May 06, 2004

This started out as me going on about Los Lobos, and then I got distracted

Damn, this new Los Lobos album kicks ass. The Rolling Stones wish they had put out anything nearly this good back when Mick was turning 50.

This album, of course, features guest spots by many other favorite musicians of mine, including Cafe Tacuba (did I mention you need Cuatro Caminos? because you do), Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, and Tom Waits. The Tom Waits song is perhaps my favorite track on the album; he co-wrote the song, and it has a loopy experimental charm that hasn't come across so fully on a Los Lobos album since the title song from "Colossal Head". And, of course, I suspect there isn't a song in the world that wouldn't be improved by having Richard Thompson play guitar on it. Actually, if I can just sidetrack completely and trouble you with some Richard Thompson-related recommendations...

David Thomas of Pere Ubu's first solo album featured, somewhat incongruously, Richard Thompson on lead guitar; the result -- a style clash between David Thomas's haywire vocal delivery and Richard Thompson's technical prowess -- is very memorable. It works brilliantly although it clearly should not. The album's out of print by itself but is included on the David Thomas box set -- which might also be out of print, actually, but you can buy used copies on Amazon. Richard Thompson is also featured prominently on the Golden Palominos' superb "Visions of Excess" -- also (criminally!) out of print. Try Come on: Michael Stipe, Richard Thompson, John Lydon, Syd Straw, and Arto Lindsay? Just buy it and stop arguing. That Golden Palominos album is how I first found out about Moby Grape (via their cover of "Omaha"), but Moby Grape is a whole other story, and perhaps I've digressed enough by now.

Posted by Francis at 01:43 AM