Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Speed round:

Watched Garth's CMT special this weekend, and wow. We've finally got details on the Lost Sessions disc of the forthcoming Limited Series box, and I'm so there. A duet with Martina McBride? Another track with backing vox from Alison Krauss? Not to mention that Chris LeDoux tribute, which sounds better every time (and which he'll be performing on tonight's CMA Awards)? Hell yeah! (It'll also be nice to have his last 2 studio albums, and Double Live, remastered, and the DVD's a nice touch.)

Speaking of CMT, their website has an exclusive, sensational 4-song performance by Bobby Bare of songs from his incredible new album, The Moon Was Blue (which I gave an A review, and is accordingly one of my top 5 albums of the year). I heartily recommend you check it out (and wish, likely to no avail, that they'd make one of 'em a video to add to their rotation).

First reaction to the new Madonna album: pretty good, but a bit long. The lack of balladry is welcomed, but ballads also help break up an album, sometimes; Confessions on a Dance Floor tends towards the heavy thump-thump-thump, which gets monotonous. But I like it. That said, if you can find a way, I've gotta implore you to check out her performance of "Hung Up" on the recent MTV Europe Music Awards. Lady Madonna was on fire, singing great (she's dumped the faux-Brit accent for his singing, at least this time), dancing even better, and showing & proving that her bikini waxer deserves a Nobel prize of some sort. She was jaw-droppingly great; nothing else on the show was even in her ballpark.

Reviews I've got forthcoming at Stylus: the abovementioned M and Garth, Rodney Crowell, Carrie Underwood (yep), Masters at Work's The Kings of House, Steve Lawler's Lights Out 3, and the deluxe edition of Sonic Youth's Goo, among others.

I've recently been a tiny bit obsessed with McCartney's 1986 flop (really, I think even ...Broad Street did better commercially) Press to Play. I was prompted to seek it out after reading the good Mr. Soto's take on it, and I'm so effing glad I did. This is a truly odd pop record, considering it's coming from one of the most famous (and famed, and they're not the same thing) tunesmiths of the last half-century. Plus, damned near every superstar was making weird-to-bad records in 1986 (Jagger to the white courtesy phone, please!); this falls on the weird side of things. And, frankly, the surprisingly good side, as well. "Only Love Remains" is to this day my second-fave Macca single (and like my favorite, "No More Lonely Nights," a mid-'80s ballad, talk about weird). Soto said in his piece that Press to Play is out of print, and he's correct, but it's still available as an import - remastered, even! Amazon's got it.

The bf and I just finished watching the first season of The Amazing Race, finally on DVD; I'd never seen it, as I didn't get into the Race until season 4 (the "Reichip" edition). What superb television in pretty much every sense, wow. Now if only Viacom/CBS would see to it to release the following seasons; instead comes word that last season (number 7, the Rob & Amber season) is coming in time for Christmas. What about the others, you dolts? (And who really cares about season 7, anyway?) We're watching the "family edition" this season, yes, but not loving it. I'm ready for a return to what makes the series the finest reality that TV can offer - which includes a return to two-person teams - come February '06 or so with The Amazing Race 9.

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