Music

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Rory Gallagher

Listening to a blues radio show this last weekend I heard an amazing guitarist I hadn't heard before. The DJ said it was recorded live in Belfast in the early 1970's - at a time when Belfast was a very unsafe place. I went to the library catalog and didn't find any CDs I could borrow, but I was delighted to discover a significant number of titles from our streaming service (hoopla).

The Woods by Sleater-Kinney

For no good reason, Sleater-Kinney has been one of those groups that I’ve had on the backburner for quite a while.  After hearing that they were reuniting after a decade hiatus, I thought I should finally educate myself with this pivotal band in the riot grrrl and indie rock scene. The Woods is the last album they released in 2005, and it’s an anthem for butt-kicking women everywhere.  The opening track “The Fox” is a powerful jam that sets the precedent for hard guitar riffs and catchy vocals.

Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone by Lucinda Williams

Oh the sweet, comforting songs of a strong voice and a soulful electric guitar. Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone is her first album on her own label, Highway 20 Records. She's had some famous fights with labels and it sure is great to hear her stretch out her complete control. This is a long album - two cds, just shy of two hours of music, and it feels great the entire time. As the nights get long this will be a good friend.

The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas by Courtney Barnett

As a librarian, with access to all manner of free entertainment, I rarely purchase a CD. I get EVERYTHING from the library. But when I heard the song Avant Gardener and found that it was not available at any of the libraries to which I have access, I had to buy it. I do not regret it. I really love this CD. It's full of great songs that are witty and festive, delivered in a raspy deadpan. The rockers rock and the slow songs are melodic and thoughtful. The Thomas Crane now owns a copy of this CD so you too can experience this excellent work. I can't wait to hear what she does next.

Midnight Sun by Ghost of a Saber Tooth Toger

Sweet psychedelic rock from Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Catchy melodies, plenty of noise, and a good beat. It is pretty wild to hear the musical and clear vocal resonance of Sean's famous father (John), but this music also really stands on its own. Lots of stelar tracks. I particularly enjoy Animals (the video is also fun - see below). Check Our Catalog

The Breeze by Eric Clapton & Friends

Eric Clapton channels J.J. Cale in this newly released tribute to Cale's rootsy, bluesy music. You might know the Clapton hits "Cocaine" and "After Midnight" but not that they were written by Cale. This album showcases Cale's relaxed, laid-back style, perfect listening while sitting on your back deck sipping your favorite summer beverage. Listen now to The Breeze or go right to the source and check out some of J.J.

No Fools, No Fun by Puss N Boots

Fans of Norah Jones (Ravi Shankar's daughter) should not be surprised that her new band (well, technically not new, they've been playing in clubs for several years but this is their first album together) continues her adventures into country music. Unlike her covers of Every Brothers tunes (her last album, with Green Day's Bille Joe Armstrong), this is a mix of covers and originals, performed by Jones, Sasha Dobson, and Catherine Popper.

You Are My Flower by Elizabeth Mitchell

I’ll admit that I was drawn to this CD mainly for the vintage photograph on the cover, but it turned out to be exactly what I’ve been searching for: a children’s album that my baby likes, with songs that I’m actually happy to get stuck in my head.  Formerly of the indie band “Ida,” Elizabeth Mitchell transitioned into solo children’s music in the late 1990s and has been perfecting it ever since.  Mitchell does some beautiful covers of Woody Guthrie and Elizabeth Cotten, and manages to make folk songs soothing, but fun and upbeat at the same time.

Sky Full of Holes by Fountains of Wayne

My love affair with Fountains of Wayne began two weeks ago when I heard the song "Acela". When my old supervisor used to tell me that I would love Fountains of Wayne I didn't scoff, but I didn't pursue it either. I'd heard "Stacy's Mom". "Acela" is one of many catchy songs on "Sky Full of Holes", their 2011 release. Others include "Cemetery Guns", "Richie and Ruben", "Hate to See You Like This", and my favorite,"Cold Comfort Flowers".

Turn Blue by The Black Keys

At once timeless and brand new, this beautiful album invokes my favorite Pink Floyd (circa Dark Side of the Moon) and Neil Young (Down By the River), while being true to its own sensibilities. As is to be expected with The Black Keys, the drumming is stellar - spot on, crisp, and not overwrought at all.

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