My Morning Jacket
A collusion of MY MORNING JACKET’s masterful, “Evil Urges,” the MELVINS’s thundering, “Nude with Boots,” and multi-instrumentalist STEVE DAWSON’s resplendent “Waiting for the Lights to Come Up,” invites August’s topsy-turvy theme. This month’s discs have titles dizzy with questions and deluded by confusion as summer’s promise turn to humid doldrums, inverted expectations and uncertain endings. Ironically, each album possesses clear musical visions. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read on.
Martha Wainwright - I Know You Are Married But I Have Feelings Too
Album title: I Know You Are Married But I Have Feelings Too
Record Label: Zoe/Rounder
A killer combination of cabaret queen and folk minstrel, Wainwright is a wicked and winsome nightingale of unrequited love. Art-house elegance infuses bruised ballads as, Married,” constructs galleries of characters, decorating despair in baroque melodies, up-lifting introspection and passionate rebellion. Wainwright plays Milwaukee’s Pabst August 15th.
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Jim Boggia - Misadventures in Stereo
Album title: Misadventures in Stereo
Record Label: Bluhammock Music
Eight-tracks becomes epitaphs and schoolyard bullies topple when harmony meets hindsight in Boggia’s deceptively cheery, wonderfully crafted, “Misadventures.” Sweet geek nostalgia gets set to charming chameleon pop as turnabout and loss figure in the boppy potshots and fond farewells. Clever as they are accurate, Boggia’s tarnished trophies massage fresh perspectives from age-old obstacles.
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Alina Simone - Everyone Is Crying Out to Me, Beware!
Album title: Everyone Is Crying Out to Me, Beware!
Record Label: 54º40' or Fight!
Covering Russian folk-punk icon Yanka Dyagileva, Simone conveys bold convictions and tender sympathies. Writhing trumpets, chamber music strings and insistent acoustic guitars infiltrate the darkly hypnotic, “Beware,” while Simone’s divinely haunting voice dissolves language barriers, telegraphing emotions and conjuring comparisons to NICO, PATTI SMITH and P.J. HARVEY.
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Alina Simone online:
Amy Ray - Didn’t It Feel Kinder
Album title: Didn’t It Feel Kinder
Record Label: Daemon Records
Beautifully agitated anthems filled with Southern pride and global frustrations snake then shout as Ray’s third solo outing reinforces her rare gift for integrating punk and rock with empathy and melody. Unafraid and hopeful, the soulful, “Kinder,” winds over damaged landscapes through scarred hearts then kicking out the jams while pleading for peace.
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Andre Williams & the New Orleans Hellhounds - Can You Deal With It?
Album title: Can You Deal With It?
Record Label: Bloodshot Records
The real deal – Williams teams with a randy band of crackerjack misfits for some cocky hootchie-coo and rocket-fueled R&B. Raucous street corner confessions run from arrogant boasts to desperate requests as the downright electrifying Hellhounds back Williams’ barks in stinging, slinking, sledgehammer brass, bass and guitar.
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Andre Williams & the New Orleans Hellhounds online:
Greta Gaines - Whiskey Thoughts
Album title: Whiskey Thoughts
Record Label: Justice Records
Velvet-lined heartache and subtle twists on country chic empower, Whiskey,” as 4x4 fantasies and down home dramas unfurl dark, tantalizing roots. Swaggering and galloping between temptations and addiction, Gaines’ rootsy revisionism seduces like tight jeans and steel-tipped boots - a little danger stirred into an inviting stew of solid chops and shiny, baited hooks.
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Greta Gaines online:
Stemming the tide of ambiguity comes two discs whose mission to support causes overflow with musical treasures Green Owl Records’, “A Benefit for Energy Action,” offers a CD/DVD of exclusive tracks and videos from live MUSE to remixed BLOC PARTY, FEIST BBC sessions and loads more. Meanwhile musicians such as GUSTER, WILCO and BRIGHT EYES donate songs to raise consciousness for “Rock the Net,” advocating a free and open internet.