August 20, 2007

Thanks a LOT, NPR

So I'm listening to NPR one day, minding my own business. World Cafe comes on, and they're featuring a band my wife had just heard about (on another NPR show -- we're such yuppies!) -- Los Straitjackets. And so I listened. And now?

I'm hooked.

It's not just the luchador masks (though that IS a cool touch). It's the guitar work, the Dick Dale-style instrumentals. It's the whole 1960s surf-rock vibe, and I can't get enough.

Their latest album is Rock en Espanol, and it's Spanish versions of classic rock tunes. Note I didn't say covers -- if you know Spanish, you'll notice that the lyrics don't always match up perfectly, but the feel is right. They rhythm is right. And the guitar is always right. My favorites on this one have to be "Hey Lupe" ('Hang On, Sloopy'), and "Loco Te Patina El Coco" ('Wild Thing'), but the entire album is outstanding, with vocals provided by Big Sandy (of Fly-Rite Boys fame) since they don't normally do vocals.

I also downloaded "Little Drummer Boy" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" from their Tis the Season album. I love unique takes on Christmas music, and these will both be excellent additions to the playlist this November and December. I especially like the Dick Dale influenced take on "Drummer Boy."

The last album I sampled (at least for now) was Sing Along with Los Straitjackets. I downloaded "California Sun" (vocals by Dave Alvin) and "The End of the World" (vocals by Leigh Nash, formerly of Sixpence None the Richer). "The End of the World" was one of the first country songs I remember, with Skeeter Davis' plaintive vocals. Nash does a good job on this song, and it brings back memories of long car trips listening to the 8-track in the family station wagon.

All of these are available at emusic, so go download them. And if you haven't joined yet, you should -- you get 50 free songs!! And make sure you check out Los Straitjackets -- any band that offers actual vinyl LPs has got to be great!

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 07:36 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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August 16, 2005

Monday Morning -- Fool's Paradise

As soon as I threw this into the CD player, I knew I was going to enjoy the CD. This is good, melodic, powerful rock and roll that's a lot like the stuff I listened to when I was in school. more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 04:37 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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