Thursday, March 26, 2009

Casual Listening - Black Joe Louis, MC Lars, Les Claypool

Casual Listening - Week of March 15, 2009
Guest Listeners Jason Lusk and Yesh Pavlik

* Black Joe Lewis - Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! (rock)
Dirty, demanding vocals. Bluesy, funky guitar licks. Lots of call and response. A few horns thrown in to round out the sound. Black Joe Lewis sounds like Jack White, even if we wish he sounded more like John Lee Hooker. Whatever. We're picking up what he's laying down anyway. Fire up iTunes and buy the whole album.

We recommend the tracks Big Booty Woman and Get Yo Sh*t! BAM!


*MC Lars - The Giant Robot Kills (rock)

Guest reviewer Yesh has been Hipster Girl, especially the part about the mini-skirt and leggings in Brooklyn. This is a funny, smart album with a rocking energy. How could you not love a band that shouts out to Shakespeare (in Hey There Ophelia). "This girl's got more issues than Amy Winehouse." Too right. We think they kind of sound like the Flobots with a sense of humor. Bravo MC Lars.

We loved Hipster Girl and Guitar Hero Hero (Beating Guitar Hero Does Not Make You Slash).


The Airborne Toxic Event - The Airborne Toxic Event (rock)

This is the kind of music that indie listeners will say is pop. You know the Aldous Snow character in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"? He probably fronts this band. They have Coldplay motion with at times a big, layered Polyphonic Spree sound. If a market researcher wrote songs perfectly targeted to "alternative" 16 year old girls and the boys (or girls) they are trying to impress, they would sound like every song on this album.

Nevertheless, we liked it. Put Wishing Well on your next road trip mix. Something New is also well worth a listen.

Groove Armada - EP (electronic)
With EP, Groove Armada comes full circle. It's been a decade since London DJs Andy Cato and Tom Findlay transitioned from downtempo to upbeat, adding a layer of production value along the way. This album reaches back and pulls in dirtier, less produced sounds while still keeping the essence of what makes Groove Armada so enduring popular. At times it defies your expectations, keeping it interesting from start to finish. Vocals have a Me’Shell Ndegeocello quality especially in Go.

Listen to Drop the Tough. Zone to El Padrino.

Les Claypool - Of Fungi And Foe (rock)

This would be the perfect soundtrack for eating "special" mushroom pizza if you were into that sort of thing. Les Claypool mixes viola and excellent percussion with creep-tastic vocals that sound like someone talking into a kidnapper's voice changer. The overall effect is intriguing if not exactly conventional.

Enjoy Bite out of Life and laugh out loud to the lyrics of Red State Girl

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