Friday, December 29, 2006

Devil's In The House of the Rising Sun


It's been an interesting year, this 2006. I want to thank all those who stopped by. We'll try to keep things interesting 'round these parts in the year to come.

Part 3 today of the fantastalistic BRCM Top Ten Albums of the Year. We aint necessarily calling these the best albums, they're just our favorites. We'll have the final installment next Tuesday.

First, here's some fine albums that didn't make the cut, but are worthy of y'all hunting down some mp3's to see what you think. The list is in no particular order:

Califone: Roots and Crowns

The Be Good Tanya's: Hello Love

Handsome Family:Last Days Of Wonder

The Buffets: Saucy Jack

Bob Dylan: Modern Times

The King Kkan and BBQ Show: What's For Dinner

Jack O and the Tennessee Tearjerkers: The Flip Side Kid

Yo La Tengo: I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass (best title for an album ever)

Bonnie Prince Billy: The Letting Go

Scott Biram: Graveyard Shift

Jim Lauderdale: Country Super Hits,Vol. 1

The Legendary Shack Shakers: Pandelirium

Now, on with the exciting part of the show. Ladies and gentlemen, Part 3:

5. South Filthy: Crackin' Up

Bring the boogie. One of the most aptly named groups around, the moniker tells you all you really need to know about this nasty little supergroup featuring Jeffrey Evans, Jack Yarber (Oblivian), Walter Daniels, Eugene Chadbourne, and a host of other trash merchants. I wrote more extensively on this band and this album in an earlier post. Here's part of what I said:

"Oddly enough , it's not quite the scunge-trash fest one might expect, being more akin to your favorite bar band playing a trailer park barbecue fest. And that's a compliment. Sure, it's a shambolic, booze-ridden mess of an album, sloppy and missing anything remotely suggesting production values, with obvious nods to Exile-era Stones, Faces (small and large), Allmans and Van Zandts(both kinds). It's a very Southern affair, sweatily drawled and scrawled from Memphis to Austin, underpinned with a sense of longing and regret, of all things. A little
bit rawk, and a whole lotta country. Pop a top on your favorite beverage, settle into your lawn chair and enjoy the mad dog stylings of South Filthy."

That seems about right.

4. Cat Power: The Greatest

Chan Marshall has apparently been to hell and back, ripe for a VH1 special. I'm not a subscriber to the pop psychology notion that pain makes for great art. Marshall almost changed my mind. Almost. The problem with crediting pain or personal disorder to the creating process is that it takes for granted, or even negates, a little thing called talent. All the Artist's Way books in the world aren't going to make a piss poor writer, painter, or musician any better. Marshall's got talent in spades, and, outside of humane reasons for me wishing her well, I could really give a rat's ass about her demons. Show me what you got on the finished product, give me a song that lasts. And, whoah nelly, Cat Power dropped a bombshell. I found it hard to believe that Marshall could ever top her album "Moon Pix", and her last album, "You Are Free", sort of confirmed to me that she had long ago reached her peak. "You Are Free" was, frankly, a rather bad album. So it was with trepidation that I approached her latest, "The Greatest". I'm glad I did. Gathering some of the finest legendary Memphis studio musicians, Marshall is transformed. Long known for her lustily lazy, almost sleepy, vocal style, Marshall practically swings and swaggers through a good amount of these tunes, while the crack band honking and fiddling behind her. Even when things slow to normal Cat Power crawl and meditation it's with a sultrier, more confident sexiness than we're used to. It's a very Southern album, the kudzu lit hazily by the mid-afternoon sun. An album where the belle wanders off from the ball, barefoot, dancing with the ghosts of her dreams.

Have a good New Year's weekend. Stop back Tuesday for numbers 1-3 on the big list. Wonder what they'll be? Bet y'all can make some accurate guesses.

1 comment:

Sondh said...

Whoa there! 'You Are Free', was not a bad album! I thought it was rather fantastic!

He War, Maybe Not and Fool are amongst her best work... opinions, opinions...

I'll definitely check back for the #1.

Happy New Year!