They burst off the blocks exactly ten years ago with their instant classic debut smash “Meet Virginia,” and followed that up a pair of years later with an unforgettable, monumentally magnificent — and, natch, Grammy-sweeping — tune called “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” (which you shan’t be stunned to find sitting front and center when the Buzz makes its picks for the best songs of the decade next month). As the aughts progressed, they seemed to get mired in a mysterious malaise — if you made it all the way through their dopey, depressed 2006 effort For Me, It’s You with your sanity fully intact, you’re absolutely to be commended — but it pleases me no end to announce that my current favorite band Train is back in bidness with an exhilarating, gloriously gratifying new record, the brand new Save Me, San Francisco.
the Buzz for November 2009
a special thanksgiving night encore with former
posted at 7:42 pm by brandon in child, my work
soap stars jessica tuck, linda dano, & kale browne
on brandon’s buzz radio! 11/26/09, 10pm e / 7pm p!
Thanksgiving week is an unusually muted affair this year: this is typically the “official” kickoff of the holiday shopping season, and so the record companies generally wait until this week to unleash their biggest and most interesting firepower. But, because I’m decidedly not a Glambert, and because I find the year’s hottest British import just a step or two above a kitschy novelty, color me entirely underwhelmed by the latest slate of new releases. Dive in with caution:
- The decade’s most irritating strumpet Shakira is back with her latest, She Wolf.
- That human lightning rod Lady GaGa is back in action with
The Fame Monster, an eight-song adjunct to her mega-selling debut.
- Urrybody’s favorite vegan Moby is back with a deluxe edition of his terrific album from last spring, Wait for Me.
- The pride of Barbados, the incredible Rihanna, is up with her fourth album, Rated R.
- The legendary Tom Waits returns with Glitter and Doom Live,
a chronicle of his most recent tour.
- Anybody out there have any idea how that doofus Jimmy Wayne conned Daryl Hall and John Oates into helping him cover their classic Sara Smile, the title track from Wayne’s latest CD?
- Beyonce presents I Am…Yours: An Intimate Performance
at Wynn Las Vegas, a fairly self-explanatory three-disc live effort which finds her covering 2Pac’s “California Love” and Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” (I’m really not kidding about that, Sherry Ann!)
- Her global coming out party is one of the most-viewed videoclips in YouTube history; let’s see if the much-heralded Susan Boyle can turn that recognition into record sales with her debut release,
I Dreamed a Dream.
- Regular readers of the Buzz know that I had utterly no use for the ridiculous Adam Lambert and his screechy theatrics on last season’s “American Idol.” Still, if you’re kinda curious to hear what he sounds like on record, he offers up himself For Your Entertainment. Go with God,
all you Glamberts.
- And last but absolutely not least: it’s Thanksgiving week in Austin, Texas, which means the return of that beloved annual tradition known as KGSR Broadcasts. This year’s double-disc edition (Vol. 17, if you’re keeping count) includes exclusive acoustic recordings from The Avett Brothers, Pete Yorn, Ben Harper, Tift Merritt, Ryan Adams, Raul Malo, and the incomparable Tori Amos.
says his name is william but i’m sure
posted at 6:19 am by brandon in tuesdays in the record store with brandon
it’s bill or billy or mack or buddy
(or: november 18 — a thumbnail sketch)
It’s 2:47am in Texas, and I’m wide frickin’ awake and watching that pulse-pounding Ultimate Rock Ballads infomercial that still kills me every time I see it, even a year later. I have updated the Buzz’s radio archive, I have made a Facebook event for my show with the great Suzy Bogguss next week, I have answered some emails, I have played Bejeweled, and now I’m going to try to tackle as much of this week’s record store report as I can before I fall asleep. There’s some true blockbusters in the mix this week, y’all, so dig in:
When irritating twitlets like Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat re-release albums that aren’t even one year old in enhanced “deluxe edition” sets, my ass gets thoroughly and enormously chapped. But when an indisputable classic album returns to the spotlight with a brilliant three-disc reinvention that is clearly worthy of the effort, I’ll bow in reverent deference ten times out of ten, honey. And you best believe the latter is what’s going to take place this week when I finally manage to get my hot li’l hands the sparkling new 15th anniversary commemorative edition of one of the ten best albums of the 1990s — Sheryl Crow‘s amazing debut record, Tuesday Night Music Club.
Teased to a knowing few via the luminous “Leaving Las Vegas” — still and forever, one of the finest debut singles in the history of pop music — and sent into orbit via the worldwide smashes “All I Wanna Do” and “Strong Enough,” Tuesday earned four Grammy nominations (and netted Crow three trophies, including one for Best New Artist) upon its release in 1994, and a decade and a half later, all of that brilliant music — from the rambunctious “Can’t Cry Anymore” to the bizarro “The Na-Na Song” — continues to hold up. (I dare you to think you can still say that about the material of Crow’s pop compadres like Lisa Loeb and Jewel!) And it has now been augmented with a 10-track bonus disc of b-sides and rarities, as well as a DVD containing the album’s videos and a documentary about Tuesday‘s tumultuous road to existence. Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday season? Aww, baby, look no further.
marlena de lacroix’s 20th anniversary with
posted at 2:24 am by brandon in child, my work
the hilarious connie passalacqua hayman on
brandon’s buzz radio! 11/18/09, 10pm e / 7pm p!
“You have one of two choices when somebody throws a rock at you: you can either pick it up and throw it back at ’em, or you can collect those stones and build you a castle.”
— actor Terrence Howard, explaining how he utilizes experiences from his self-professed “screwed up childhood” in shaping his award-winning performances, on “The Mo’Nique Show”
The holiday shopping season leaps toward full swing this week, which means the big guns are starting to roll out onto the battlefield. Take a look:
I somehow missed this when it was released a month ago in conjunction with the full-series DVD set, so imagine my surprise to go CD shopping yesterday afternoon and happen across a copy of The Best of Ally McBeal: The Songs of
Vonda Shepard, a solidly assembled compendium of musical highlights from the five-season run of Fox’s iconic dramedy (plus a previously unreleased track, “Something About You”). Included here: Shepard’s riveting duets with Indigo Girl Emily Saliers (“Baby Don’t You Break My Heart Slow”) and Robert Downey, Jr. (“Chances Are”), as well as those old chestnuts “Maryland” and “The Wildest Times of the World” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” and, of course, Ally‘s rip-roarin’ theme song “Searchin’ My Soul,” which still makes you wanna get up and shake your ass some twelve years later. The Buzz still loves ya, gal.
“I watch a movie. I don’t watch James Marsden.”
— the ever-quotable A — speaking to me as we were walking back to the car after having seen The Box last night — vehemently pooh-poohing my suggestion that he should have allowed his mind to wander away from the film’s mind-boggling plot and just focus on the shattering beauty of its male lead. (Which, incidentally, is exactly what I did: I fancy myself a fairly sharp guy, and I was hopelessly lost about twenty minutes in, so I sat there for the full remainder of the film admiring the flawlessly symmetrical beauty of Mr. Marsden’s mutton chop sideburns — the story is set in the late ’70s, FYI — and had a perfectly wonderful moviegoing experience. A, on the other hand, got completely wrapped up in the madly warped storyline, and as a result, had nightmares last night ruminating upon what he called “this sick movie.”)
Thanks to some unusually temperate weather and an inordinate amount of rain in the past month, my rosebush — which was just planted two weeks ago — has already begun blooming. (Perhaps this is normal — my thumb is so not green, it’s purple — but I’m going to go with the assumption that rosebushes aren’t supposed to look like this in November, even in Texas.) Based on the early empirical evidence, I’m gonna be bold and predict this beauty is gonna be a knockout come March.
“I know you. I’ve seen you before!”
— the girl at Best Buy (whose name, sadly, I didn’t even think to get until I had already made it home and decided to turn this experience into a Buzz post) who rang up my CD purchase yesterday. (My response: “I, uhh, frequent your lovely establishment here quite often, so it’s certainly not, umm, impossible.” I didn’t know if telling her that I’ve darkened the door no less than once a week every week for the past fifteen years would freak her out or fill her with pride, so I figured that was the safest way to address her inquiry.)
analyzing kyle lewis with the amazing brett claywell
posted at 11:23 am by brandon in child, my work
on brandon’s buzz! 11/5/09, 10pm est / 7pm pst!
November kicks off with a bang, as country’s hottest-selling lass is back with her hotly-anticipated third album, which has her working with some eyebrow-raising collaborators. Dig in:
Pop music’s venerable Now series is back this week with a pair of new entries, as recent radio hits from A’s beloved Black Eyed Peas (their record-breaking number one smash “I Gotta Feeling”), Jordin Sparks (the terrific “Battlefield”), Katy Perry (“Waking Up in Vegas,” a guilty pleasure if I ever heard one), Michael Franti and Spearhead (their cheeky top 40 breakthrough “Say Hey (I Love You)”), and others punctuate Now That’s What I Call Music, Vol. 32; and a fascinating cross-section of unforgettable club smashes from the past three decades turn up on Now That’s What I Call Dance Classics!, including any number of one hit wonders from the likes of The Weather Girls (“It’s Raining Men,” with the amazing Martha Wash blowing the roof off the joint), CeCe Peniston (“Finally”), Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock (their oft-sampled touchstone “It Takes Two”), and others. This is all well and good, mind you, and will probably find its way into my collection, since I have a profound weakness for this kind of thing. But please don’t tell me I’m the only one who is shattered by the Now folks’ decision to omit Everything But the Girl’s legendary 1996 monster hit “Missing” from this tracklist. Gotta tell you, guys: Todd Terry’s brilliant decision to lay down a furiously insistent house beat just beneath Tracey Thorn’s abominably sexy croon made for what I call a dance classic every damn day o’ the week. Recognize.