This Week’s Hit Parade
Most of the time here at Nippertown.com headquarters, our music listening regimen is pretty much determined by who’s coming to town or who we’re interviewing, but once in a while we get to listen to some old favorites or some curious new releases or just play catch-up on what we might have missed. This past holiday weekend was one of those times:
PICK OF THE WEEK
Susan Cowsill’s “Lighthouse” (Threadhead Records, 2010): Yes, it’s little Susan from the Cowsills, but she’s all grown up, and she’s got a voice to prove it. It’s a glorious gumbo of pop, rock and country with a few special guests dropping by – Jackson Browne on “Avenue of the Indians” and her assorted Cowsill brothers on “River of Love.” New Orleans is Cowsill’s home, and the Katrina-battered city permeates the music here from the heartbreaking “Could This Be Home” to the gospelesque “ONOLA.” And the album’s undeniable highwater mark is the closing “Crescent City Sneaux,” a soaring, defiant, ultimately joyous declaration of survival.
How To Destroy Angels, new work from Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Renznor, former West Indian Girl vocalist Mariqueen Maandig and long-time NIN producer/programmer Atticus Ross. The 6-track ep is available as a free download.
Florence & the Machine’s “Lungs” (Universal Republic, 2009)
Patti Scialfa’s “Play It As It Lays” (Columbia, 2007)
Gary Burton’s “Artist’s Choice” (Bluebird, 1987)
Paula Cole’s “Harbinger” (Imago, 1994)
Shannon McNally and Hot Sauce’s “Coldwater” (shannonmcnally.com, 2009)
Lady Gaga’s “The Fame Monster” (Interscope, 2009)
Monica Mancini’s “I’ve Loved These Days” (Concord, 2010)
Lou Reid & Carolina’s “My Own Set of Rules” (Rural Rhythm, 2009)
MUST TO AVOID
Soundtrack: “Shrek Forever After: Music from the Motion Picture” (DGC Records, 2010). Of course, I didn’t expect much, but OMG the between-tune “skits” are relentlessly annoying.
RE: Lady Gaga…
While I can’t say I like her — to me, she’s just another Madonna — I’d have to admit that I’m addicted to her snappy songs. “Alejandro” has been floating around in my head for over a week now. Even songs I didn’t initially like (“Telephone”) wind up dancing through my mind. I think it helps cement the songs in our minds when they use them for the dance routines in “So You Think You Can Dance.” I remember the one where they used “Bad Romance” best. Though the stand out of all the shows was the one where they had all the dancers wrapped in glow lights dancing to “Let It Rock.”
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