Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24-30

With new releases...

This week brings some big hitters up to bat. This should be one of the better release weeks of the summer...

June 27

Limp Bizkit
Gold Cobra
I was upset when I predicted that Wes Borland's departure from the band would be it's downfall. Obviously, Borland was the talent and Durst was the face of the group. After a moderately successful album without Borland, Limp Bizkit all but disappeared. What is exciting about this is that Borland put aside his differences with Durst and decided to make another Limp Bizkit album because "music needs it." I am looking forward to hearing if they can recreate some of the original Limp Bizkit sound. I am definitely going to check this out.

June 28

David Cook
This Loud Morning
Yes....David Cook did win American Idol. Yes....this does eliminate some of his credibility. It shouldn't. He was the first contestant to win who was actually a talented musician. His first album was actually pretty good. I am looking forward to this album as he should have no more creative restrictions from winning American Idol. He has stated that he draws influence from Our Lady Peace, of which I am a huge fan. I think you will be pleasantly surprised if you decide to check out this album.

At first glance, I thought Beyonce really needed to shave her armpits. I am not going to say much. This has a chance of being the biggest selling album of the summer. I would expect it to be more of the same from Beyonce.  

Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday is a rock band from Long Island, NY. Their albums always reach top 10 on the Billboard charts and always reach Gold status. So it goes without saying that this album should be pretty good.

Wu-Tang Clan
Legendary Weapons
I will be a Wu-Tang supported forever. If they put out a polka album I would buy it. I think the original draw of the Wu has worn off, but lyrically, they are still sound. I am definitely getting this album. Wu-Tang mother_%*##$!

June 30

Joss Stone
LP 1
This is the fifth studio album from neo-soul phenom Joss Stone. This girl can sing her butt off. She has one the most soulful voices I have ever heard. This marks her first album that will be put out on her own label, Stone'd Records. The co-wrote and co-produced the album with David Stewart, half of the Euro-pop due, the Eurythmics. This album took only 6 days to record. This should be very very good. Check it out.

Life Is Good
First, let me apologize if this is not the cover of the album. I could not find the artwork. As with the Wu-Tang Clan, I will be a Nas supporter forever. I will always support his product and therefore will surely get this album. He is one of the top three lyricists in the history of hip-hop in my opinion. His music epitomizes what NYC rap is all about. Check it out.

Others artists with releases this week: Billy Ray Cyrus, Dolly Parton, Buddy Guy, Queensryche, Big Sean, and Selena Gomez & the Scene

In music...

My Morning Jacket
I have seen this band in passing a couple of times on TV and liked what I heard. I just have never brought myself to get one of their albums. So when I saw they had a new album coming out, I knew I had to at least give it a shot. I am glad I did. To me, the music sounds a lot like old Radiohead, you know from the early 90's. It may not be as complex but it has similar sound. They also evoke a nostalgic feeling, as if this album could have been released sometime in the 70's. Whatever it is, it works for me. Two of the singles, Wonderful and Outta My System were written to be performed by the Muppet band, Dr. Teeth & Electric Mayhem. When this did not pan out, the singles were kept for the album. My favorite tracks on the album are Circuital and Wonderful and look forward to see if either of these pan out as singles. I would recommend this album to anyone to at least give it a listen. I think the music can appeal to a wide variety of interests.

Rating: 4/6

Snoop Dogg
Ok, I live by the credo that a good hip-hop artist doesn't need a hook. When you start reciting the hook of the song rather than the lyrics, its a wrap (no pun intended). When Snoop came on the scene, he embodied the very essence of what Gangsta Rap was. Part of what makes Snoop a legend has been his ability to adapt to the changing scene of the music industry. Unfortunately it has been harder and harder to keep Snoop relevant. It is hard to uphold Snoop Dogg as a gangsta when he is a football coach, entrepreneur, etc. Snoop Dogg has always been willing to go in a new direction. When No Limit records was getting big, he left Death Row and joined No Limit. When the retro-pimp movement was big, he was into that. When the Neptunes were in their prime, he had them produce his album. I don't think he lost his ability to rap, I'm just not sure it's relevant any more. It pains me to say this but I think the only thing that keeps him going is his clout. He knows people and therefore can get just about anyone to be on his album. On this album, he features such artists as Bootsy Collins, E-40, Young JeezyWiz Khalifa, Gorillaz, Willie Nelson, Kanye West and John Legend. I will continue to support Snoop's music because he is a legend. I don't recommend buying this album unless you feel the same way I do.

Rating 2/6

Weird Al Yankovic
Well, it is another Weird Al album and it doesn't disappoint. I feel like the opinions of Weird Al are very polarized: you either like him or you don't. I happen to like him so I thought the album was entertaining. I don't think he will have any memorable parodies off of this album but it was still entertaining. I think the best chance is TMZ, which is a parody of Taylor Swift's, You Belong to Me. Weird Al also parodies, B.O.B., T.I., Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus. His famous polka medley contains even more well know artists. As my recommendation, if you like Weird Al, go get this. If you don't, don't bother. Whether you admit it or not, Weird Al has established himself as a music icon who always manages to keep his material relevant. You gotta at least respect that.

Rating: 4/6


This weeks throwback albums...

Unplugged In New York
I think this is one of the more influential albums of the 90's. It did a couple of important things for music. First, the Unplugged series gave MTV a different platform to present it's artist at a time when videos were still being played in regular rotation. If provided the audience a more intimate look at some of the popular artists and gave the artists a chance to showcase their live interpretations of songs. Nirvana, perhaps the biggest band at this time provided the audience with a different look at the band's music. Eventually it also led to the resurgence of some artists such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Secondly, this album showed Nirvana and the grunge movement was not just all about white noise, ie., Sonic Youth. Nirvana was able to show how talented they were at musicians, song writers and in interpretation. Definite must have for any serious music collection.

F.U. Don't Take It Personal
I always catch a lot of slack for giving this album more credit than is due. The fact is, this album is good and I love it. I give this album a 6/6. I think it has great beats, great lyrics, great production and marketable tracks. The only knock I can give this to this day is that the material and style is dated. This album produces four memorable singles, True Fuschnick, La Schmoove, Ring the Alarm and Check It Out. For those of you unfamiliar with the group, this is the group that Shaquille O'Neal associated himself with and eventually joined. This group also boasts one of the fastest rappers of all time, Chip Fu, whose lyrical speed will blow your mind. Must have hip-hop classic.

You oughtta know....

I decided to try something new. I wanted to share the wealth so to speak. I have come across some albums in my life that may have been generally overlooked. I want to use this section to motivate people to check out some forgotten gems.

So for the first installment, I bring you:

Lost Highway Soundtrack
This is one of those occasions where the soundtrack actually fared better than the movie. The movie garnered almost no attention and the soundtrack did little better. However, the album contains some hard-rock gems. It features appearances by David Bowie, Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson and Rammstein. Many of these were one-of songs written specifically for this soundtrack. Two of these songs that are fantastic are The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails and Eye by Smashing Pumpkins. If nothing else, just give it a listen. I think it is a highly overlooked album.

This week in history...


Jagged Edge
Jagged Little Thrill

Madhouse: The Very Best of Anthrax

Fleetwood Mac
Show-Biz Blues: Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970


Bonnie Raitt
Luck of the Draw

Pete Rock & CL Smooth
All Souled Out


Joe Jackson
Jumpin' Jive

Iggy Pop

Kenny Rogers
Share Your Love

Air Supply
The One That You Love

The Commodores
In the Pocket


Stephen Stills
Stephen Stills 2

Blood, Sweat & Tears
Blood, Sweat & Tears 4

Indelibly Stamped

Todd Rundgren
Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren

In Charlotte...

Amos' Southend

Friday, June 24;

The Jupiter Tide

Saturday, June 25;

S.O. Stereo
Sunday, June 26;

Ntice music presents "Rock"with you
Thursday, June 30;

John Parr

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

Saturday, June 25;

Morris Day & the Time

Bojangles Coliseum

No current music events

NC  Music Factory

The Fillmore

Friday, June 24;

The Uptown Charlotte Jazz Festival
ft. Michael Franks & Marcus Johnson

Ovens Auditorium

No current music events

Time Warner Cable Arena

Friday, June 24;

Keith Urban
w/Jake Owen

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

No current music events

Visulite Theatre

Saturday, June 25;

Gimmie Hendrix:
Jimi Hendrix Experience

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