- David Bowie, "Blackstar". Amazing that Bowie made this 7 track album knowing he was dying. It is a fitting memorial. The 2 videos from the album are both disturbing and haunting. 4 stars.
- Bloc Party, "Hymns". A very nice album from this British group. Catchy tunes, good dancers. Here's "Into The Earth". 4 stars.
- Ra Ra Riot, "Need Your Light". Not as good as their prior album, but some good tunes. I will give it 4 stars out of respect for their earlier effort and because I suspect it will grow on me.
- Lake Street Dive, "Side Pony". Their 2nd album. Kind of like the Ra Ra Riot. No songs jumped out at me. Plus, the engineering I thought was a little suspect. It seemed like it needed more, something closer to the Phil Spector wall of sound. 4 stars.
- Bonnie Raitt, "Dig In Deep". I read somewhere how this was her 1st album of new material in several years. It does not seem like that long. Again, how the time does fly. This is a great album, man can that woman play slide guitar. I am working up "Shakin' Shakin' Shakes" for the jams. 4 stars.
- Lucius, "Good Grief Deluxe". Their 2nd album. About the same quality as their 1st, I think. 4 stars. Here's "My Heart Got Caught On Your Sleeve".
- Vandaveer, "The Wild Mercury". I read a review of a recent local concert by this group, out of Louisville. The guy who writes the material and sings lead is from Lexington. He has a female harmony singer. Genre-wise, iTunes made it "Folk" - it's kind of in that folk-country-alternative blend like, say, Lonesome Bellow. Very listenable. 3 stars - mostly because everything else has been 4! I have to pretend I still have some powers of discrimination!
Monday night I went to open mic at Willie's Locally Known. This has relocated from the north side to Southland Dr, in the (cursed) site by the railroad tracks that used to be Trump's (and then the execrable ShowMe's). They have done a great job with it. Rustic wood look. The end by the stage has raised seating along the walls for an amphitheater effect. I loved their bourbon bar as well. Q: Which bourbons do you carry? A: All of them.
Then this 20 YO kid got up and played originals on ukulele and vocals. Totally odd chords, very distinctive voice, completely fresh and original. I talked to him afterwards, need to get his name. I was hesitant to do it, so as not to taint his originality, but I suggested he listen to Tune-Yards - another alternative ukulele player. I'd buy his album right now, but what tremendous potential.
Next up a 15 YO kid playing Preston Reed / Kaki King open-tuned acoustic guitar type stuff. Very good.
Then a 16 YO kid playing a mandolin. First a very jazzy instrumental, very nice, then singing a country song with a great, expressive voice.
So it wound up being a worthwhile evening of live music.