Tom Snyder — 1936- 2007 (R.I.P.) :: The undisputed Master of the Colorcast.
The Two Koreas — "Altruists" (Unfamiliar) :: The amphetamine gitbox style of Lou Reed + the hyperkinetic vox style of Pete Townshend = relentless rock ’n’ roll.
Stamen & Pistils — Towns (Echelon Productions) :: Secret life plant music so ploddingly impenetrable it makes A Passion Play sound like Follow the Leader.
Korn — Unplugged (Virgin) :: Strip away the artificial angst and they begin to sound like Jethro Tull.
Little Aida — Mad Country (Second Shimmy) :: Acoustic mellotronian harmoniums.
Lighting Dust — Lightning Dust (Jagjaguwar) :: Armed with a mighty quim quivering voice that’s part Grace Slick and part Tiny Tim, distressed songstress Amber Webber is the unstable female Neil Young.
Maps + Atlases — Tree, Swallow, Houses (Sargent House) :: Frippertronics on a hot tin roof.
Nurses — Hangin’ Nothin’ But Our Hands Down (Sargent House) :: Amateur hour goes on and on. Worst album of the year, hands down.
The Stooges — The Weirdness (Virgin) :: Album of the year.
John Wort Hannam — Two Bit Suit (Black Hen) :: Competent generic country that ain’t bad but nothin’ new neither.
Klaxons — Myths of the Near Future (Geffen) :: A-OO-GAH music for cokeheads. Make sure you remove the brass tube first before you sit down, Stevie.
Autons — Short-Term Manifesto (Zip) :: Rexian gitbox boogie + Roxite synth sonics = relentless rock ’n’ roll.
Ingmar Bergman — 1918-2007 (R.I.P.) :: The undisputed Master of the Iconoclast.
SIZZLING STATEMENT OF THE WEEK: Jon Brooks — Ours and the Shepherds (Exile) :: I may be a "might makes right" kinda guy, but I sure know quality when I hear it — and this thoughtfully insightful low key concept album about warfare though the ages has lots of it. And although I don’t agree with everything he says, I know his heart’s in the right place. Besides, he’s less obfuscating than Dylan and more sincere than Springsteen.
It’s been real! Jeffrey Morgan is a freelance writer. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org