top Mountain, the impressive new album by Country Singer Sturgill Simpson, is the best Outlaw Country throwback album released in years, and would have fit right in with Willie’s Red Headed Stranger, Waylon’s Dreaming My Dreams, and the Mighty Merle Classic, Back to the Barrooms.  This guy is that old school, that true, and that damn good. The opening track “Life Ain’t Fair and the World is Mean” sets the template for 12 tracks of superb playing and true-life story lines, with Sturgill himself telling you what he thinks of all of the outlaw hoopla that is starting to envelop and mostly...

Jason Isbell ‘Southeastern’

Posted 19 Oct 2013 in Albums of 2013, Albums of the 10s, Americana

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#884 in the Series) is Jason Isbell, Southeastern. Well, this one has kinda taken me by surprise to be honest. As a long-time admirer of both Jason Isbell and his former band Drive By Truckers I really thought I had him pegged and that I knew pretty much what to expect from anything he’d release next: good, solid  Americana fare with maybe three or four exceptional songs on each album. I have to say however that he’s proved me wrong with Southeastern, this time out he’s offered up a complete gem of an album, full of wonderfully personal songs, straight from the heart, sparkling and emotive. He’s taken it to the next level...

Shooter Jennings ‘The Other Life’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#883 in the Series) is Shooter Jennings, The Other Life Much like his old man, the venerable Waylon Jennings, Shooter Jennings wears the blaze your own trail outlaw crown to musical perfection on his latest release The Other Life. Showing a consistently cool and carefully crafted career path going back to his debut 2005 release, Put the O Back in Country, Shooter Jennings may lure you into the listening kiosk with his pedigree, and he does play the modern day outlaw role to perfection, it is actually his own unique blending of Country Roots Rock Americana with a peppering of good old fashioned Rock & Roll soul that brings you back to...

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