Top ‘o the Tuesday to you all. Before I break into the new releases of the week I want to take some time to praise our brother in fabulousity, Ricky Martin, for finally feeling comfortable enough to come out of the closet. While most of us could sense his queendom from 10 miles away, it always takes courage to make your private life public. You go girl!
OK, now for some tuneage!
Erykah Badu — New Amerykah, Part II: Return of the Ankh (Universal Motown)
OK, I started putting Badu’s album in the second spot but I just couldn’t, in good conscience, leave it there. Badu is one of the most innovative and rare poet/musician/performers I have ever had the pleasure of seeing live. Also, she’s a bit cray cray, which I love about her. There is no one category she fits into, except maybe “Thinker.” If you haven’t seen the video for her single, “Window Seat” head on over to her site pronto. She has got one of the juiciest booties I’ve ever seen in my life. Also, Mama’s Gun will forever be on my list of top albums with “Kiss Me” being one of the best baby making songs of all time.
Joan Armatrading — This Charming Life (429 Records)
I didn’t mean to put Baby in a corner. It is important to note that Joan Armatrading is a blues rock revolutionary who helped lay the foundation for female musicians everywhere. The blues world is testosterone-heavy but Joan was able to rise in the ranks and was the first woman from the UK to ever be nominated for a Grammy in the Blues category. Nineteen albums later, she is still impressing the masses.
Evelyn Evelyn — Evelyn Evelyn (self-released)
Eva and Lyn Neville are the fictional musically-inclined conjoined twins who are the brainchild (children?) of Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley. This concept album goes into the dark and sad story of the sisters as they navigate their lives on the freak show circuit. Along for the ride are guest vocals from Frances Bean Cobain, Tegan and Sara, Margaret Cho and Weird Al Yankovic, just to name a few. If you’re into the underbelly world of carnies with a tinge of klezmer, you will want to make out with this album.
Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs — Medicine County (Transdreamer)
Ms. Golightly can certainly pull off that old time Southern charm. She and her most recent partner in music, Lawyer Dave, have put together a toe-tapping hootenanny worthy of playing on the soundtrack for True Blood.
Dum Dum Girls — I Will Be (Sub Pop)
Very simply put: I love this album. Stream it, live it, love it and report back to me.
Gretchen Wilson — I Got Your Country Right Here (Redneck Records)
OK, I have nothing really to say about Gretchen Wilson. I really like her voice but, lyrically, I think she had Sarah Palin’s campaign song for 2012 in mind with her single for “Work Hard, Play Harder.”
Honorable mentions this week: If you have some time and bandwidth to kill, stream Joanna Newsom’s live concert on NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast. It is just beautiful. Don’t get your panties in a bunch thinking I wasn’t going to mention Tegan & Sara’s Alligator LP of remixes. See, there it is! Also: The Dead Weather, Black Francis, Melissa Auf der Maur.