The Stooges Weirdness [EMI]


Rating: 5.0

As everyone and their grandmother have heard by now, The Stooges, have had a fairly recent reunion and, in their current incarnation, they have just released their first studio album in thirty-seven years this past month. Technically, they have already recorded together as they perform three songs on Iggy Popís last solo record entitled Skull Ring. Since then, Mr. Pop, Ron Ashton, Scott Ashton and bassist Mike Watt (filling in for the late Dave Alexander) have been touring together over the past few years. Admittedly, I was skeptical before I saw them live in 2004, but their energetic performance was rather shockingly terrific. The Weirdness is the title of this somewhat unexpected new album and it has been highly anticipated since their recording plans with producer Steve Albini were announced last year. So far, this record has been thoroughly panned by critics across the globe, but considering the ages of the band members, and more importantly, if one remembers that Funhouse was released almost four decades ago, I would have to say that this new recording, although it has itís faults, is not a bad one.

My Idea of Fun mp3

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Locksley Don’t Make Me Wait [Feature Records]


Rating: 3.5

Back in the early sixties, there was a fairly obscure group comprised of four young men who called themselves the Beatles. Although you may not have heard of them before, they were instrumental in single-handedly acting as a nexus between syrupy fifties pop and drugged out acid rock of the late sixties and early seventies. Another group who may have evaded your radar is the Brooklyn by way of Madison, WI band Locksley. They, like the Beatles in their early days, are a foursome, wear the same outfits, have mostly two to three minute uptempo songs and each sing on the record.

Locksley Why Not Me mp3

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Money Mark Brand New By Tomorrow [Brushfire]


Rating: 3.0

Is this a Pearl Jam outtakes record culled from their recent self-titled album? Switch out the open avocado with a wooden ghetto blaster and the album cover is almost exactly the same. This CD, however, has nothing to do with Eddie Vedder and his hard rock cohorts. This is a fellow who goes by the name Money Mark, not Marky Mark, and his fourth album lies on the opposite end of the spectrum from any brand of aggressive guitar based rock (or hip hop). The newly released Brand New By Tomorrow often comes across as the kind of music that you would hear at low volume in the summertime when attending your bosses fourth of July barbecue.

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Sparklehorse – Live in Seattle, WA


Seattle, WA
February 14, 2007

Mark Linkous aka Sparklehorse has taken five years of hermetic exile from music since 2001ís incredible Itís a Wonderful Life. In that half-decade, he rarely updated his website and only released one or two tracks on compilation albums. The recently released Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain is pretty good, but contains the god awful single, ďDonít Take my Sunshine Away.Ē The new album also sees Linkous in a bit of a dry spell. That is to say he seems to be suffering from writerís block because four of the twelve tracks are outtakes, either previously released songs or re-recorded ones, from his last album. Incidentally, those songs are also the best ones on his new record.

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Aqueduct Or Give Me Death [Barsuk]

Rating: 2.0

David Terry is Aqueduct or Aqueduct is David Terry, an Oklahoma transplant who now resides in Seattle and has generated a following by opening up for bands such as Modest Mouse and the Flaming Lips. His last album, I Sold Gold was released in 2005 on Barsuk Records and helped to establish Terry in the independent music community with it’s subtle electronic arrangements and retro drum machine led rhythms. That record has possibly the worst cover that I have ever laid eyes on, which in itself signaled an obvious attempt to display, before even hearing a single note, that this was going to be derivative throwback rock. Musically, there were some intriguing things going on, but the listener has to get past the almost unbearable Ben Folds-like vocals and elementary lyrics.

Album stream: Or Give Me Death

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Lisa Germano – Live in Vancouver, BC


St. James Hall
Vancouver, BC
January 28th, 2007

Lisa Germano is one of those rare artists who has established a certain amount of critical acclaim, but remains unknown to most social hipsters and indie rock enthusiasts. She has been releasing her own records since 1991 and has also recorded as a guest musician with legendary artists such as Iggy Pop and David Bowie in addition to appearing on records by Sheryl Crow and John Cougar (Jack and Diane, Life Goes On, and a whole lot of other awful shit) Mellencamp. Don’t let the latter two names force you towards instant dismissal because she has produced a back catalog of fantastic records and she is privy to a style that is entirely her own. Her songs are fragile and melancholy, but they are sometimes psychedelic and at other times carnivalesque. Imagine if The Doors were led by a demure, soft-spoken female instead of the towering presence of someone like Jim Morrison and you will be getting somewhere close to Germanoís strange world.

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Mark Kozelek Little Drummer Boy Live [Caldo Verde]

Rating: 6.0

Mark Kozelek has had an intriguing career. In 1992, his band Red House Painters had their first collection of songs, which were essentially demos, released on the illustrious 4AD Records. The record, entitled Down Colorful Hill, only contained six songs, but each one is either a masterpiece or damn near sonically perfect. One can tell even now that the amount of care and precision that went into those demos was rare and the results are what make the record timeless and immortal.

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