Friday, September 22, 2006

I Have Failed You Grasshopper

A little while ago, Lefty named me as his “Musical Guru #5,” which is really kind of cool. I know Lefty listens to and likes a LOT of music, so it’s pretty neat that he thinks that much of my own musical tastes. However, I didn’t realize that being a guru carried so much responsibility!

In July, he turned to me and several other of his gurus for some musical recommendations for his birthday shopping, and I was just too busy to get back to him in a timely manner. I’m a failure as a guru, I guess. Worse yet, he called me out on it. And it's still taken me this long to get back to him! Looks like I’ll never get promoted out of the number 5 slot, and I could actually be dropped down the list!! Worse, I totally missed out on his birthday music excursion!

Still, I couldn’t pass up the chance to throw out a few ideas for the next time he’s in a mood to pick up some music. So here, for Lefty and anyone else who might be interested, or my picks from some of the current musical releases. I decided to stick with 2006 releases because I thought they would be easier for Chris to track them down.

I know he’s got this year’s releases from Kris Kristofferson, plus the Mark Knopfler/Emmylou Harris collaboration, the Springsteen Seeger album, and the Gram Parsons boxed set, so he’s already got the best of the year, in my opinion.

Still, there’s quite a bit to recommend:

Rhett Miller: He’s the lead singer of the Old 97’s (a band I know Lefty likes), but does side projects from time to time, including this solo album that just came out this year. Like his band, Miller blends rock, alt-country, folk, and power pop in his songs. I really like him a lot.

Teddy Thompson: He’s Richard and Linda Thompson’s son, which means he’s got good musical genes, and it shows. He also had a new CD come out this year.

Linda Ronstadt: This one hasn't been out for too long. She’s teaming up with Anne Savoy to do a Cajun/zydeco album. I’ve loved Ronstadt for ages and ages, and am so glad to see her stretching back to more roots oriented music.

Some Day Things Will Be Much Worse--Meat Purveyors: Anyone who likes punk as much as Lefty does should have some Meat Purveyors in his collection. They’s made a career out of playing traditional, string band-style music with punk rock intensity. Their stuff is really compelling. I love the lead singer’s voice! For the first time in their career, they used electric instruments on the new album. Sadly, they're also breaking up. Sigh!

Lost John Dean--Kieran Kane/Kevin Welch: Love, love, love Kieran Kane, whether on his own or with Kevin Welch. Dark, moody music about desperate characters! Gotta love it. The new album features “Postcards from Mexico” a call and response song about a man who took the rap for a robbery his girlfriend committed. It’s awesome.

Unsung--Slaid Cleaves: One of my favorite singer-songwriters. He also spends a lot of time on the lonely side of town with the down and out. His new album is covers of songs by songwriters from the Austin area, which is where he lives. He wanted to try and give some attention to other local talents, which is way cool.

T-Bone Burnett: Lord, the man only releases albums every decade or so! What other reason do you need to pick this one up?

Well, that should be enough to keep anyone busy for a while. Oh yeah, happy VERY belated birthday, Chris! Can I hold on to that number 5 slot?


Lefty said...

hmmmm, that gordon guy may have taken your spot. i'll look more at your list when i have some funds and pick something up. I had thought about the T-Bone Burnett just because i have a fondness for Xtian artists whoare working in the cookie cutter world of Christian music.

Oh the Mrs and I got your discs. I'll review the one disc this weekm and listen to the rest. I have to say that so far I'm REALLY impressed with some of the I love Return of the Grievous Angel.

EM said...

Oh come on! Gordon should be much higher than #5! :-) Sriuosy, just make me your permanent number 10 and then I don't have as many aspirations to live up to. :-) Glad you like what you're hearing so far. Grievous Angel is just a classic. It;s one of those songs I catch myself humming every so often for no reason.