John Cale – SHIFTY ADVENTURES IN NOOKIE WOOD
John Cale has always been my favorite or ex- member of the Velvet Underground. The distance between Lou Reed and Billy Joel is not as much as you might think and Reed’s solo career has been wildly erratic. Cale, on the other hand, went on an inspired rampage in the 70’s producing a string of great albums filled with raging, heartfelt, turbulent music - records such as FEAR, SLOW DAZZLE, HELEN OF TROY, and HONI SOIT. Cale’s last couple decades have seen him treading water with pleasant enough records long on attitude, short on songs. However, I’m happy to say that his most recent album is the best thing he’s done in a long time. Restoring the mystery and the aggressive passion as well as Cale’s way with an emotional ballad, this record is a very pleasant surprise. Great to see a man in his 70’s produce this level of music. Now when will Cale be inducted into the Rock an Roll Hall of Fame?
The Sunchymes – LET YOUR FREE FLAG FLY
The Sunchymes full embrace of 60’s psychedelic pop is not just affectation. The record itself sounds like it was made in the 1960’s with the corresponding instruments, harmonies etc and an overall lightness of being. This is a fabulous collection of songs that are not just gimmick (modern artists copy a prior decade’s music) but beautifully executed music. Sunshine psychedelic pop-A most impressive debut and one of the best records released this year. Here’s the link to listen to the whole record - http://thesunchymes.bandcamp.com/
The Sugarettes – DESTROYERS OF WORLDS
Nerdrock is a cute way to describe your music but there’s nothing nerdy about the Sugarettes. They alternate hard and fast moments of Pixies-like chaos with rolling songscapes ala Altered Images/10,000 Maniacs. The end result is a more insular Blondie but with Blondie’s great pop instincts intact. The vocal interplay is a plus. Can be listened to here http://thesugarettes.bandcamp.com/album/destroyers-of-worlds