- Delbert McClinton & Glen Clark, "Blind, Crippled and Crazy". Man, Delbert just keeps on keepin' on. I don't think there's a bad track on this album. 4 stars.
- Tune-Yards, "nikki nack". I really found this effort much weaker than her last (1st?) album, which I loved. I saw one reviewer refer to its "schoolyard chants", which may be the source of the weakness. She (Merrill Garbus) took a trip to Haiti to study traditional drumming there. This album just doesn't seem nearly as creative and edgy as the last. 4 stars, but just to hear it more, hoping it will grow on me more.
- Little Dragon, "Nabuma Rubberband". This band continues to crank out tight nasty grooves under great vocals. I'm somewhat surprised that their quality is staying as consistently high as it is.
- Lykke Li, "Wounded Rhymes", 2010. Nice Europop, very listenable, but lacking the edge of, say, Little Dragon. 3 stars.
- Lake Street Dive, eponymous, 2010. Like a lot of 1st albums, this one kind of explores different genres, trying to find the sound that works best. I think they evolved well, to where I now classify them as R&B. 4 stars.
- Lake Street Dive, "Fun Machine - EP", 2012. This is 6 covers of mostly R&B classics. I think this video of "I Want You Back" was my intro to the band. Great stuff, great vocals, 4 stars.
- Daryl Hall & John Oates, "The Very Best of ...", 1977-1985. $5 at amazon for 18 tracks. 4 stars for "Sara Smile", "You Make My Dreams" (I used to pound the steering wheel in time whenever this came on the radio), "I Can't Go For That", and "One On One". 3 stars for the rest.
- Coldplay, "Ghost Stories". Very laid back and easy to listen to, but nothing very catchy. 3 stars.
- Andrew Bird, "Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of...". This is more straight folky overall, which is disappointing. I think that his odd instrumentation and orchestration were part of the strength of earlier albums. 3 stars.
- School Of Language, "Sea From Shore", 2008, and "Old Fears", 2014. This is great alternative rock. Lots of catchy melodies and interesting chord tonalities. The earlier one I thought was stronger. One track "Rockist" is in 4 parts that start and end the album. The return is definitely nice and welcoming, like coming home. 4 stars for both.
Local music wise, tonight was supposed to be the last night for the Sherman House Presents at Shamrock's. This has been a great jam. Matt Noell's concept of having a different guest host every week worked out really well (I was guest host a couple of months ago). It was supposed to move to Wednesday, but now it appears it will stay on Sunday for another month, football or no.
Meanwhile, the Here For The Party Jam With The Band has resurfaced at Patchen Pub on Monday nights. It was at ShowMe's for a couple of months. Man, that place sucked. Food was lousy, and the last thing the world needs is another Hooter's knockoff. I told several people, all 3 of my daughter's were servers, and it is a hard enough job without being deliberately dressed to invite sexual harassment. My first night there, 3 mechanics just off work were talking really ornery to their server -- ugh. The place is like Sex Trade 0.2; I'm glad we're done there.
Meanwhile, I've been approached by an affable bassist/guitarist/vocalist about starting a band. Plus, there's a sax player who's been coming out to the jams who is the best I have ever played with, and who twice has told me, "If you have a band, I'm in". Very tempting. So looking for a drummer/vocalist and a keyboardist/vocalist for a 5 piece dance band. I have a great name: "Acme Dance Band".