Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
The title of Austin quartet Spoon’s latest refers to the monotonous piano chord that drives the second song on this record, “The Ghost of You Lingers.” The song sounds simple, even boring at first, but it develops well, with blurts of electronica, echo effects and a yearning cry to a lost lover, sung in an unexpected falsetto. That is the nature of this tight little band: they stick to a dance beat, with few solos, but the guitars sound hot, and lead singer Britt Daniel’s hoarse voice lingers appealingly in your mind. It’s a short record, only 36 minutes long, but includes two or three potential hits, especially the sexy “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb.”
Download: “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”, “The Underdog”
An entire album of covers of Bob Dylan songs. Is this trip really necessary? It’s got plenty of really great people on it — well-traveled session guitarist Chris Spedding, Brian Eno, Robin Trower, etc. — but when you want to see Rodan, you see Rodan, not the works of Rodin. This album is sort of like the “Toronto Miracle”: an Airbus A340 overshoots the runway at Toronto Pearson and explodes; all 309 people survive, but it’s still a fucking wreck! Every one of these tracks makes me feel embarrassed and kind of sick, like if I were to find a picture of me in that rented toast-colored tux I wore to high school prom. Sort of like the truly hideous artwork on the cover, actually.
Download: “Gates of Eden”
Healing the Divide:
A Concert for Peace and Reconciliation
What do Tom Waits, Kronos Quartet, Philip Glass, Foday Musa Suso, Anoushka Shankar and Richard Gere have in common? Why, an admiration for the Dalai Lama and a desire to help the monks and nuns of Tibet, of course. This mind-opening live record offers gifted artists from around the world, from Philip Glass and the gorgeous kota of Foday Musa Suso to Tom Waits playing with, in some ways, his best band ever, Kronos Quartet. Records of benefit concerts tend to freature heartfelt but sloppy renditions of hits. This has no hits, but many surprises and much beauty.
Download: “Diamond in Your Mind” (Tom Waits & Kronos Quartet)