Welcome to the inaugural edition of my new musical excess. It’s just like speed dating, only faster and louder!
• Ray Charles — Genius Loves Company (Concord) :: And modesty hates egomaniacs. • Last of the Famous — The Music or the Misery (FourFiveSix) :: Make mine misery because these Clash City Poppers don’t rock my casaba. • Norman Brown — I Might (Warner Bros.) :: Sexy, soulful old-school make-out music for tough guys who’d rather be inside bangin’ than outside gangin’. • The Hentchmen — Form Follows Function (Times Beach) :: Funky reverb garage surf music with a Leigh Stephens fuzz-tone pedigree and cool black turtleneck lyrics like: “I was only five when I saw the scene of that Charger versus Steve McQueen.” • Junior Boys — Last Exit (KIN/Domino) :: Hall & Oates join Kraftwerk. File under: Outenzi Touchenzi. • Wyclef Jean — Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101 (Sak Pasé) :: Those of you who don’t speak Spanish, Creole or French can look forward to Jean’s next album: Welcome To America: English 101. • Minnie Driver — Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket (ZOE/Rounder) :: Hide the straight razor because this set of sad songs is the best melancholy music since Sinatra’s Only The Lonely. • Janiva Magness — Bury Him At The Crossroads (Northern Blues) :: On the prowl with a sexy growl, this blues-beltin’ babe provides the perfect yoni yang to Minnie’s yearning ying. • Elvis Costello — The Delivery Man (Lost Highway) :: And you thought marriage would mellow him. • SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Briggs — Leaving The Ways (Side One Dummy) :: Absolutely the best high-energy hybrid of the Clash and Metallica you’re likely to hear in many a moon so go out and get it, got it? • Be seeing you! Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org