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Sunday, January 1, 2012



Here, in random order, is my 2011 Top Ten list of records, as they appear on my official ballot for this year’s annual Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics’ poll, which I’ve been voting in since 1939. Well, it sure seems like it.


01. Andy CreegganAndiwork III (Bongo Beat) :: This wonderfully weird and wonky record is one of the most creatively inventive instrumental musical albums to come down the pike since Columbia released the avant garde album Peanuts: The Incomparable Comic Strip Comes To Life in 1962—and that’s definitely saying something you blockhead!

02. Daniel Jamieson’s Danjam OrchestraSudden Appearance (OA2) :: From the frantic ten minute rain-soaked noir bop of “Alone Together” to the hepper than hip twelve minute title track to the sensitive and sensuously smooth take given the Charlie Chaplin standard “Smile,” this is one album that’ll be in heavy rotation on your turntable for weeks.

Hot Club Of CowtownWhat Makes Bob Holler: A Tribute To Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys (Proper) :: Wherein this Hot Clubbin’ trio document their affection for the King Of Western Swing and each one of these fourteen tracks will transport you back to the much simpler days when all manner of swing was king and country swing in particular ruled the roost.

04. T-Model Ford and GravelRoadTaledragger (Alive) :: T-Model Ford is this gravelly voiced gazillion-year-old bluesman who’s got more hot spunk loaded in the little finger of his left hand than you’ve got in your entire spuzzy wang dang doodle—and that goes double for alla youse loose wimmens; triple for alla youse tight ones. Believe you me, this is the authentic blooze sound that Jimmy Page sold his sordid soul to snatch, but never managed to snare.

05. James Lee Stanley and Cliff EberhardtAll Wood And Doors (MVD Audio) :: C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon now; trust me, Babe: can’t you see that I am not afraid to say that this tastefully acoustic guitar session is nothing less than a bluesy stripped-down symposium that showcases how truly timeless The Doors’ greatest hits really are? Bonus points for being accompanied by erstwhile Doors members Robbie Krieger and John Densmore; plus previous Monkee Peter Tork. Hey hey, they’re the Doorkees!

06. Ben WatersBoogie 4 Stu: A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Eagle) :: This tribute to the Rolling Stones’ late lamented co-founder and ace ivory tickler is not only a more than worthy heartfelt tip of the hat to the man, it’s an exemplary exercise in the kind of countrified boogie blues rock that Stu excelled in playing all his life. And keyboardist Waters, who used to play with Stewart, even managed to reunite the perfect group of musicians to help him record his rockin’ requiem: the aforesaid Stones themselves.

07. Levin Torn WhiteLevin Torn White (Lazy Bones) :: These three wise men take everything that you thought you knew about heavy industrial progressive rock and transmute it from traditional fusion into a new element of audio contusion that you won’t find on any heavy metal periodical table. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard how the spasm-inducing slaw firm of Levin Torn & White effortlessly commands this volatile new source of aural energy that kids a quarter of their age only wish they could corral.

08. Kate ReidDoing It For The Chicks (self released) :: Living up to the title of her debut album I’m Just Getting Started, this brazen hussy now has the nerve to actually use her latest tell-all album as a recruitment tool to conscript innocent sweet young things into her service, as evidenced by her oral offer on the title track wherein she actually admits: “I’m merely on a divine plan to convert you all to the dark side of the bedroom!”

09. Carl DixonLucky Dog (DD) :: “Lucky” ain’t the word to describe a guy who got seriously smearcased in a horrific head-on collision only to improbably survive and then ambitiously thrive, but it’s one heckuva good start. You can take it from me when I tell ya that Lucky Dog is a classic rock fan’s delight because it sounds just like it was recorded back in the halcyonic ’70s.

10. Done On BradstreetDone On Bradstreet (self released) :: This butane barn-burner was recorded in 1970, released in 2011, and well worth the 41 year wait. Anchored by the authentic hallmark sound of the late ’60s, it’s a vital energizing example of classic rock at its finest that’ll jack you back to the days when bands like Steppenwolf and Lighthouse ruled the royal roost.

Be seeing you!

Sun, January 1, 2012 | link 

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