New This Week: The Good, The Bad, and The Queen, Tennis, and Gram Parsons

The Good, The Bad, and The QueenTruly brilliant album from 2007. “A Letter to the London of today”/the London of 8 years ago. I really don’t need to say much in order to prove this album’s merit. It’s on the wall for many reasons: Damon Albarn, Danger Mouse, Paul Simonon, Simon Tong, and muthafuckin’ TONY ALLEN. It’s the only album from this supergroup and just 2 days ago Albarn announced that a second album has been written! TGTB&TQ is melancholically striking and beautiful the whole way through. I consider it to be one of Albarn’s best projects. This is the album I brought to 8th grade journal time and my crush said that he thought it was “cool.” ARI

Recommended tracks: “Kingdom of Doom”, “Herculean”, “Three Changes” (the drums in this one are sweeeet), “A Soldier’s Tale

Tennis – Ritual In RepeatWhen I first heard of Tennis, I assumed they were your typical indie band that would be hard to tell apart from the rest and easy to forget about; the kind of band where the bassist wears an athletic headband (after all it’d fit in well with the name). Needless to say, I was wrong. The Denver band is actually a husband and wife duo whose music is executed with the honesty of seasoned lovers and the shy romance of a high school prom night. Almost every melody on Ritual In Repeat is catchy as hell. And this album just makes you feel so damn good! From the enormous synth chords of “Night Vision” to the impeccably clean guitar of “Never Work For Free” to the driving tambourine of “Timothy” this album is so uplifting! It has me smiling pretty much the whole time. There’s also something weirdly empowering about this album, like anything is possible when I’m listening to it. Writing this review is tough when I wanna get up and dance so badly! “Needle and a Knife” sounds the way I picture Fleetwood Mac would sound if they had formed. The album starts out very strong. The first three songs hit you like bam bam bam! After that it loses a little direction but it regains traction again eventually. I recommend this to anyone who needs a pick me up. AROG

Recommended Tracks: “Needle and a Knife”, “Never Work For Free”, “Night Vision”

Gram Parsons – GP/Grievous Angel: The girl in the back of the office with an acoustic guitar and cowboy hat may claim that KXSC is “your station for country”, but I’ve yet to find a single country album anywhere in the studio. So, as the self-proclaimed authority on country for the station, I give to you a country classic. If there’s one country album that we’re going to have in our studio, it’s going to be Gram. This is actually a compilation of most of Gram’s two solo studio albums, GP and Grievous Angel (released posthumously). If Hank Williams is the father of country, well Gram is the prodigal son, and Gram himself is the father of country rock. He called his music “Cosmic American Music”, but what it is is an expert blending of folk and blues. Country is just the white man’s blues. Gram would play them folk songs and sing that blues in a way that could make you laugh and cry. This stuff will make you get up and dance one minute, and then have you drinking your sorrows away the very next. The duets with Emmylou Harris are definite highlights; he really taught Emmylou how to sing country. He also taught Keith Richards how to play country – take Honky Tonk Women for instance, that’s straight Gram. Gram Parsons never enjoyed much success in his time on Earth, passing away at just 26 (by an overdose in Joshua Tree), but his influence lives on. Listen to these tracks and then look at any current country rock act and tell me you don’t hear some GP in there. To the grievous angel, may he live on forever… SHILL

Recommended Tracks: "Love Hurts", "In My Hour of Darkness"

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