Bataan and Darondo, cake and ice creamDarondo -- Let My People Go
I love the DIY attitude behind Darondo's music; the audio's a bit muddy; his singing is not highly trained; this song finds a groove and rides it for all it's worth. Still, there's something refreshing about gritty soul, or any music that's not overproduced and autotuned.
"Let My People Go" is a simmering political funk which I'd thought of posting on MLK day but decided not to (perhaps in a bit of unChristian judgment which would shame the reverend's memory--Darondo was a pimp. No, not metaphorically).
I first encountered Darondo on Soul Sides, then got a reminder on Said the Gramophone, both in posting "Didn't I," a plaintive lovelorn song with sour guitar. It's a fascinating song, but for me the star of the show is "Let My People Go."
[Let My People Go @ amazon or at emusic.com.]
Joe Bataan -- It's a Good Feeling (Riot)
Allmusic slams this song in its review of the Riot! and looks on it with a puzzled affection in its review of Mr. New York, but I'm not puzzled or ambivalent about it. It evokes a street party rather than a riot, yes, but I don't think that's any great failing. It makes more sense musically, and unless you're smashing things, riots aren't any great fun anyway.
I first encountered Joe Bataan with the terrific track "Subway Joe" posted on Tofu Hut; Soul Sides followed suit a year later.
[Riot! @ amazon or at emusic.com.]
I've been catching up on CD purchases for tracks I heard on mp3blogs. Some exceedingly brief reviews:
Abner Jay: Rev. Frost posted the three best tracks, but damn is "I'm So Depressed" a great song, the Arnold Schwarzenegger of blues tunes (the Mr. Olympia Arnold, not the post-heart-surgery Arnold).
Mirah: posted at StG. Very nice, with some unexpected (and welcome) experimentation offsetting the sweetness of it.
Gomez: wow. This one's cheating, maybe, since Sean gave me their first two CDs directly, but Bring It On is just amazing work and Liquid Skin is good too. Their latest (How We Operate) is occasionally very good but is saddled with a couple of radio-pop wankfest emo tracks.
Bruce Springsteen (We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions): Rosswords posted the best track, and there's another knockout, but all the rest are solid and have grown on me with time.
Feist: Let It Die. Finally bought this one after loving the track posted at StG and at fluxblog for, oh, the last three years. Very very mellow, pleasant.
John Fahey: more on him later.
There are a lot of other albums I've bought because of various mp3blog postings, but these are the recent ones I can think of that I've bought that I didn't first hear somewhere else.