TWO SENTENCE REVIEWS:

The list of records I’d like to review for 9b is so long that if I stare at it for too long I get discouraged, pour a tumbler of whiskey and give up for the night. Then there is this other list, the list of albums I like enough to want to cover, but can’t really thing of anything to say about them. So I thought I’d revive the old “Two Sentence Review” segment and cover some of them.

Great American Taxi – Paradise Lost
Lazy americana that’s really good when you listen to it. Problem is, the album seems all too eager to fade into the background.

Great American Taxi – Blair Mountain

Chris Cornell – Songbook
Absolutely adored this album the first 5 times I listened to it. Have like it less every time since then.

Chris Cornell – Call Me A Dog

Uncle Bengine and the Restraining Orders – Comes In Nines
Wanted to review this album properly but could only come up with one sentence. If the Dead Milkmen had formed a country band, Uncle Bengine is what they probably would have sounded like.

Uncle Bengine and the Restraining Orders – Bootleggers

Childish Gambino – Camp
Did you know Troy from Community had a rap album out? It’s a surprisingly lucid album with an indie hiphop feel.

Childish Gambino – Outside
Childish Gambino – Fire Fly

CLEARING OUT THE 2009 CLOSET: SOME QUICK HITS: PETE BERNHARD, BETTY SOO, DIANE BIRCH, CAM PENNER, SEVEN MARY THREE & CAROLYN MARK W/NQ ARBUCKLE

Much like Kasey’s two sentence reviews, I thought I’d bang out a couple of pieces that have been floating around in my Google Docs account in various forms of incompletion and combine them into one post instead of just deleting them. Sometimes it’s hard to find something to say about every. single. cd you like, but I’ll usually at least give it a shot. These are those shots:

PETE BERNHARD – STRAIGHT LINE

Pete Bernhard is one third of the phenomenal ‘country meets punk in a ragtime bar’ trio, The Devil Makes Three. While the lineup is a little different, more of a traditional arrangement, the sound is pretty much the same. This begs the question: Why do this outside of the DM3 umbrella? Apparently Pete feels that these songs don’t fit with the DM3 sound/feel but I don’t hear why. That said, the cd (like the entire Devil Makes Three discography) is fantastic.

Pete Bernhard – Straight Line

BETTY SOO – HEAT SIN WATER SKIN

Coming out of Austin (and to my attention, thanks to A Truer Sound) this singer made what could have easily been the follow-up to Edie Brickell’s Picture Perfect Morning. The album was produced by Gurf Morlix and if that ain’t a seal of approval, then I don’t know what is.

Betty Soo – Never Knew No Love

DIANE BIRCH – BIBLE BELT

Her voice sounds like something my mother would like. Her music sounds like Carly Simon or something. This album is a rarity in that the more the role of “background” music it plays in my day, the more I like it so I’m unable to just discard the album all together. Perhaps it’s one of those cds that has to bounce in and out of your consciousness for a year or so before you decide you like it. Time will tell. I suppose.

Diane Birch – Don’t Wait Up

SEVEN MARY THREE – BACKBOOTH

Seven Mary Three is a largely forgotten (and unfortunately labeled) band from the late 90’s grunge era. Backbooth is a little venue in the band’s hometown of Orlando, Florida and Backbooth is a recording of an acoustic show the band did at the club. It serves as a fine companion to Day&NightDriving, but I would advise getting the latter first.

Seven Mary Three – Upside Down

CAM PENNER – TROUBLE AND MERCY

Cam Penner came out of Calgary to take the americana blogging community by storm last month. I had intended to be a part of said storm but managed to miss it all together. Cam wrote Trouble and Mercy while on the road searching through the underbelly of the American dream for something shiny. The process birthed two of my favorite songs of 2009, “13” and “Tired of This Town”. Please don’t let my failure to feature this album on ninebullets act as a commentary on it’s quality, ’cause I can assure you it’s about to pop up on my year end list.

Cam Penner – Tired Of This Town

CAROLYN MARK & NQ ARBUCKLE – LET’S JUST STAY HERE

Put two solo artists that I love together and the sum will be greater than the parts….right? With Carolyn Mark & NQ Arbuckle’s collaboration Let’s Just Stay Here, the answer at least for me is: not really. It’s a good cd mind you, but ultimately listening to it too closely just makes me wanna listen to their solo discs. That said, there are moments of sheer magic on this album that have never allowed me to just scratch it off my “to write about” list.

Carolyn Mark & NQ Arbuckle – All Time Low

NEW NINEBULLETS FEATURE: TWO SENTENCE REVIEWS

I listen to a lot of music. A lot of music. I can’t speak for AIV or Romeosidvicious, but the list of records I’d like to review for Ninebullets is about three miles long, and that’s before I’ve sorted through anything that’s been submitted for review (AIV handles the bulk of that, so his workload is exponentially larger). Point is, sometimes a record slips through the cracks. In the interest of trying to cover a few more bases, and inspired by AIV’s recent 140-character Twitter reviews, I introduce to you a new Ninebullets feature: Two Sentence Reviews.

The Cave Singers | Welcome Joy (Matador, August 17, 2009)
Beard rock that’s far less grating than Iron and Whine. Plenty of Neil Young influence, which is rarely a bad thing.

The Cave Singers – At The Cut

The Maldives | Listen to the Thunder (Mt. Fuji, September 15, 2009)
The Maldives, another unshaven Seattle outfit, made the best country record you didn’t hear in 2009. Gram and Hillman would be proud.

The Maldives – Tequila Sunday

Vic Chesnutt | At the Cut (Constellation, September 22, 2009)
Chesnutt’s second collaboration with members of Silver Mt. Zion, Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Fugazi is a smoldering, albeit molasses-paced, gem. It’s uneven, but worth it; find me a Chesnutt record that ain’t.

Vic Chesnutt – Concord Country Jubilee

Kris Kristofferson | Closer to the Bone (New West, September 29, 2009)
Slightly underwhelming, stripped-down release from one of the greatest songwriters alive. Well worth it for Stephen Bruton’s (R.I.P.) appearance alone.

Kris Kristofferson – Closer To The Bone

Them Crooked Vultures | S/T (DGC, November 17, 2009)
Grohl, Homme and John Paul Jones rumble through thirteen thinly veiled Zeppelin homages. Enjoyable for what it is, didn’t blow my dress up.

Them Crooked Vultures – New Fang

Autopsy IV Note: Here are the two 140 Character Reviews I’ve done so far:

Beck: Songs of Leonard Cohen – If you see Beck anytime soon…please punch him the face for this release.

Beck – Suzzanne

Blakroc – Blakroc: shit start. strong strong STRONG finish.


Blakroc – Ain’t Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo) (feat. Jim Jones & Mos Def)

Any of you talented readers wanna make a graphic for this feature?