A Zit!

And more CDs! It’s exciting, getting a zit, when you get 1 every 4 months or so; it gives one something to really focus on for a minute or two, trying to get the right angle to relieve the pressure, and of course, the sensation of the zit popping…

85) Annie Lennox: Bare

I had this CD and the next one in the wrong cases, both are stark white with very little printing on them, and both CD cases are washed out, have a woman on the cover, and so, I, probably a bit tipsy, put them in the wrong cases some time ago. When I discovered that the CD in Autour de Lucie was in fact Annie Lennox, I put the CD case inside until I got to the Annie Lennox case and then swapped’em back. It’s one of my rules. If the Autour De Lucie CD had not been in the Annie Lennox case, I would have had to set them both aside and wait for another washed out CD with a woman on the front came along… the music is not washed out, but it is white, and I don’t intend any racial connotations, just that the music–mildly funky, danceable, tastefully produced, with Annie’s icy soul vox layered on top–sounds like the color white, although I’ve been led to understand that white is actually the absence of color, which suits my metaphorical purposes even better. (bonus: Annie writes a very bland explanation of her stark cover photo on the back of the CD, something about challenging ideas of beauty and marketing. It reminded me of this, only whiter.)

86) Autour de Lucie: Faux Mouvement

Lush, seductive French trip-hop that gets more heavy and angry as it gets later in the track listing; like a lot of trip-hoppy electrofolk CDs, this one has lots of neat riffs and sonic effects and maybe 2 or 3 memorable songs: “Je Reviens,” “La Contradiction,” and maybe “Le Salon.” Well done, totally expected. (bonus: they are French, so their bassist is named Fabrice. I am so jealous.)

87) The Stax/Volt Review: Live In London

Now, if Dusty Springfield had Booker T and the MG’s backing her up, well, ’nuff said. I’m not a fan of live albums, generally, but this one is pretty damn good: “Green Onions,” Eddie Floyd, Otis, Carla Thomas, and of course Sam and Dave (“Hold On, I’m Comin'” is the finale and really grinds up the stage). Whets my appetite for more Stax stuff, but goddamn, I’m stuck in an arbitrary order and cannot satisfy the craving. (bonus: “stax” is a portmanteau of the original owner of the label’s last names, if you were curious. It also sounds bad-ass.)

88) Ween: The Mollusk

I think this is the only Ween CD I own; my friend Conrad played the first 3 of their CDs relentlessly for a few months, so I don’t think I need to hear “The Stallion” again. As a connoisseur of nonsense, I have to say, this is some pretty good nonsense, both musically and lyrically. They even claim that “Cold Blows the Wind” (known to most folks as “The Unquiet Grave”) is an old Chinese folk song. Such monkeys. Too bad they got all cleaned up and starched and boring. Nothing wrong with sobreity, but there must be something about the way we help people get sober, the 12-step programs and Betty Ford places, that exorcises whatever was interesting about them in the first place. It doesn’t have to be that way, won’t someone come up with a Dada substance abuse program? Anyway, they’ve been pretty dull since this CD, in my very humble opinion. (bonus: no, they didn’t really huff Scotchgard while recording “The Pod.” Sorry to burst yer bubble.)