New in the CD player this weekend ...
Paul Westerberg - Soundtrack to Open Season
There is something darkly humorous about Paul Westerberg, former leader of the besotted, ramshackle Replacements, creating a soundtrack to an animated film. But that's what he's done. Maybe the cute little onscreen kitties will stumble around in an alcoholic stupor and cuss a lot and end up in exclusive feline rehab facilities. I'd pay to see that. In any case, the animated kitties have provided the catalyst for Westerberg to reunite with the 'Mats intrepid bass player Tommy Stinson (at least for a few tracks), and together they have made their loudest, loosest, most balls-to-the-wall music in more than a decade. No, it's not quite a Replacements reunion, but there's plenty of good, juvenile fun going on in these songs, and if they won't win any awards for introspective insight, they boogie along in a proto-Stones/Faces kind of way just fine.
Elanors - Movements
Two people -- a man named Noah and a woman named Adriel -- get married, start singing, and call themselves Elanors. Ours is not to question why. One of the Elanors, Noah, actually sounds a lot like Rufus. Not the old Chaka Khan group, the son of Loudon Wainwright. He plays melancholic, romantic piano that owes more to Chopin than Coldplay, and sings in a lovely falsetto about materialism, fear, and gunfire. Hmm, paranoid philosophy major you sniff, and you'd be absolutely right. Adriel plays synths and sings too. Together they make insular, pretty music that is heavy on the Radiohead claustrophobic dread and light on the memorable melodies. It's lovely. I just wish I could remember a single song.
The Now People - The Last Great 20th Century Love Affair
The Now People, a Los Angeles-based pop quartet, have painstakingly reconstructed the sound of The Association, circa 1966's "Cherish is The Word" and "Along Comes Mary." Why?