A "New-Old" New Order Album? We'll Take It!

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While we all wait for the remaining members of New Order to do more expansive touring (read: Houston or Austin and not just Dallas) or record new material, their camp released a mini-album from the Waiting For the Sirens' Call sessions in 2004.

For now, we will take what we can get.

Lost Sirens was released digitally on January 15, comprising eight "new" songs that were supposed to be released soon after Waiting came out almost eight years ago. Waiting itself was 12 tracks long, and the band made eyes toward a double album at the time, but it didn't happen.

Drummer Stephen Morris was happy to get these eight cuts to the public.

"The intention was always to write four or five more songs and then put it out 18 months or so after the first one," he said in a press release. "When we unearthed it from the cupboard recently, with the intention of red-editing some of the songs, we all agreed they didn't actually need it, and it should just be out there."


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Like To Cry? Watch This New Glen Campbell Video

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Glen Campbell's long slow goodbye has been going on now for a little more than a year, since he announced he was suffering from Alzheimer's. "A Better Place" is the second video from Glen Campbell's 2011 album Ghost On The Canvas, and it's a tearjerker.

It's the goodbye.

Featuring Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme as a bartender, the clip sees Mr. Campbell looking through a scrapbook of pictures of himself throughout his long country and pop career. These are things he may not even remember himself.

Damn, Bobbie Gentry was a hottie.


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Mail Dump: Janis, Little Richard, dBs, Donovan, Etc.

The mailbox has been truly kind the past several weeks. Sure, there are still piles of useless dreck to wade through/past/over. But those all get to go to the big box in the dark closet and await the apocalypse.

But there are standouts and surprises almost daily. Let's begin with three important reissues.


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8 Keepers From Mail Call: Hacienda, Elvin Bishop, Janiva Magness, Etc.

Once again, the mailbox has overflowed like a backed-up sewer and Lonesome Onry and Mean has had to make some space decisions: Does this record go on the shelf (keep it, it's good, but I want to listen to something else now), in the Goodwill box (what were they thinking when they recorded this and, more importantly, why'd they send this damn thing to me?), or in the truck (I want to listen to this over and over)?

New albums by old favorites tend to get a thorough examination based on a certain level of previously built-up credibility. And, yes, in spite of the volume of music arriving constantly, an effort is made to listen to every CD that crosses the transom whether the artist is familiar or not, although admittedly the end of some of those isn't reached before the eject button gets a shove (sorry, Evie Ladin Band, it happened on the first Avett Brothers record too).

So here's a summary of some recent albums, released in the past couple of months, worth putting in the truck.


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The Funky Chicken: Good Stuff in the Mailbox

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Yeah, it's like that.
Once again our mailbox has filled to overflowing with CDs (and zip files). The desk looks like a Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown of jewel cases, and the entire room is littered with (largely unread) piles of hype-and-tout. And while much of what comes over the transom is less than exciting, we'd be remiss if we didn't let our kind readers know about some of the good stuff that will most likely go unnoticed and unreported. Here are five new items you may want to dig up at your local record dealer or online (shame).

Rufus Thomas - Do The Funky Chicken - Concord Music/Stax -- This wonderful remastered reissue features some mighty, mighty sides from one of the true early godfathers of soul. These songs will be familiar to aficianados, but for someone discovering Thomas -- he passed away in 2000 -- via this back door, it will be a perfect introduction. The first four tracks alone -- "Do The Funky Chicken," "Let The Good Times Roll," "Sixty Minute Man," "Lookin' For A Love" -- would make this a collector's item.

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Baby's Cryin': Rockabye Baby Sends Us Lullaby Renditions of Van Halen

Categories: Mail Call

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Yep.
The folks at Rockabye Baby! remake hard rock from the likes of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Tool, and the Smashing Pumpkins into baby-friendly jams with "soothing mellotrons, vibraphones and bells," replacing all the things that made those bands perfect for well, making rock and roll babies. This week in the mail we received our copy of Rockabye Baby!: Lullaby Renditions of Van Halen and we threw it on after a few days debating it in our heads.

We don't have kids yet, so the concept of needing soothing, non-abrasive music for a child's ears is strange and interesting. Shea Serrano -- the best music writer in town with twin boys -- came by to visit the office and we showed it to him. We said we didn't understand the disc. To which he said, "Because you don't have kids."

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Mail Call: Heartless Bastards, Riverboat Gamblers, Steve Forbert, Thursday and More

Pick of the Litter

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Cambria Harkey
Heartless Bastards (Austin/Cincinnati), The Mountain (Fat Possum)

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PR Says: "The record delivers the swamped-up rock howl that fans have always loved - but also brings in this amazing expansion into their sound with pedal steel, mandolin, banjo and strings."

Rocks Off Says: If Cat Power fronted Led Zeppelin, it might sound a lot like The Mountain - indie-rock classic-rock muscle. Rootsier than the trio's previous efforts, The Mountain feels like Erika Wennerstrom's voice has been imported from the '30s on the more acoustic songs, and so do her wistfully Biblical lyrics - midnight trains, wicked suns, pale moonlight, falling down on her knees to pray and so forth. Sturdy and eerie.

Coming Through?: The Bastards tear it up Saturday night at Last Concert Cafe.

Fun Fact: The band appears on The Late Show With David Letterman tomorrow night.

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Mail Call: Diagonals, Fountains of Wayne, Jason Isbell, Chess Records, Sally Crewe and More

After a hot minute, Mail Call returns in a slightly revamped format...

Pick of the Litter

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Diagonals (Austin), Valley of the Cyclops (Monofonus Press)

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They Say: "A sweet-and-sour dark-pop soundtrack for the dawn of the post-Bush era."

Rocks Off Says: Loose-fitting, lo-fi melodic garage that may have been inspired by a bong hit or two (think the desiccated Sub Pop '90s blues of Chicago's Red Red Meat). Never cooks, never stalls, but Steve Garcia's lyrics keep it interesting - "Suitcase Packed" is a no-punches-pulled tour diary, and it's hard not to smile at titles like "Clown Fucker" and "Neil Diamond Blues."

Coming Through?: Only one hometown Austin show is listed on Diagonals' MySpace page (February 6, Emo's), but undercover Houstonians the Octopus Project are fans - Diagonals opened OP's Warehouse Live show last year - so don't rule it out. Rudz and the Mink should both make the appropriate overtures.

Fun Facts: Diagonals' keyboardist is Dazed and Confused and Waking Life co-star Wiley Wiggins. CD comes with I Could Be Happy, an R. Crumb-ish comic by Michael Berryhill starring a ventriloquist's dummy (or is it?) with an attitude.

More to come...

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Mail Call: Post-AC/DC Edition

Categories: Mail Call

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AC/DC may be gone (sniff), although the ringing in several of Rocks Off's friends' ears (and his own) lingers on, but the mail goes on...

mail call.jpgWaylon Jennings & the .357s (Littlefield/Nashville, R.I.P.), Waylon Forever (by request): "'I'd been playing my dad the music I was inspired by at the time,' [son] Shooter explains. 'Whether it was Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Pink Floyd or Cream, he really enjoyed being part of my musical journey. It was then he suggested we do an album together." C-R

Chow Chow Music (New York), Doomsday Scenarios: "Largely instrumental, the music is upbeat in contrast to the album title, but recorded with the knowledge that the world is gonna end. Soon." D-Exp-I-P-Psy

Zack Nichols (Los Angeles), Bright Eyes EP: "Combines Nichols' influences of folk, pop, rock, blues, jazz and soul, as he continues to hone his own craft as a songwriter and a performer." P-R

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The Return of Mail Call

Categories: Mail Call

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It's been a while, but let's see what's been lurking in the bin...

mail call.jpg*Kenton & Hill (Houston): "A side project from Last Soul Descendents producer Darren Roberts, this masterpiece brings together live jazzy, funky, hip-hop grooves with heavy dance beats to create a unique sound." D-Fu-J-Rap (Friday, Grum Bar, 306 Main)

*Brent Allen (Austin), There's a Lot of Folks Like Me: "True-to-life stories about life, love, infidelity and some great two-stepping tunes." C (Friday, Tumbleweed Saloon)

Many Birthdays (Austin), Emptiness is Forever EP: "The sound combines elements of post-punk and electro with sometimes haunting and sometimes frantic melodies, and the vocals are in Japanese and English." D-I-Pu-W

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