Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New-Release Tuesday

It's pretty rare when an album of covers becomes a favorite, but I thought the 2006 Matthew Sweet-Susanna Hoffs collaboration, 'Under the Covers, Vol. 1', was a terrific exploration of '60s pop that happened to hit on several songs from the era I think are great. The duo even managed to introduce me to a song I took to so much I promptly went out and bought the original album. For the record, it was The Zombies' 'Odyssey and Oracle'. Now I'm a huge Zombies fan.

When I heard Sweet and Hoffs were doing a second volume of '70s songs, I was less excited because although I like many bands from that decade, I would not count them among the hit makers. I believe there are a couple of duds among their selections (Grateful Dead and Bread), but almost all of 'Under the Covers, Vol. 2' lives up to the first volume because they dug even deeper with their picks than the first time around. Look at this lineup: Two by Todd Rundgren from 'Something/Anything', Mott the Hoople, Big Star and The Raspberries are alongside big names like Carly Simon, John Lennon, Rod Stewart and Yes. 'Vol. 2' is available as a two-disc deluxe edition, and I recommend spending the extra bucks. You'll get 10 extra covers by Blondie, Ramones, Elvis Costello (or Nick Lowe, actually) and Queen.

Sweet just completed a lengthy and very interesting interview with the folks over at Popdose on this record. Sounds like a third volume on the '80s could be on its way. It will have to be, like, awesome to be in the same league as the first to volumes.

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs - Go All the Way (mp3)

There are a couple of new singles out this week that deserve mention. I mentioned a few weeks ago that The Fruit Bats' new album, 'The Ruminant Band', would be out Aug. 4 on Sub Pop. The first single, also called 'The Ruminant Band' is available now.

The Fruit Bats - The Ruminant Band (mp3)

Modest Mouse has another single out from the upcoming release, 'No One's First and Your Next', also out Aug. 4.

Modest Mouse - Perpetual Motion Machine (mp3)

Finally, from the world of the curious, '80s one-hit wonders a-ha have a new album called 'Foot of the Mountain'. The Norwegians have had many records since their 1985 single, "Take on Me", but I gather the guitar-oriented sound they adopted at some point didn't really catch on (at least for them). Their new single below sounds more like the a-ha you knew and probably loved. You know, it's not too bad.

a-ha - Foot of the Mountain (Radio Edit) (mp3)

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