THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Compact Reviews of This Week's Compact Discs, for Those Who Still Care #8

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JASON BOESEL- HUSTLER'S SON

A smart and much needed fresh slice of Americana, from a man who spends most of his time sitting behind the drums for Rilo Kiley and Bright Eyes, "Hustler's Son" finds Boesel trading in his drum mount for the songwriter's seat, and with help from David Rawlings and Benmont Tench, delivers a very strong debut. Check this record out, especially "Burned Out And Busted" and "Winking Eyes." You WILL get lost.

ELVIS COSTELLO- THE COSTELLO SHOW VOLUME 2: LIVE AT HOLLYWOOD HIGH


The second installment of the new, ongoing, UMG Elvis Costello "Let's Suck The Life And Last Red Cent Out Of The Fans" campaign, is actually a step in the right direction. The legendary "Hollywood High" show from 1978 sees its first official release. This new series, which started with the infamous "El Mocambo" show, continues with this classic, now featuring 11 unreleased tracks. Let's hope Volume 3 is not a reissue of "El Mocambo."

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THE ELECTRIC MESS- THE ELECTRIC MESS

Back in November of 2008, I ran a piece about the Electric Mess. Take a look HERE. This band knocked me out from the very first day I saw them perform live and I have been waiting patiently for the record. Well, the debut release has arrived and it does not disappoint. This is The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The MC5, The Shangri-Las, The Stooges and The Who, all wrapped up in one. Check them out at THE ELECTRICMESS.COM and BUY THIS RECORD.


FREEDY JOHNSTON-RAIN ON THE CITY

Rolling Stone once called Freedy Johnston one of "America's finest songwriters." I've always thought Freedy was a bit overrrated myself, but releasing a new album for the first time in 8 years is exciting, nonetheless.

OK GO- OF THE BLUE COLOUR OF THE SKY

Who didn't love the "treadmill" video? Unfortunately, the energy of their live shows has yet to translate to record. The smart lyrics and catchy melodies of Damian Kulash seem to always get buried underneath a muddy production usually reserved for Def Leppard. Let's see if this new release takes care of that problem.

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RINGO STARR- Y NOT

The new, aptly titled record from Mr. Starkey has Beatles' references up the wazoo and that's alright. It's bloody Ringo. Nothing special, but nothing terrible either. "Y Not" is a respectable pop record, with some very special guests and an excellent duet with Paul McCartney.

This is from Billboard.com:

"People just came out and supported me 'cause I was doing it," Starr tells Billboard.com about a guest list that includes Beatles mate Paul McCartney, brother-in-law Joe Walsh, Joss Stone, Ben Harper, Van Dyke Parks, Don Was and All Starr Band alumni Edgar Winter, Billy Squier, Gary Wright and Richard Marx. "A lot of it was just people hanging out and thinking, 'Let's try this.'

McCartney, according to Starr, was originally slated for just one song, "Peace Dream," but after laying down a bass part for that he listened to some of the other songs he also contributed a vocal to "Walk With You." "He heard that one and said, 'Gimme a pair of (headphones) and give me a track. I want to do something on that,' " Starr says. "And then he just did that follow (vocal). He comes in a beat after me...so that's how that ended up."

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VAMPIRE WEEKEND- CONTRA

One of the greatest blessings about being an American is the freedom to never have to listen to this record or any other recorded sounds by this band ever again. What are they? Twee Soca? This is fucking terrible.

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LAURA VEIRS- JULY FLAME

I think Mojo may have given "July Flame" 5 stars, and while I wouldn't go that far, I will say that on her 7th release, Laura Veirs has put together one of the finest records of her career; a gorgeous collection of psychedelic folk songs that will keep you focused for its duration.

For more music, please go to Burning Wood. You won't be sorry.