Here's my allotted 90 downloads from eMusic this month:
Turban Renewal: A Tribute Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs . A great songwriter once wrote, "Only two things for which I give a damn/That's reincarnation and Sam the Sham."
My friend Nancy Apple actually knows Sam the Sham (Domingo Samudio). That's only one of many cool things about Nancy Apple.
I saw Sam & the Pharoahs live at Springlake Amusement Park in Oklahoma City circa 1965.
Sam was so much more than "Wooly Bully" and "Little Red Riding Hood." Few bands today could ever record anything half as bitchen as "Ring Dang Do" or "Red Hot."
This tribute includes tracks from Hasil Adkins, The Fleshtones and The Devil Dogs (whose cover of New Mexico Music Commissioner Tony Orlando's "Bless You" I play every now and then on Terrell's Sound World.)
*Hello Lucille… Are You A Lesbian? by T. Valentine. Had Wesley Willis been a 1960s soul beter, he'd have been T. Valentine.
On the title song, he claims he hates all lesbians. I think he's protesting too much.
*One More Road for the Hit by Frank Black And The Catholics. I already had four tracks from this compilation, released years ago by iTunes as an "exclusive EP" In fact those four songs were the first things I ever bought from iTunes.
Like nearly all of Mr. Thompson's work with The Catholics, this is good solid and frequently catchy rock -- though nothing that approaches his work with The Pixies.
*Charlie Louvin. This officially is Charlie's first solo album in 10 years or so. But in reality, it's is one of those "guest-star" albums, where all sorts of artists come in to honor a fabled veteran. George Jones, Bobby Bare, Tom T. Hall, Elvis Costello and Jeff Tweedy are just some of Charlie's angels here.
Charlie, for those not quite up on their country-music history, is half of the Louvin Brothers, one of the most influential duos in American music. Ira died in 1965.
Most of the songs on this album -- "When I Stop Dreaming," "The Knoxville Girl," "The Great Atomic Power," "The Christian Life" -- are Louvin Brothers classics.
There's some decent tunes here. Tweedy's grungy guitar on "The Great Atomic Power" is surely the most radical departure. But I'd advise potential Louvin fans to start with the old stuff.
Note: This has been corrected. See comments.
*Pompeii by Beirut. There's only two tracks on this eMusic only "album": "Fountains and Tramways " and "Napoleon on the Bellerophon."
* “My Body is a Cage,” the last track from Arcade Fire’s new Neon Bible. (That track was damaged on the promo I received.)
* The last 23 tracks from Vol. 2 America's Most Colorful Hillbilly Band by The Maddox Brothers and Rose. I downloaded the first seven tracks last month and the first volume back in October. This music not only has aged well. It just keeps getting better.
I had three tracks left, so I used them to get a start on the new solo album from Mary Weiss, former lead singer of the Shangri-Las. More on that next month.
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