A few discs to start off the work week:
Various Artists-Thank You Friends: An Almost There Records Tribute to Big Star. Typing that title is going to take me as long as it does to type the review. Unwieldy moniker aside, this is a quality tribute disc and a great way to get into Big Star's music if you haven't already. There are some artists on here that some of you may be familiar with: Joe, Marc's Brother is a natural for "You Get What You Deserve"; Grand Champeen, whose Dial T for This was a fine recent release, captures the melancholy of "Daisy Glaze" perfectly; and Moonlight Towers (whose Like You Were Never There from 2005 is a must-have) gets the honor of covering "September Gurls", one of the greatest power pop songs of all time in this reviewer's humble opinion. CD Baby
Standing Waves-Light Fuse. Lay on Ground. Run Away. The title is always good advice, especially after you've done the first thing. No need to run away from this disc, however, as this Minnesota band has offered up a first-rate collection of pop/rock that in the spirit of today's roundup has a bit of a Big Star/Teenage Fanclub influence. Highlights here include the melancholy "Astronomy", the Third/Sister Lovers-influenced "Aftercrash (5 sec)", and the near-funk of "Rocky's Butcher Shop", which wouldn't have sounded out of place on one of Alex Chilton's adventurous solo discs. Also a standout is "Einstein's Marriage", a Michael Penn-ish delight. My advice: Buy Disc. Place in CD Player. Listen.
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The Fools-10. This is the tenth release for this Boston band (hence the title), and somehow I managed to miss out on the first nine. I'll have my ears out for #11, though, as 10 is a winner (if not a 10 itself) - it's excellent power pop in the vein of bands like Coronet Blue, The Nines and Third of Never. The driving "Time Will Not Erase Us" works as both a defiant stand by a veteran band and an anthemic rocker that even quotes Tom Petty's "The Waiting". "No Free Love" is a fine midtempo tune, and "Time Goes Slipping By" reminds me a bit of The Meadows. A nice find of a band that's been under the radar all these years.
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