Glen Campbell – Sings For The King

Only Elvis could get away with having an album full of songs by a rising star recorded entirely for him. But that’s exactly what happened in the mid-1960s, with one of Elvis’ favorite songwriting duos, Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne, convinced an early-in-his-career Glen Campbell to record a dozen-and-a-half of their songs, so they could pitch them to The King. The tactic obviously worked as Elvis went on to record 12 of those songs, including “Clambake” and “Easy Come, Easy Go.” You’ve got to wonder if “Clambake,” one of the most fun songs on this record, was the inspiration for the entire Clambake movie Elvis would star in (and sing this song for the soundtrack) in 1967. Continue reading “Glen Campbell – Sings For The King”

World Domination: The Sub Pop Records Story (RPM Series)

You’d be hard pressed to find a recent musical genre that’s been dissected more in the past two decades than Grunge. Countless books, articles, documentaries, and radio and TV interviews dig into the Seattle-based phenomenon and just about every single discussion on the topic eventually comes around to the ground-breaking indie label Sub Pop. So, it’s surprising there was any new material left to report about the label, let alone an entire book’s worth. But, Gillian G. Gaar manages to find plenty to cover in this latest book about the label. Continue reading “World Domination: The Sub Pop Records Story (RPM Series)”

THE GERMS – What We Do Is Secret [RSD Black Friday Vinyl]

The Germs may have only released one proper studio album before frontman Darby Crash died, but you’d be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of more influential hardcore/punk rock bands to come out of that era. Everyone from the Minutemen and L7 to Soul Asylum and Pennywise owe a debt of gratitude to that Southern California band of nonconformists. So, it’s frustrating just how few songs the band managed to record during their four years together. Continue reading “THE GERMS – What We Do Is Secret [RSD Black Friday Vinyl]”

Fastball – All The Pain Money Can Buy [20th Anniversary Edition]

The sophomore record from the Texas-based Power Pop band Fastball is likely remembered by most for the lead track and ultimate earworm “The Way.” The ridiculously catchy song about an old couple who goes out for a drive and gets lost forever, was endearing for the first few weeks of it’s release… but seven weeks in, the amount of time it spent on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart, it had more than worn out it’s welcome. Continue reading “Fastball – All The Pain Money Can Buy [20th Anniversary Edition]”

Lefty Frizzell – An Article From Life: The Complete Recordings (CD Box Set)

It’s been more than four decades since country/honky tony legend Lefty Frizzell passed away but his music inspired a slew of musicians that are still around today, a diverse group that includes everyone from Willie Nelson to John Fogerty. His music was also a key ingredient that helped launch the careers of The Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison (who was so inspired by the singer that he took the name Lefty Wilbury for tag in band The Traveling Wilburys). So, while a massive 20-disc retrospective box set may seem excessive to some, it’s seems a pretty appropriate tribute to the influence and popularity of Lefty. Continue reading “Lefty Frizzell – An Article From Life: The Complete Recordings (CD Box Set)”

Hamell On Trial – The Night Guy at The Apocalypse: Profiles of a Rushing Midnight (Vinyl)

Much like Tom Waits or Nick Cave, Ed Hamell (better known as Hamell On Trial) is one of those extremely rare musicians that have somehow managed to go decades ignoring conventional wisdom and norms of the restrictive music industry, and focus purely, instinctually on churning out remarkably creative records in pursuit of entertaining vs. simply selling a shitload of records. And have confusingly been able to make a living at it. Continue reading “Hamell On Trial – The Night Guy at The Apocalypse: Profiles of a Rushing Midnight (Vinyl)”

Semisonic – Feeling Strangely Fine [20th Anniversary]

Long before Dan Wilson became the go-to songwriter for an incredibly diverse range of musicians from Adele and Taylor Swift to Weezer and Nas, he was known as that guy who sang that earworm “Closing Time.” Continue reading “Semisonic – Feeling Strangely Fine [20th Anniversary]”

Becky Warren – Undesirable (CD)

Becky Warren’s semi-autobiographical debut drew a lot of attention for the intriguing story of the relationship between an Iraqi War vet and his girlfriend. But, not to take away from the beauty and brutality of War Surplus, on her follow up, Warren uses a much larger canvas and turns in a wonderful, genre-stretching album for her effort. Continue reading “Becky Warren – Undesirable (CD)”

R.E.M. – The Best of R.E.M. at the BBC (Vinyl)

It’s been seven years since R.E.M. officially walked away, but thankfully folks are still digging into their vaults to pull out some remarkable, unreleased music. The MTV Unplugged series last year was a nice surprise, but this latest from the BBBC is an even more impressive find. Continue reading “R.E.M. – The Best of R.E.M. at the BBC (Vinyl)”