I bought a CD at the Art Guild sale the other day. I really need to stop buying cd’s, but since the $ went to help the Art Guild, I can pretend I’m not so guilty of having a localized consumer tic: oh, look, cds… Oh well, at least the landfill is in my house.

26) Wolfmother: Wolfmother

This really stinks, this music. I bought this CD at the Salvation Army for fifty cents, and I should probably hang it outside to scare squirells away from the garden. That would be worth fifty cents. I had heard of this band somewere, lord know where, the dying possum that is the recording industry probably hyped them into my cortex–out, damn spot, out! Basically, Wolfmother is three guys who are for 1970’s stoner rock what the group America is to Ralph Stanley. I remember an interview with Randy Newman where he was asked abuot America, and he said “they sound like some junior high kids writing songs about how they think they might have taken acid one time” (I’m paraphrasing). That also applies to Wolfmother, generic Black Oak Arkansas riffage overlayed with lyrics so stupid they’s be funny if it weren’t for the fact that I can never have the time back I spent listening to them. (bonus: sample lyrics, since they were nice enough to print them on the sleeve: “well we alwyas seem to worry / life’s become such a flurry / can’t you see there’s light in the dark / nothing’s quite what it seems in the city of dreams”; or, “woman / you know that you’re a woman / you got to be a woman / I got the feeling of love.” The real bonus: someone told me this band is no more. Praise be.)

27) La-Ppisch: Animal II

I guess the best way to describe La-Ppisch would be as a Japanese version of Fishbone with more political lyrics. I know that because I looked up translations of the lyrics, they sing in Japanese. There are better CDs by La-Ppsich than this one, which is a hodge-podge of live and studio tracks that smacks of AR execs sitting around a boardroom trying to figure out how to sell Japanese ska-punk to the US market. Which is a shame, because other stuff I’ve heard (and downloaded) really rocks. Not as unhinged or jammy as Fishbone, and harder-edged, at least earlier in their career. (bonus: the first Japanese band to play CBGB’s, apparently.)

28) King Sunny Ade and the African Beats: Odu

I dig Sunny Ade in two modes, neither of which, I suspect, does justice to the live experience. First, it is fine background music for writing, soldering, and any other kind of attentive, repetitive work; second, the muscians are always stunning and the songs constructed with enough twists and turns that active listening is revalatory as well, although this particular release is pretty spare, not as many musicians are taking part; the tracks are all covers of traditional Yoruba folk songs, which might account for the sparseness of the arrangments. Still, the polyrhythms (oh the talking drum gives me shivers), the choruses, and Ade’s welcoming voice all hum along in joyous sync… but again, I think seeing them live, dancing for 6 hours, drinking palm wine, is the point; maybe I’ll get lucky and he’ll come to Buffalo. Yeah. (bonus: Yoruban oprverb: Akẹ́yinjẹ ò mọ̀ pé ìdí ńro adìẹ (the person who gathers eggs to eat does not know that the chicken’s orifice hurts.)