Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Blurb-o-rama, Roundup, whatever you want to call it.

Still making up for lost time here, so I figure I'll trot another batch of discs for your consideration.

Brett Terry-Retrospective Lives. Fine singer-songwriter stuff for those like their pop a bit folky. Standout track: "Left The Earth Today". CD Baby | Official Site

Dean Owens-Whisky Hearts. The third disc from this Scottish singer-songwriters has turned out to be one of the more pleasant surprises for me this year, striking me as something of a cross between Bob Evans' Suburban Songbook, Willie Nile's Streets of New York, and Ryan Adams' Gold. Recorded in Nashville, Owens utilized local help like Will Kimbrough, Robert Reynolds of The Mavericks, Jen Gunderman (Jayhawks) and Thad Cockrell, a fine artist in his own right. And where else are you going to find a track that sounds like Springsteen ("Years Ago") followed by one that sounds like Josh Rouse ("Beth on the Trampoline"). I'm probably giving this one short shrift by not breaking it out as a CD of the Day, but I've spilled too much ink already to go back. MySpace | CD Universe (import)

Green Peppers-Domino Mornings. England's Neon Tetra is one of those labels that I'm beginning to consider picking up its releases on spec, kind of like Rainbow Quartz in the US. Already home to Daniel Wylie and The Hazey Janes, two artists who can do no wrong in my book, they bring us Jim McCulloch's Green Peppers, a kind of loose-knit gathering of McCulloch, and whichever one of his buddies happened to pass by the studio while he was recording. This vibe undoubtedly led to the disc's best track, "Honest Injun", featuring ex-Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie on lead vocals. Meanwhile, the rest of the disc should appeal to those who enjoy the other Neon Tetra artists. And while it's an import, you can snap it up on eMusic. MySpace | eMusic | Kool Kat

The Cosmosonics-Junk Rock....for Lovers! For those like the glam side of power pop, Pittsburgh's Cosmosonics are your guys. Standout track: "Rave It Up!", the title of which could serve as the band's mission statement as well. MySpace | Official Site

The Grip Weeds-House of Vibes Revisited. Any power pop fan worth his or her salt knows the Grip Weeds well, and here they come full circle by re-releasing their 1994 classic, House of Vibes, the disc which put them on the map. If Little Steven is calling one of your tracks ("Salad Days") the coolest song in the world, well you know you've done something right. But there's more to it than this, and anyone who's come to the Weeds late (as well as anyone who came to them early) needs to pick this one up. Bonus tracks galore, interviews with band members, it's all here. Standout track: "Salad Days", of course. CD Baby | Kool Kat (w/even more bonus tracks)| MySpace

The Small Stars-Tijuana Dreams. This side project of Fastball's Miles Zuniga (under the nom de plume of Guy Fantasy) is a real treat, especially for those who preferred his stuff in Fastball over Tony Scalzo's (even though all the big hits were Scalzo's, save "Fire Escape", the exception that proves the rule). Anyway, just imagine what Paul McCartney would have sounded like had he grown up in a Tex-Mex setting, and you have Tijuana Dreams. Favorite track: "Love Is Grand". CD Baby | MySpace

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