By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
I have two words for you: Sooooooouuuuuullllll Train!! Was that really Don Cornelius doing that gripping falsetto intro every Saturday morning? Pick up the Soul Train Hall of Fame: 20th Anniversary Rhino collection and find out. If you grew up choosing Train over American Bandstand, you'll remember this stuff and be driven insane with joy hearing it again. If you missed it the first time around, then these songs are required listening. "Oh Girl," "Let It Whip," "Sweet Thing," "Love Train" and 55 others; now all they need to put out is a CD-ROM version of the Soul Train dancers.
From chaos comes order, they say; in this case, the chaotic brain of Tucson's own Dadagaga Acedo has produced a blistering pustule of rock. Acedo is the force behind Black Sun Legion's Psycho Master El (San Jacinto). He thanks his mom, three mental-health centers, Pima County Jail, and a number of prescription head drugs in the liner notes, which may serve as a better indicator of what the mostly instrumental music sounds like than a bunch of adjectives. It's metal, it's out there, it's good.
If diversity is what you're after, the Best of Mountain Stage, Volume Six (Blue Plate Music) will have you baying at the moon. Collected from the weekly radio show, this installation features Cracker, Bruce Hornsby, Barenaked Ladies, and Me Phi Me, among others, performing tunes obvious and otherwise, all with some of the best live recording you'll ever hear.
Rush to a CD store and trade in your copy of Duets for the last great unreleased Sinatra album, Sinatra in Paris (Reprise). Recorded in 1962 at an intimate club in Gay Paree, the set of 26 songs is Frank in top form, mature and confident. Backed by a swank, six-piece group, the Chairman croons standards, turning in goose-bump versions of "Day In--Day Out," "Night and Day" and "One for My Baby." And there're plenty of "koo-koos" and nods to Mr. Jack Daniel's. The French love it. You will, too.--Peter Gilstrap