Our Best CDs of 2008 continues today with a review of the super-premium Platinum Award winners for Excellence in rocking and rolling. As with last week’s Gold Awards, these are in alphabetical order. Band Web sites link to the band name, and if the CD is available via eMusic, that links to the CD title. (Mike Smith of Fiction 8, in last week’s comments, recommended that you buy from the band’s Web site or Amazon, if possible, because the artists get a better cut of the proceeds that way. Duly noted.)
Speaking of Fiction 8, let’s get this out of the way first
Fiction 8 – Project Phoenix
I have a rule – I never include in my official ratings CDs that I had something to do with, no matter how great I think they are. And since I co-wrote “Hegemony,” the track that closes this disc, that means that Fiction 8 is officially disqualified. This doesn’t mean I can’t tell you what I think I’d think about the record if I weren’t laboring with a conflict of interest, though. Read more
A guy on one of my music lists posted a question this morning: what’s everybody digging from eMusic these days? Wow – it’s like he knew it was TunesDay and wanted to set me up for another round of S&Recommends, huh?
Well, I don’t need a lot of prodding, so here you go. I’ve mentioned a couple of these before, I know, but great music is the sort of thing it’s okay to harp on…
I’ve been a very big Don Dixon fan since the late ’70s, so when his new CD, The Nu-Look, dropped I was bouncing around the living room like Snoopy doing a happy dance. Sadly, a lot of people don’t know Don’s music – although many know his work as the producer of Murmur and Reckoning by REM and multiple records from The Smithereens and Guadalcanal Diary (as well as stuff from Chris Stamey, Beat Rodeo, Kim Carnes, The Connells, Marshall Crenshaw, Hootie & the Blowfish, Tommy Keene, Let’s Active, James McMurtry, The Pinetops, The Reivers, Matthew Sweet and X-Teens).
The new disc marks something of a departure. Read more
Through the years, Jamie Hoover has not only produced a string of fantastic records with his band, The Spongetones, he has also produced, engineered, played with, and hung with damned near everybody, or so it seems from reading a comprehensive credit list. Yet somehow he remains one of those incredibly talented people who never quite reap the acclaim they deserve (to say nothing of the financial rewards).
He never stops hustling, though. Earlier this year he released Paparazzi, a collaboration with fellow Power Pop luminary Bill Lloyd and Smithereens drummer Dennis Diken, and a new Spongetones record is in the works. There’s also Jamie Hoo-ever, a new solo project featuring covers of tunes by The Traveling Wilburys, Klaatu, Bobby Fuller, Todd Rundgren, Let’s Active, The Everly Brothers, and of course, The Beatles. He’s recently toured with Lloyd, Don Dixon, and Robert Crenshaw. Then there’s the Van Deleckis side project with Bryan Shumate, and in all his spare time he still manages to produce a bit.
The Pit is honored, therefore, that Hoover somehow made time to field 22 questions for us. Read more