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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2006-02-17 - 11:37 a.m.

Dear Recording Artists of Planet Earth:

Please stop putting out albums for, say, two weeks, so I can get caught up listening and then criticizing your every move.

Also, please put out more albums that I like, and stop covering "Rainy Day Women."

And, you are good-looking.

Very truly yours,


2006, still in its infancy, has been a good year for records! I am really enjoying the following:

  • Hammel on Trial - Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs

    For those who have had the privilege of seeing Ed Hamell play live, you know his thing is not subtlety or intricate songwriting, but ballistic confidence, smart-ass humor, and acoustic-guitar-as-weapon. This album takes that schtick further, with smart, full-band arrangements and engaging songs that occupy some weird place where talking blues and pop and classic rock and punk meet.

  • The Subways - Young for Eternity

    I can’t say that this album-qua-album is good—it’s just another punk album with serviceable songs and a nice, crisp production. But it serves this band well as a calling card for live shows—I imagine they must rock mightily live. And they are so cute!

  • Teddy Thompson - Separate Ways

    Am I jealous that he gets to have Richard & Linda Thompson as parents? You bet. Do I want to hate him for the nepotism that landed him cushy record deals and tours? Oh, testify, sinner. But all is forgiven on the basis of this album, which features some terrific songs that mine RT-like territory (“I Should Get Up,” “Altered State”) as well as Postal Service-esque synth-pop (“Shine so Bright”), sprightly country-gospel, and other mutations of pop. Mind you, there is nothing on here that wouldn’t be out of place on a One Tree Hill sampler, but it would be churlish to hold that against him.

  • His Name is Alive – Detrola

    Warren Defever’s unapologetically 90s-ish musical collages demand headphone listening

  • Veronicas - The Secret Life of…

    This is a 100% guilty-ass pleasure, and really 10 out of 11 of the songs here are icky...not to mention that these 2 adolescent sisters from Australia are marketed shamelessly in an Olsen Twins fashion...but the single “4 Ever” is the kind of bubbly punk-pop song Ashlee Simpson should consider covering, and they have a decent, secret bonus cover of Tracy Bonham’s “Mother Mother.” And they are named after my favorite Archie.

  • Jessi Colter - Out of the Ashes

    I skip over “Rainy Day Women," but the rest of the record--her first in coon’s age!!--is full of ol’ fashioned country gems. And, hey, she’s Shooter Jennings’s mama.

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