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Music

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Blunderbuss by Jack White

I find the White Stripes hit or miss so I wasn't expecting to love this CD.  But I do. There is no denying that Jack White is a talented guy.  The songs are familiar yet unexpected.  The opening riff of Love Interruption is pretty close to Son of a Preacher Man but the lyrics: "I want love to: grab my fingers gently, Slam them in a doorway, Put my face into the ground" aren't run of the mill.

Some Nights by Fun.

The band's name says it all: Fun. I started listening to this CD in the car without knowing what to expect and was a believer by the end of the first track. Loaded with hooks and anthemic sing-along choruses, the whole album will just lift you up. You'll time travel to the days of Queen when listening to "Some Nights Intro" and even if you haven't been young for years, you'll love "We Are Young", the hit single that reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sign me up for the fan club!

The Sound of Music by the dB's

The release today of the dB's first album in 25 years got me to thinking about The Sound of Music.  The catchy tunes and smart lyrics are timeless.  You won't be saying "that's wicked eighties" like my sister's boyfriend always does when she plays her favorites from that era.  These are just well crafted pop songs that are about something.    Who can't relate to lyrics like these from "Working for Somebody Else": "I been working too hard and too long for too little / Seems like every day is just about the same / And it don't get any better." It'

Yes and Also Yes by Mike Doughty

Former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty's wordplay is what makes this an interesting CD.  He can be very amusing and he comes up with great lines.  When was the last time you heard someone say claptrap?  In Rational Man he starts with "Don't give me your claptrap, Don't give me your stinking words, You make me feel like a fat sap, Hapless, in a dirty shirt."   Another great line is "She doesn't fall in love, She takes hostages" from The Huffer and the Cutter.   The duet with Rosanne Cash, Holiday (What do you want), is as much ab

Torrent Volume 1 & 2 by Will Dailey

Will Dailey—a local musician who has been playing in Boston and around the country for many years—compiled his two digitally released EPs from 2009 to create this 13-song powerhouse CD that includes a 60s-inspired rock song evoking Neil Young, an anthem for Boston’s Allston neighborhood, and guest vocals and guitar work from veterans of the Boston music scene, including Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo), Elliot Easton (The Cars), and Tim Brennan (Dropkick Murphys). If you haven’t heard Dailey’s music, he’s worth the listen!

Cloudburst and Other Choral Works by Eric Whitacre

This is an ear-opening CD for those who haven't already discovered composer Eric Whitacre's music. The recording features polyphonic, mostly a cappella choral music, set to poems by a variety of poets, from e.e. cummings to Emily Dickinson to Octavio Paz. The result is an arresting soundscape with unexpected chord progressions and a unique ensemble effect. Check Our Catalog

Bert Jansch

This innovative Scottish guitarist and songwriter was influential both as a solo artist and as a key member of the popular British folk-rock group Pentangle during the 1960s and 70s.  His subject matter was often dark, as in one of his most famous songs, "Needle of Death", and his delivery restrained but very affecting. Jansch died in October 2011 at the age of 67. If you've never heard his music, give it a listen!

Don't Call Me Buckwheat by Garland Jeffreys

Jeffreys' sound is a unique blend of rock, reggae, island, jazz, and Latin music brilliantly melded together by his intelligent, provocative songwriting and distinctive vocals. His 1992 disc, "Don't Call Me Buckwheat" is an old favorite of mine but it's been difficult to get his older recordings from the 70s and 80s (hard to find on CD) and he doesn't record often.  He's just released his first new album in 13 years, "The King of In Between". If you've never heard of this artist, you have a treat in store.

Césaria Évora RIP

The 'Barefoot Diva' died Saturday at 70 but her smokey, soulful voice lives on in her recordings. A native of Cape Verde, Évora sang the traditional music of her country, which combines West African percussion with Portuguese fados, Brazilian modhinas, and British sea shanties. Her music is uniquely beautiful and not to be missed.

I Learned the Hard Way by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Retro-soul that will take you back to the 60s, featuring Sharon Jones' gritty, passionate vocals and The Dap-Kings' driving deep funk sound. This CD bears listening and re-listening and they also put on a floor-shaking high-energy live performance if you're lucky enough to catch them on tour (which I did just last night in Portsmouth). Check Our Catalog

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