February New Releases!

Months ago, I announced plans to include occasional music files of notable purchases. At the time I was just jumping on the music blog bandwagon, and after a couple of posts it became another good idea that I failed to follow through.
But I’m going to give this another try. With outlets for music becoming fewer and fewer (except for MySpace.com, I guess) how can a person discover new (and old) artists without a little help?
Her are a few things I’ve purchased in recent weeks. If you find anything you like, please support the artist by buying their album.

Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor”.   The Arctic Monkeys are the next big thing in England, but for once the hype may be justified. Sure, there’s a bit of the Franz Ferdinand thing going on, but they’re much more than merely clones. There’s an attitude missing in 90% of today’s rock that’s present throughout this surprisingly rocking release.

Cracker, “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)”.   When the members of Cracker discovered that their former record label was putting out a greatest hits album, they weren’t happy. Unable to stop the album’s release, the band decided to re-record nearly all of the tracks that were set to be on the major label compilation, and release it on the same day. What a great “F.U.” to those weasels!

K.T. Tunstall, “Another Place To Fall”.   Tunstall has been a critic’s darling ever since her album was released in England last year, nabbing high places in almost every major magazine’s year-end poll. Her album was finally released in America a couple of weeks ago, and it’s easy to see how she justifies the acclaim. Mix a little bit Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynne, Rickie Lee Jones, and even a tad of Carole King.

Nine Black Alps, “Shot Down”.   I know nothing about these guys, except that the Left of Center show on Sirius plays this Replacements-ish track quite often. A new full-length album will be released on February 28.

Ray Davies, “All She Wrote”.   After 40 years of leading the British Invasion’s most underrated band, the Kinks, Ray Davies has finally released his first solo album. While musically it’s a bit softer than maybe most fans would desire, lyrically he hasn’t lost his touch.

The Minus 5, “With Gun”.   What does a multimillionaire guitarist do in his spare time? While most sit out by the pool of their mansion, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck records and tours with former Young Fresh Fellow leader (and current auxiliary R.E.M. member) Scott McCaughey. Besides McCaughey and Buck, this album also features Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, John Wesley Harding, the Posies’ Ken Stringfellow, and Wilco on an album of pure power pop.

The Subways, “Rock & Roll Queen”.   Another British sensation, this trio conjures up memories of the Vines. Hopefully, they won’t implode like that infamous Australian band.

Willie Nile, “Best Friend’s Money”.   Nile has been around the music biz since he was lauded as a next-generation Bob Dylan back in the late 70’s. Aided by Dylan’s son (and Wallflowers leader) Jakob, Nile has released his first album in over six years. Nile’s cover of the Clash’s “Police On My Back” almost made an appearance, but the pure pop of this tune could be the real highlight of the album.


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