29 June 2008

Sunday Spins

It's CD shuffle time. No theme this week. Just good, old stuff that I haven't put in the player in too long. In the rotation:

* Billy Pilgrim, "In the Time Machine": Criminally underheard duo who were sort of unsportingly dubbed the Indigo Boys when they formed. They're fantastic songwriters and tear the hell out of guitars, though. This was their last studio record, from 2001, and it's more symphonic than their earlier work. This sounds like it was influenced equally by "The Joshua Tree" and "OK Computer." Which is OK by me. In the opening track, Andrew Hyra growls, "Know you wanna be with me, baby. Why you say goodbye?" The other guy in the group, Kristian Bush, went on to form the country act Sugarland with Jennifer Nettles and Kristen Hall.

* Charlie Sexton Sextet, "Under the Wishing Tree": On this album, roots/blues rocker Sexton puts out a vibe like The Wallflowers, a year before the 'flowers ever charted a single. Tonio K., who is a songwriting god, co-wrote half of the 12 songs, and James McMurtry helped pen one, too.

* Seventy Sevens, "Sticks and Stones": Too heavy for Christian music, too Christian for the radio was the old adage about the Sevens. The latter statement's not true, though. They're best work always talked about love and longing, but in indistinct -- and more universal -- terms. An exception on this disc is "God Sends Quails," but with its gloomy verses repeatedly stating, "You've failed. Tried half-hearted and failed again," it doesn't feel like he's preaching salvation. This was an odds-and-ends collection that turned out to be maybe their finest work.

* Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Echo": The first proper album ("She's the One" soundtrack rightfully excluded) after the phenomenal "Wildflowers." I dug this out because singer/guitarist Mike Quinn played "Counting On You" at Peg Leg Pete's on the beach a couple weeks ago. Love that song.

* Sam Phillips, "Zero Zero Zero": The contractual last album for Phillips with Virgin records. It was supposed to be a best-of. But she remixed five of the tracks and threw three new ones on, and it seems to have a life in its own right. Most ironic: The song "Zero Zero Zero!" isn't even on here. ... She's got a brand new record out. I've got it ordered but it hasn't arrived yet. This is a stopgap for me.

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