Zach Hartley’s Top Five CD’s
Johnny Cash Live At Folsom Prison
Hank Williams III Risin’ Outlaw
Elvis Presley RCA ’57 Elvis Presley
Mike Ness Under The Influences
Merle Haggard Okie From Muskogee
Ta Det Lugnt
This was a surprising little disc that crept into my computer and leapt out with a bang. This young Swedish multi-instrumentalist named Gustav came out of the Swedish woodwork to create a beautiful, symphonic, acid-jazz, prog-chill, psychedelic gem in which he plays most every note, except for a few guitar tracks here and there. He sings in Swedish mostly, but you won’t notice-the music is that good. Fans of Lansing-Drieden, Traffic, or Comets On Fire will be feeling this-I sure am. I feel like I’m naked in a forest of wonderful Swedish free jazz.
Waiting For The Sirens’ Call
What started as Warsaw, changed into Joy Division, and then through an act of suicide, became New Order, and they ruled the world. Well, they’re still here, and with band members all nearing their mid forties, they still rule-although, maybe a little more poppy than before. The latest New Order, titled Waiting For The Sirens’ Call, makes you realize how “80s-synth-pop” should really sound. Filled with mostly bubble-gum hits, Waiting also has a few treasures. Why listen to crap like The Killers when you can hear the real thing right here?
Yo La Tengo
Prisoners Of Love: A Smattering Of Scintillating Senescent Songs 1985-2003
Yo La Tengo is one of indie-rock’s great and already legendary trios. They play easy-listening rock music based on one emotion-love. The songs on this three-disc set are, as they say, “a smattering of scintillating senescent songs” from 1985 to 2003. I take from that funny sentence that this set is a greatest hits, along with a bonus disc of rarities and outtakes. If you’re looking for good-time sunny music that may sound (as contradictory as it sounds) like The Velvet Underground on Prozac, purchase Prisoners Of Love at your local independent music store. Then you can start branching out and buying the whole Yo La Tengo catalog.
The Secret Migration
Some critics say this is Mercury Rev’s happiest album to date-and that’s a bad thing. I disagree to a point. The Secret Migration is ethereal and lovely, while at the same time being a little too airy to really dig into most of the songs. Overall, it’s a brilliant album, but from a band as amazing as Mercury Rev, you’d expect a little more. Don’t get me wrong, this album is more beautiful than most anything you’ll hear out there, but it’s nowhere near its 1998 classic, Deserter’s Songs. Fans of The Flaming Lips and Polyphonic Spree will be in heaven.
Bonnaroo Music Festival 2004
The Bonnaroo Music Festival is a huge party attended by thousands of weekend-warrior hippie types, Deadheads, rockers, trippers, college kids, and lovely weirdos. Last year’s festival featured an eclectic mix of bands that rocked to a crowd of tens of thousands. David Byrne, Bob Dylan, The Dead (remaining members of The Grateful Dead), Steve Winwood, Kings Of Leon, Trey Anastasio, Primus, and Ween were just a few of the acts that had the crowd undulating in a patchouli heaven-like a modern-day Woodstock with good music and no Fred Durst being an asshole. Bonnaroo sounded amazing, and now you can try to emulate the scene in your living room with this double-disc CD-don’t forget the whip-its and herb, man!
Live* In Vegas
Any fan of Family Guy should buy this CD. It’s sidesplitting! In the CD’s best song “All Cartoons Are F-king Dicks,” the cast of Family Guy sing about McGruff killing hookers, Papa Smurf being a racist, anti-Semite, and more! They cuss, they sing about really whacked out stuff, and even have guest stars Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander and Hailey Duff. Overall, the orchestration and lyrics are genius! The bonus DDVD is also hilarious! Can’t tell you enough how much you’ll crap yourself when you listen to this. It’s way more raunchy than the show, so don’t drink milk before the jokes start-it will find its way out of your nostrils very quickly.
Too Far Gone
After the release of an immensely popular EP, Yovee is back with a full-length album that’s sure to be the soundtrack to the 2005 California summer. You may have heard Yovee’s music in every movie in the Drive Thru film series, or in Riding In Vans With Boys on MTV. With broad influences ranging from Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young to Pinback, these five musicians are sure to make your days long and sunny, and your nights filled with wine, women, and song.
Seasons-A Surf Documentary
Ezekiel/Chad Campbell and Ross Williams
In Ross’ own words, this video is “a window of time that took us one year, discovering new waves and new friends.” It’s a DVD that takes you around the world with Ross and friends to fun places like Bali, cold places like Norway, rippable places like Australia, and interesting places like New York City. Along with Ross (who’s loose and ripping as hard as ever) are Benji Weatherley, Jun Jo, Mikala Jones, Rizal, Jeremy Heit, Betet, and John Rose, just to name a few. Good music and fun-looking surf will entertain you and get you amped to shred wherever you may be.
Live In San Fran 1981
Live and in command! Iggy Pop prowls the stage like an uncaged tiger ready to pounce, and he does it in drag. This punk-rock legend always puts on a show you’ll never forget, and for the millions of us who were absent during this San Francisco rock-fest, this DVD will help ease that pain. Hits like “Lust For Life,” “TV Eye,” “1969,” and “I Need More” are belted out with ferocity to a crowd going absolutely ape shit. One of David Bowie’s main guitar gods is playing strings, and Blondie’s drummer Clem Burke is slapping the skins. Let’s rock!
Taj Burrow’s Fair Bits
Billabong/Brendan and Emmit Malloy
After a whirlwind world tour, Taj Burrow’s Fair Bits is available for home consumption. For those of you who missed out on one of the many premieres, please proceed to a surf shop near you and pick up a must-see surf flick. Funny Spike Jonze-ish skits are bumpers for mesmerizing surf action, mostly in film, and all in incredible color and quality. Taj of course rules this flick but is backed by an all-star cast of supports. The Malloy brothers’ (Emmit and Brandon) skit with Ben Stiller is classic, as is the “Garage Sale” skit by Keith Malloy.