by Billy DeFrain
I enjoy considering the trajectory of bands and musicians. Think of Jimmy Page: He started out as a studio musician, spent some time with the Yardbirds, and a decade in Led Zeppelin. one of the biggest bands in the world. Then he recorded the sountracks for Death Wish II and Death Wish III. Moving on to producing albums or scoring soundtracks seemed like the most graceful transition into the golden years for the rockers of yore. Brian Eno did it. Danny Elfman did it.
Consider Grace Slick as a counterexample. Slick replaced original female vocalist Signe Toly in Jefferson Airplane, and wrote lots of the band’s songs, including “White Rabbit.” When the last original member of Jefferson Airplane, guitarist Paul Kantner, decided he didn’t like the craptacular new direction now-Jefferson Starship was taking, and everybody sued, and then the new band became Starship. Slick stayed with Starship through the late '80s, and sings on “Knee Deep in the Hoopla,” which 1) features art at least six years ahead of its time and 2) I once purchased for 98 cents on vinyl to listen to over and over to piss off my roommates.
41Point9 | Still Looking for the Answers | Prog Rock Records
This is definitely not the place to look.
Beastie Boys | Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2 | Capitol
First Beastie Boys album in four years.
Big Scoob | Damn Fool | Strange Music
Rapper Big Scoob urges his bitch to cool, and laments the situations which have led him to behave as a fool.
Blitzkid | Apparitional | People Like You Records
Combines the most boring aspects of punk with the even more boring aspects of post-grunge. Throws in some nominal country licks.
Cheeseburger | Another Big Night Down the Drain | Williams Street
Balls-out stadium rock with a great name and album art:
Dave Matthews Band | DMB 2009: Lucca Italy | Eagle
Stretched over three CDs (and they play all the way through and can’t be stopped once you start them) to accurately recreate the experience of being trapped at a Dave Matthews concert.
Donny & Marie Osmond | Donny & Marie | MPCA
Have I been the only one waiting 30 year for a new Donny & Marie record? No. I have also not been waiting for this, just like everyone else.
Doug Stanhope | Oslo: Burning the Bridge to Nowhere | Roadrunner Records
Fleet Foxes | Helplessness Blues | Sub Pop
The opposite of angry music.
Gene Krupa & Buddy Rich | The Drum Battle: Live at the Jazz at the Philharmonic | Chrome Dreams
Has-Lo | In Case I Don’t Make It | Mello Music
Kelly Price | Kelly I My Block Records
Kelly! Kelly? Kelly?! Kelly!
Lou Reed | Walk on the Wild Side: Recorded Live: New York 1972 I XXL Media
Pretty much exactly what you think it’d be.
Leaves’ Eyes | Meredead I Napalm Records
A German and a Norwegian make a power metal album with Gaelic flourish. Also, this:
Odin’s Court | Human Life in Motion | Prog Rock Records
Never have I seen more dispassionate soloing.
Poison | Double Dose (Ultimate Hits) | Capitol
Double album best-of Poison. Conversely, you could listen to Steel Panther instead:
Priscilla Ahn | When You Grow Up | Blue Note
Pretty much an album of this.
Various Artists | Now That’s What I Call Music: Volume 38 | EMI
Nope, this isn’t a joke. They keep making these and they’re up to 38 now.
Various Artists | Now That’s What I Call the ‘80s Hits | Capitol
Includes that song from Dirty Dancing, that song from Footloose, Billy Idol’s dumbest single (yep, “Mony, Mony”), but inexplicably, no that-Starship-song-from-Mannequin. So, as a public service:
Fun fact: “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” was co-written by Albert Hammond, whose son is Albert Hammond Jr. and plays guitar in the Strokes.