Loudon Wainwright III: ‘Recovery’
Working the subgenre he likes to call “Country and Eastern,” Westchester native, Peter Stuyvesant descendant and paterfamilias of the Wainwright gang (Rufus, Martha, et al) is in stores today with his new album, “Recovery.” Coming off his strangely a propos soundtrack album for Knocked Up, this revisitation of the folkist’s four-decade music career has him sounding “better than ever” according to Rolling Stone‘s Will Hermes, who writes: “You can imagine him singing ‘Saw Your Name in the Paper’ to his singer-songwriter offspring, Rufus and Martha — a confession about fame’s dubious allure that now reads like a paternal warning.” A bit of a paternal message can be got by clicking to play the video above–it’s an old live performance that’s a bit representative of what Rufus and Martha dealt with growing up.
Anthony Braxton: ‘Beyond Quantum’
Jazz avant-gardist Anthony Braxton has also been in the game for 40 years, but the latest from the free-jazz miracle worker is all new. The headier jazz fanatics have been waiting for this–John Zorn is somehow involved, and the album is a series of five sessions with Milford Graves and William Parker, which in some circles is a bit like the Justice League for free jazz.
“This is music designed to be seen, not heard,” quips Stephen Thomas Erlewine on allmusic.com. Well, we’ve certainly seen a lot of it! For the uninitiated, “Shwayze” is a Malibu-born rapper who had the good fortune to meet and befriend Cisco Adler, who in turn has dated the likes of Mischa Barton, Paris Hilton, and Lauren Conrad of Hills fame. Yes, that’s where you’ve heard Shwayze before. “The quintessential record for L.A. sleazeballs,” Erlewine concludes.
If you know stereolab already you probably already know everything you need to about today’s release, “Chemical Chords.” Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier return to the trough and spoon out reliably pleasant fare as though they are running the concession stand at a situationist lounge act featuring a Beach Boys cover band. Like many bands that have stood the test of time, it is their devoted cult fan base that will keep this album selling … but for how long? “As many people discovered about ten years ago,” writes the BBC’s Chris Jones, “how much room can you make in your life for another of their albums, when the results are nearly always the same, no matter how clever?”
Juliana Hatfield is back with a solo album (“How to Walk Away”) that’s actually getting decent reviews–quite an accomplishment considering her historically bad relationship with the music press. The Dandy Warhols sling another pop-psych album (“Earth to the Dandy Warhols”); and Yep Roc has re-released Robyn Hitchcock’s brilliant “Fegmania!” album from 1985.