THE BLOG

Compact Reviews Of This Week's Compact Discs, For Those Who Still Care #4

11/21/2009 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011

The Beasties' reissue campaign continues with an expanded, 2 CD version of their 1998 hit "Hello Nasty," now featuring an additional disc with 21 remixes and b-sides, including 7 unreleased songs.

So much more than just a romantic crooner and actor, Connick's New Orleans' roots and James Booker tutelage makes him one of America's finest piano players. Unfortunately, this record is a collection of fan favorites and oft-requested concert tunes and shows little of Connick's impressive ivory-tickling. Not bad, if you like this sort of stuff.

EDDIE & THE HOT RODS -- SINGLES COLLECTION

First ever collection from the almost legendary pub-rockers, covering all the key tracks from both their Island & EMI output. A bit short, but solid. Here's the lot:

1. Writing On The Wall
2. Wooly Bully
3. Get Out Of Denver
4. Teenage Depression
5. I Might Be Lying
6. Hard Drivin Man
7. Do Anything You Wanna Do
8. Till The Night Is Gone
9. Quit This Town
10. Life On The Line
11. Media Messiahs
12. Power & The Glory
13. At Night
14. Wide Eyed Kids

DAVID GRAY -- DRAW THE LINE

First studio release in five years from the British singer-songwriter, "Draw The Line," features duets with Annie Lennox and Jolie Holland. I also never realized just how much Gray sounds like Loudon Wainwright III. Good stuff, but I like Loudon better.

"Pieces" combines leftover tracks from both Manassas' self-titled release and "Down The Road." Amazing unreleased material featuring early versions of Stills' classics like ''Sugar Babe,'' ''Word Game'' and ''Do You Remember The Americans''

"Monsters of Folk" is the collaboration of Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward -- three of this generation's most critically acclaimed voices." Really? I've always thought these "Monsters" were three somewhat talented, but insanely over-hyped singer-songwriters. Yet together, the M.O.F. create a unique and quite pleasurable listening experience that seems to include the most accessible tunes this trio has ever offered.

Eddie Vedder and the boys are back with a vengeance. "BACKSPACER" is one kick-ass ride from the word GO! Could be the best record since their seminal debut, "Ten." Clocking in at under 40 minutes, Pearl Jam not only gets old school with the three-minute rocker, but offers some of the most tuneful songs of their career. (Shows ya what hanging around Neil Finn will do for you.)

V/A- WHERE THE ACTION IS: LOS ANGELES NUGGETS, 1965-1968

Yet another brilliant package from the good people at Rhino Records, "Nuggets 3," focuses on the L.A. scene, with songs by The Byrds, Love, The Doors, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, Captain Beefheart, The Mamas & The Papas, Lowell George, Iron Butterfly, The Seeds, The Electric Prunes, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, and of course, The Everpresent Fullness.

BYO Records, the seminal So-Cal punk label, celebrates its 25th anniversary with this fantastic 31 track collection of punk rock's best covering songs from the BYO roster. Punk icons such as the Dropkick Murphys, Leatherface, Subhumans, Bouncing Souls and NoFx covering their faves by 7 Seconds, Upright Citizens, Adolescents, Unseen and more. This is a smart tribute to an important roster of artists.

Please check out my blog, BURNING WOOD, for more on this week's releases, as well as a week's worth of quick bites and music samples.