Yesterday the U.S. Postal Service was good to me and dropped off new albums from Nick Cave and Danny Cohen.
Nick's new band, called Grinderman, will release their debut album in April. The music is actually a throwback to Nick's early band The Bad Seeds -- not too surprising since the Grinderman guys are all alumni of that band (as well as The Cramps, The Triffids, and Dirty Three). Given the pedigree, it shouldn't be too much of a shock that the music is loud, raunchy, primal blues punk, not unlike Iggy and the Stooges, but with a far more literate songwriter fronting the whole ramshackle mess. The first single is called "No Pussy Blues" and goes "I bought her a dozen snow white doves/I did her dishes in rubber gloves … but she still didn’t want to, she just never wants to.” Okay, that doesn't sound all that literate. But it has a certain universal appeal.
Danny Cohen, whose new album is called Shade of Dorian Gray, is one strange but strangely appealing dude. I loved his last album We're All Gunna Die, and after one listen, the new one does not disappoint at all. Danny sings in a craggy baritone that wanders in and out of pitch, and writes long, rambling, discursive odes about '50s TV shows and women who lock themselves in the bathroom for days on end. He offers three songs about death ("Death Waltz," "Rigor Mortis," and "Beneath the Shroud" -- the latter loosely based on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"). His primary musical accompaniment is church organ and drunken Salvation Army band. Just your standard Top 40 fare. I suspect this one could end up on my Best of 2007 list. We'll see. It will be released on February 6th.