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Getting Reacquainted

Another interesting development: one of my ex-coworkers contacted me to do CD reviews for a local upscale lifestyle magazine. I accepted. It’s a sweet little gig — three mini-reviews a month, no restrictions but for a vague instruction to cover a wide variety of genres (and presumably stuff that would appeal to free-spending North Scottsdaleite families). It’s neat, but also scary. I haven’t done any professional music writing since 2000, but in the past week the old thrills/frustrations of music criticism have flooded back. Mainly that the major labels can be a pain in the butt to deal with, and that the indies are much more accessible (and now, six years on, doesn’t it seem so quaintly “20th century” to ask for a physical copy of the music you want to cover?). Just this morning, I dealt with a music conglomerate switchboard operator who acted as if reciting the name of his employers was the most arduous task ever known to mankind.

Anyways, I’d like to fish for some suggestions here. For this first one, I have new releases locked in from The Pernice Brothers, Nanci Griffith, and an undetermined third artist. But I only have a few things in mind for the next go-round (which is due a week later), compounded by the problem that December/January is traditionally the slowest period of the year for new releases. Anybody got ideas?

6 Thoughts on “Getting Reacquainted

  1. maybe the new cornelius? or the dreamgirls soundtrack? or the new tom waits? it looks like there’s new jack jones and neil diamond coming out as well. or you could review that billy idol christmas album(but maybe it’s already too late for that). or maybe one of those expanded re-issues. depeche mode, the cure, pulp, etc.

  2. Tim Halbur on November 27, 2006 at 11:05 pm said:

    Matt, I don’t know how allergic you are to country, but one of my favorite musicians just released a new album you should check out. His name is Wayne Hancock, and he’s the one true descendant of Hank Williams and Bob Wills. His new album is called Tulsa, and I haven’t even had much of a chance myself to check it out, but everything he does is gold in my book. Pretty damn twangy, not for everyone’s taste.

  3. Some of these were released in the last few months. Also, perhaps your third pick could be not-necessarily-new, but ‘New to You’ and point readers to an old favorite.

    ALT/FOLK/ROCK:
    – ‘Hello Love’ by The Be Good Tanyas
    – ‘9’ by Damien Rice
    – ‘Post-War’ by M.Ward
    – ‘Return to Cookie Mountain’ by TV on the Radio
    – ‘Magic Potion’ by The Black Keys
    – ‘Funnel Cloud’ by Hem
    CHILL/DANCE:
    – ‘Koop Island’ by Koop
    – ‘To All New Arrivals’ by Faithless
    – ‘Intercept’ by Bent
    – ‘Into the Blue Again’ by The Album Leaf
    – ‘Son’ by Juana Molina

    Cheers,

  4. Thanks, guys! William – I actually suggested Dreamgirls to my editor, but I didn’t have a media contact for Sony. Good suggestions, and I’m open to writing about some expanded reissues like the ones you mentioned. Too bad I can’t reasonably do some British or Japanese stuff – they do great reissues.

    Tim – Today I sent Bloodshot a request for Wayne Hancock’s CD. Thanks for the tip!

    Jeffrey – Those are some great ideas! I know that TV On The Radio’s disc has been getting some fantastic reviews. And I agree that they don’t necessarily have to be brand new.

  5. Matt,

    You heard the Cold War Kids CD “Robbers & Cowards”? Could be worth listening. They’re all over the place. Lemme know, I can get you a copy (or a copy of a copy!)

  6. Kevin – If it earns your recommendation, I will check it out!

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