Monday, September 05, 2005

Elaine and upcoming CDs

Well the e-mails filed in with people asking me to help Mike's cause: convince Elaine to start her own site.

I don't know guys. Elaine's got the chops but she may not have the time. I think what she did filling in for Rebecca at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude was incredible. And if she were doing a site like mine, I'd be on the petition drive, on the e-mail writing campaign, and maybe even stage a sit-in in her living room. But I know Cedric and I are the only ones who don't guilt over missing a day of blogging. If she's not comfortable with doing her own site, it might be because of that. I'll call her tomorrow and convey the wishes from the e-mail but I'll respect her right to decide what she feels comfortable with.

That's not a dig at Mike or Ava or Jess or Ty or anyone who's trying to get her to start her own site. A number of you wondered why C.I. wasn't doing something on this at The Common Ills.
I spoke to C.I. on the phone this morning and it's no surprise to me. C.I. and Elaine are old friends and C.I.'s feeling is that the last thing Elaine needs is the added pressure coming from a long term friend. C.I. says Elaine is thinking about and that she's touched by the response from members.

C.I. also put me wise to an item in The New York Times' "Arts, Briefly" by Grant James Varjas, "New CD's This Week."

1) Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang.
2) Sarah McLachlan's Bloom.
3) Joan Baez's Bowery Songs.
4) Greg Dulli Amber Highlights.
5) Alison Moyet's Voice.
6) Idlewind's Warnings/Promises.
7) North Mississippi Allstars' Electric Blue Watermelon.

Of the above, I'm interested in Joan Baez's Bowery Songs, obviously. It's a live CD and I did catch her last tour. I felt she brought to bear her full range of living on each song. The group I went with had lousy seats at the beginning of the concert (we were practically at the entrance) but one of the guys working the concerts knew me and found a place upfront for my group.
Even from what was practically the last seat in the house, I was blown away by what she was doing, that little speck on stage that I could barely see, but that voice that reached as though it was sitting next to me. If Bowery Songs documents even a fourth of what Baez provided on Dark Chords tour, it's worth having.

The Times notes that Keith Richards will sing on one of the Rolling Stone songs. That usually means the album's a little less formal (and formalized) and a little more fun so that honestly raises my interest in the album. (Further honesty, I wasn't all that interested before that.)

Sarah Mac. If you love her, and some are obsessed with her, Bloom's probably just your thing. (We discussed her Surfacing at The Third Estate Sunday Review. I'll try to post that up here later this week.) I'm not inclined to like Bloom so don't expect a review. She's not a dance diva and if she'd grasp that and stop trying to tweak the production on her albums (World on Fire, for instance), she'd be so much more powerful. But if you're all about the booty shake, check out Bloom.

Alison Moyet's a great voice but never one I've been into. I can take her after a night of partying. The fact that she's recording, among others, Elvis Costello may raise your interest in this album.

Greg Dulli. If you know music, you know the Afghan Whigs. (His last group is better off forgotten.) This man was a cock. The biggest cock in music. And not afraid to swing it around or even slap you in the face with it. His bravado made the Afghan Whigs what they were, one of the best damn groups of the nineties. If he's back to free ballin' and letting it all hang out, this could be one of the better albums of the year. Most recent go arounds, he's pulled away from his maleness. Here's hoping he's reaching back into his briefs to explore the good, bad and ugly of manhood. I'll be purchasing this album. If you were burned by his previous incarnation, feel free to wait on a review. I'll try to get one together by Tuesday after tomorrow at the latest.

Those are my highlights from the list. Joan Baez a must buy; Sarah Mac for booty shakers still mourning the musical death of Donna Summer, Moyet may expand on her specialized audience, the Stones may actually be having fun and I'll check to see if Greg can still get up.