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|Chartbusters USA 1 / Various
Lowest new price: $10.16
Lowest used price: $7.99
Conceived as a counterpart to Golden Age of American Rock'n'Roll, Ace's excellent anthology series covering the first decade of U.S. rock, Chartbusters USA does the same thing for American rock spanning 1964-69. It's perhaps less valuable than the Golden Age series because the material anthologized, at least to judge by the first installment, is somewhat less difficult to acquire, or hear on oldies radio, than the Golden Age stuff. There's no conceptual thread running through the selections, except general top-of-the-line quality: you get "California Dreamin'," "Dance to the Music," "Hi Heel Sneakers," "Brown Eyed Girl," "Walk Away Renee," "Psychotic Reaction," and "Green Tambourine" right next to each other. The only truly hard-to-find item is the Soul Sisters' mid-chart soul hit "I Can't Stand It" (covered by the Spencer Davis Group), though some of these hits, like "Elusive Butterfly" (Bob Lind), "G.T.O." (Ronny & the Daytonas), and the original 1965 hit version of Sir Douglas Quintet's "She's About a Mover," don't turn up on various-artists collections often. Still, if you're seeking a wall-to-wall blast of mid-and-late 1960s classic American rock singles, it's real good value, with 30 songs, nearly every one a classic. Hugo Montenegro's "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" seems an odd choice in the midst of a very rock-oriented disc, though. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
Lowest new price: $14.48
Lowest used price: $12.58
Brand: Fat Possum
Vinyl LP pressing of this 2006 EP from the Alt-Rock duo, a collection of songs written by Blues great Junior Kimbrough.
|The White Stripes - Under Blackpool Lights
Lowest new price: $74.97
Lowest used price: $6.66
List price: $19.99
Lowest new price: $3.85
Lowest used price: $1.83
Brand: Interscope (USA)
The Fratellis, from Glasgow Scotland, are currently exploding in the UK. Their debut album Costello Music, a collection of instantly-hummable anthems that set cheap thrills and barely-believable stories to music, is Double-Platinum and counting on the strength of amazing live shows, 3 Top Ten radio singles, and glowing press. And now, The Fratellis U.S. Invasion has already begun, thanks to major brands like Apple/iTunes, EA Games, and others leading the charge. Their single Flathead has been getting major airplay throughout the country on such stations as Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles.
There's nothing terribly complicated about the Fratellis' debut album, Costello Music, but that's by no means a criticism. Rather than inject their songs with complex chords, or steep their lyrics with their political and social agendas, this Glasgow trio have instead focussed on writing 13 songs that are pure, unabashed entertainment. And it's a pace--and an attitude--that doesn't let up, from the jumpy opening bars of "Henrietta" to the groupie-reminiscing of "Ole Black'n'Blue Eyes". In many ways, Costello Music sounds like a return to the hedonistic rush of early 1990s Britpop, with its exhilarating guitar riffs and arrogant swagger--"Chelsea Dagger" somehow applies the attitude of early Oasis to the pop catchiness of Great Escape-era Blur. But the Fratellis also know their history: the ska-punk of "Cuntry Boys & City Girls" and "For the Girl" has the Fratellis sounding like the cheeky offspring of the Clash, or a less-irritating Madness. But all this analysis kind of misses the point of Costello Music: this is music for dancing, not for contemplation. It's loud, fast and in-your-face, exactly what you'd expect from three young men with guitars. --Ted Kord
|Keep It Hid
Lowest new price: $7.72
Lowest used price: $4.50
Brand: Nonesuch (USA)
On his solo debut, Black Keys singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach takes a simple approach: 'I just wanted to do the things I loved.' For Auerbach, that means combining elements of bluegrass a la the Stanley Brothers, mournful country balladry, Memphis-style R&B, fuzzed-out psychedelic rock and low-down blues on this collection of 14 original tunes, which Auerbach self-produced and recorded with friends and family at his family at his newly built studio, Akron Analog.
|Peace Love Death Metal
Lowest new price: $12.34
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Ass-shakin' 2004 project featuring Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stoneage / Them Crooked Vultures). Includes "I Only Want You".
|Keep On Your Mean Side
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Originally released in 2003, Florida/London duo The Kills heralded the arrival of a creative force that has developed over the last five years into an innovative, boundary pushing rock group. The album was critically lauded internationally, and has become a touchstone for a new generation of blues and garage inspired bands. This re-issue includes five rare, bonus b-sides, including covers of Dock Boggs' "Sugar Baby", Jonathan Fire*eater's "The Search For Cherry Red", and Captain Beefheart's "Dropout Boogie".
|The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
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Oscarr-nominated writer/director Wes Anderson ('Rushmore,' 'The Royal Tenenbaums') has assembled an all-star cast to set sail for outrageous misadventures on the high seas in this exciting & wildly original comedy. Eccentric, down-but-not-out oceanographer Steve Zissou (Murray) & his motley crew - Team Zissou - find themselves in troubled waters when they attempt to track down the mysterious 'jaguar shark' that ate his partner while filming a documentary of their latest adventure. Adding to his nautical nightmares, Zissou must contend with a beautiful journalist (Blanchett) assigned to write a profile, & a new member of the team who might possibly be his long-lost son (Wilson). The unsinkable Zissou faces hilarious complications trying to keep his expedition afloat while bailing out from budgetary woes & a host of other challenges (including a close encounter with marauding pirates).
Director Wes Anderson's jewel of a comic-character study revolves around the quirks and obsessions of Bill Murray's titular Cousteau-esque deep-sea adventurer and his motley crew of associates. As they did for the director's equally sublime Royal Tenenbaums, Anderson and music super Randall Poster stitch their eclectic source material into a warm, subtly focused new cinemusic whole. Mark Mothersbaugh's original Casio-baroque cues are the perfect complement for Australian film composer Sven Libaek's compelling slices of vintage exotica, while Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie largely provides the musical subtext, either directly or in earnest, through live acoustic renditions by Brazilian troubadour/film costar Seu Jorge. Seasoning the mix to near perfection are smart, vintage Britpop contributions by Scott Walker and the Zombies, Iggy and the Stooges thrashing "Search and Destroy," the evocative Iberian fire of Paco DeLucia, and Joan Baez's dramatic read of Morricone's Sacco & Vanzetti theme, "Here's to You." -- Jerry McCulley
|Hang on Sloopy: The Best of the McCoys
Lowest new price: $4.14
Lowest used price: $3.80
At last! The classic Bang sides of the McCoys! 22 of 'em, to be exact, including notes, two unissued tracks, rare singles, B-sides and hits like Hang On Sloopy; Fever; Up and Down; Come On Let's Go; (You Make Me Feel) So Good; Don't Worry Mother, Your Son's Heart Is Pure , and more, all but one in stereo.
|Melts In Your Brain...Not On Your Wrist! The Complete Recordings 1965-1967
Lowest new price: $9.33
Lowest used price: $11.19
Brand: Big Beat Records (Dance)
Unlike all previous reissues, this powerful set gathers together every note recorded and released under the name Chocolate Watchband during the 1960s. Disc one is devoted solely to material performed by the classic mod 60s line-up of the band featuring charismatic lead singer Dave Aguilar, on such acknowledged punk classics as 'Sweet Young Thing', 'Misty Lane' and 'Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love In)'. It features an exciting bonus in the form of new vocals Aguilar has recently added to three original tracks, including the Watchband's best-known cut 'Let's Talk About Girls', thereby reclaiming the song upon which producer Cobb had originally substituted the voice of a session singer. Disc two presents the alternate Chocolate Watchband, with two 1965 demos by the group's original incarnation, the complete post-Aguilar album 'One Step Beyond', and the full complement of overdubbed and pseudonymous recordings released on the band's earlier albums No Way Out and the Inner Mystique. Furthermore, extensive research into the vaults has revealed the source of this material, and thrown a couple of alternate versions that are also included. Big Beat. 2005. 'Melts in Your Brain, Not on Your Wrist' also features the most exhaustive liner note research ever afforded a reissue package on the Watchband, with the participation of all surviving members of every line-up, as well as comments from producer Cobb and manager Ray Harris. Additionally, the group have opened their personal files and the result is a stunning array of photos and memorabilia, most of which have not been used before. With a revitalised version of the band, featuring original members including David Aguilar, arriving in the UK to promote the package at the end of March, the release of this CD is a major event for all 60s garage fans.
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