Each week I keep track of my listening. While I’m not an obsessive list maker, I do tend to ‘think’ in lists. This week I did my usual radio (CKUA in the morning), satellite (Sirius 65), and Internet (WDVX) listening, as well as albums. While I’m a roots fellow, I do enjoy my pop. Here is what I listened to last week:
John Hiatt- The Long Road I was surprised to read in Paste that the reviewer thought Hiatt had released an album of little interest. Funny, because I think this is one of his better ones. True, I love Hiatt and have since I first heard him in the mid-80s. And sure, Hiatt has been down these same roads before. Who cares. The guy knows how to write and sing. I found the familiarity comforting.
Christina Maria- Straight Line I discovered this singer while preparing my column for this week. Christina Maria is appearing locally next week and after listening to her music on the MySpace, I downloaded this e.p. from eMusic. Quite nice and energetic.
The Tallest Man on Earth- Shallow Grave I come to this one late after only hearing about this Swede a month or so ago. What is it with all things Swedish? You have the Stieg Larsson novels, and a couple weeks ago we saw a movie about a Swedish kiddie vampire. Then their hockey team goes and lays a lickin’ on the Canadians this weekend. This album is terrific. He has a wonderful voice and his songs seem timeless. More to come, I think.
Kimberley Rew- The Safest Place My first complete week with this one and I listened to it three or four times. Great power pop. “Spling Splang Sploogie!”
Katrina and the Waves- Katrina and the Waves I do like my 80s pop and roll. While I hold great affinity for the Attic releases, the Capitol release is equally ideal.
Donna Durand- The Road Back A local singer-songwriter of some reknown. This album will get more spins as I prepare the review. I am enjoying it so far. Country-roots-folk with a voice just imperfect enough to be interesting.
Pieta Brown- Shimmer and I Never Told Relistened to these EPs in preparation of writing a review for Brown’s new (and fabulous) release.
Pieta Brown- One and All I’ll be posting a review soon. I listened to this four or five times this week. Really enjoyed it. Brown seems to know that ‘longer’ isn’t necessarily better. Brief but delightful.
Blue Rondo a la Turk- Chewing the Fat I love this one. Takes me back to the mid-80s (again) and taking chances on records at the Edmonton Public Library.
Tom T. Hall- That’s How I Got to Memphis A Mercury album from 1975. I went on a bit of a Hall bender this week as I also listened to Faster Horses from 1976. Hall is one of the best country writers ever. Period. And no one sings his songs better than he does.
Mary Gauthier- The Foundling I write about this one in the paper on Friday. As good of an album as she has created.
The Special Consensus- 35 I let out a little “Whoop” when I opened the envelope from Compass Records containing this one. The current lineup of The Special C is the strongest and most enjoyable I’ve experienced live and their six new songs on this album showcase the talents of Cape Breton’s Ryan Roberts. The vintage tracks are equally strong, highlighted by the rumble of Dallas Wayne from almost 20 years ago.
The Besnard Lakes- Are the Roaring Night Listening to this one for Polaris consideration. I’m not sure. It is either amazing or…
Various Artists- Putumayo Presents South Africa Just in time for the World Cup, every new Putumayo album I hear becomes my newest favourite. I’ll listen to this one more. I also had Music from the Coffee Lands on while sunning this weekend.
Various Artists & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band- Preservation A week wouldn’t be complete without giving this one a complete listen.