26 July 2009

New old music

Dropped by The Music Coop in Ashland and picked up some new CDs. Right now I've got Dwight Yoakam's Dwight Sings Buck from New West on the stereo. Seems natural that Mr. Yoakam should make a tribute album to the late Buck Owens, as he obviously owes much of his musical style to the so-called "Bakersfield Sound." I've been a closet fan of Dwight Yoakam since his debut Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. in 1986. My brother Brian is responsible for piercing my prejudice against c & w by playing this album for me way back then. Yoakam's made consistently excellent music since that time (this disc is no exception), and become an international star. There are a lot of great tunes on Dwight Sings Buck, but it was particularly fun to hear "Act Naturally." The story is that Buck and The Beatles were mutual fans, and that's not surprising. Mr. Owens' music is simple, heartfelt, and singable--great for bars, nite clubs and honky-tonks. I imagine many early pop and rock acts cut their teeth on songs like these before they found their own groove. Next up is Ed Palermo's Big Band, an act we saw at the Iridium Jazz Club in Manhattan during our short stay there in June of 2005. (Les Paul, at 94, is a regular performer.) It's all Zappa music, as that is Mr. Palermo's ouevre. The album is "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance," and that's also the 2nd track--a lovely instrumental version. The live act was brilliant, and the recording captures their passion and virtuosity. Up third is another bit of old stuff. The first two were new releases (2007 and 2006), but playing older music. This one is a re-issue of The Pogues first record, Red Roses for Me, from 1984. This disc has bonus tracks and liner notes and whatnot, and fills in my collection alongside Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, and If I Should Fall From Grace with God, the "holy trinity" of Pogues music. If any group embodies the perfect blend of modernity and tradition, it's The Pogues, the original British punk/new-wave Irish folk band. There's nothing quite like those Shane MacGowan-led rockers, they do their own thing and it's bloody fookin' grand. That's what's in my disc changer this afternoon, and it's all great and I'm loving it. What are you listening to?

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