Monday, April 7, 2008

JANGLE ON! for APRIL 2008!

JANGLE ON!
By Eric Sorensen‏, written exclusively for NOT LAME


Although there haven’t been many all-out jangly releases of late, a number of recently released discs have featured some excellent jangly, chiming tracks. Listed below are some of the standout albums and songs that have captured my ear:

PhotobucketCATHEDRAL SQUARE PARK – the latest full-length disc (on Rainbow Quartz) from THE LACKLOVES. Once again, Mike Jarvis and bandmates have crafted a superior pop album that carries on the sound of Jarvis’ former band, the Blow Pops, with tracks like “On My Way,” “Summer Rain,” “Hallmark Stars” and “Marlena.”

PhotobucketThe self-titled disc by THE ROLLO TREADWAY. “Kidnapped” is the most chiming track on this disc … and it merits consideration for “Song of the Month” honors.

Speaking of my “Song of the Month,” that honor belongs to “You Wanna Go” by TINY VOLCANO. It is as perfect a combination of Beatlesque and jangly pop as I have heard since the Spongetones were recording material in this genre!

THE MAGIC OPTICIAN – by THE FAST CAMELS. “Can You See Me?” and “Privately Insane” are bright spots on this debut disc - exhibiting jangly, chiming riffs.

PhotobucketBALLADE OF TRISTAM'S LAST HARPING by THE 17TH PYGMY. The closest this psych-pop outfit comes to jangly tracks is “New Generation” and “Let It Shine.” However, the album is a delightful romp from start to finish – taking seasoned listeners on a journey through the past that will remind them of classic Stones and Moody Blues psych-rock. The boy-girl vocals also bring back fond memories of Sweetwater and the Washington Squares.

PhotobucketPERFECT DISGUISE – the 16-song compilation (on Rainbow Quartz) by THE CONTRAST. Speaking of psych-pop, the Contrast are masters of this genre of pop music, and Perfect Disguise is a great introduction to the band for those who are unfamiliar with them. Chiming guitar riffs do sneak into several tracks – most notably “Disconnected.”

PhotobucketMISLED – by pop veteran TED LUKAS. I have enjoyed Ted Lukas’ music for almost fifteen years, and his solo output is no exception. Ted excels at straight-ahead power pop, infused with some roots appeal, and he turns up the treble setting on “Hearts Like Mine.”

Hot off the presses is PAMELA RICHARDSON’s new solo disc (on Steady Boy Records) – SAINTE-FORTUNAT. Pamela is a very talented singer/songwriter whose reverence for Gene Clark is often evident in her own songwriting. Austin All-Star Freddie Steady Krc produced this record, and Freddie and his longtime bandmate Cam King provide studio backup for Pam on the 12 tracks. While this album is not as jangly as her work with the pop-oriented Pralines, the songs on Sainte-Fortunat will connect with listeners at a deeper level. My favorite track is “Passion Simple” – which gives a nod to chiming guitars.

PhotobucketWHAT WE HAD – a 23-track compilation of early 80s material by the band WEDNESDAY WEEK. Remember the Bangles? Remember the Go-Gos? Of course you do. Remember the Wednesday Week? Probably not … but their sound will certainly remind you of both premier girl groups from that same era. “Looking Back” and “Also Clear” will both please jangleholics’ ears.

JANGLE WALTZ – by the PSYCHEDELIC COWBOYS. This concept album conjures up images of the Band’s The Last Waltz … with an eclectic blend of contemporary roots-rock and psychedelic flourishes. Twelve-string guitar riffs stand out on several of the tracks, so jangle enthusiasts will enjoy “Jangle 1,” “All Night,” “Last DWI” and the band’s cool cover version of Love’s “Alone Again Or” (which was also covered nicely in the late 80s by the Damned). The Psychedelic Cowboys look like a cross between the Grateful Dead and ZZ Top, so it must be a blast to see this band perform live!

Several older acquisitions also made their way into my play stack this past month:

WOW AND FLUTTER – by JIMMY ASCHENBENER. I discovered this album when it was available from mp3, and it has stood the test of time quite well. “Open Spaces” could easily be mistaken for an early REM song, right down to the vocals and the lyrics. The same can be said of “Just A Question.” Aschenbener’s chiming Rickenbacker will remind listeners of the Byrds and 60s pop on tracks like “I’ve Got A Heart, Too” and “Life After Stayce.”

PERSPEX ISLAND – ROBYN HITCHCOCK AND THE EGYPTIANS. Still my favorite Robyn Hitchcock album. “If You Go Away” and “Birds In Perspex” both overflowed with chiming pseudo-60s riffs. I can still remember cruising the blue highways of Virginia in the spring of 1991, with the sun roof open, listening to these great songs!

THUNDER AND THE PLAINS – ERIC STRAUMANIS. The chiming track “Center of Town” bears favorable comparisons with Tom Petty and Russ Tolman (“Murphy’s Barn”).

PhotobucketBLEECKER STREET: GREENWICH VILLAGE IN THE 60S – this 16-song tribute to 60s singer/songwriters includes Marshall Crenshaw’s excellent version of “My Back Pages” (covered wonderfully last year by Jeffrey Foskett) and a terrific 1:40 instrumental version of “Turn! Turn! Turn!” that features an electric 12-string guitar … providing further evidence that Roger McGuinn knew best how to arrange this classic tune!

Until next month, jangle on!

1 Comments:

Blogger megster said...

Thank you for the kind thoughts and including us in this list of artists!

The 17th Pygmy

April 16, 2008 at 6:18 PM  

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