Less than two minutes into A Is Jump’s My Ice-Fingered Ghost, it’s readily apparent that even though this isn’t a typical release from the Quad Cities-based Future Appletree label, it’s a good match for the imprint’s oddity-laced pop sound.
• This Tuesday the United States of Distribution imprint releases four CDs in its new BUZZOLA series, collecting vintage recordings into cleverly themed 18-track treasure troves. With songs reaching back as far as 1923 and into the Cold War era, each CD is meant to tickle, or caress, a different part of your brain and heart.
After 32 years, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival's audience isn't getting any younger. "Our crowd is usually quite old" - typically over 45 - said Ray Voss, president of the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society, which runs the annual festival featuring jazz styles from the 1920s and '30s.
• Everything's gone cover crazy this Tuesday with a mother lode of new interpretations to wrap inquisitive ears around. Paul Weller, mod icon and founding member of The Jam and the Style Council, is prepping the September release of his all-covers collection, Studio 150, with an advance import-only EP this week.
Lennon hates playing acoustic. It makes her "scared to death," she said in a recent interview with the River Cities' Reader. "I have terrible anxiety. I don't like being alone." So, naturally, she ended last year with an acoustic tour.
• I wish I were a fly on the studio wall as plentiful guest stars dominate a handful of new and upcoming releases. The Dwarves' upcoming CD on Sympathy for the Record Industry, Dwarves Must Die, features the original Space Ghost, Gary Owens, alongside guests Nash Kato of Urge Overkill, Dexter Holland of The Offspring, Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age, Vandals drummer Josh Freese, and rapper San Quinn.
• Perfectly timed for a cool breeze through the warm summer air, three new CDs are taking the acoustic route. The implosion of this summer's Lollapalooza tour was a big disappointment for me, as I was really looking forward to seeing Michael Franti & Spearhead, a smart political voice in the dialogue on race and our common humanity since his days fronting the Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy.
Unless you follow the developments in the world of guitar, chances are excellent you've never heard of Johnny Hiland. But if you like intense country-flavored guitar, you'd be remiss not to check him out when he headlines Muscatine's Independence Day festivities.
• A new DVD released last week raises the bar in honoring Galaxie 500, one of the most beloved and influential bands of the late 1980s. With videos, live footage, and two "bootlegged" concerts from 1990, the two-DVD set from Plexifilm is pure slow-motion, dreamy, jangle-pop joy.
• The brightest promise for the future of punk rock, Authority Zero, releases a sophomore masterpiece this coming Tuesday, with wicked cover art lampooning Norman Rockwell's classic "No Swimming" image - painting the three summer lads in gas masks, liberty spikes, and the American flag.