A new Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers CD is reason enough to write, and would make this post good enough, but good enough is simply not awesome, is it?
I’ve been a huge fan of Clyne since 1995, and the Refreshments; Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big, & Buzzy was the first CD I ever owned I loved beginning to end. I played the shit out of that bad boy. Over and over. I passed up a chance to see the Refreshments in New York, once, and they subsequently broke up. Clyne reformed a band not long afterward with a few members of other bands from the Tempe music scene, and Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers released Honky Tonk Union.
RC&tPM are the most successful independent band in the country, from what I’ve read. I think they deserve it; I love pretty much everything I hear from them. Not everything, mind you; I think it’s rare to find an artist whose entire output one loves, but they come pretty close. Clyne reminds me equally of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Bruce Springsteen, but to my mind surpasses all three with a unique vision of the southwest, peace, love, and rock ‘n roll. This new one, Turbo Ocho, is really good; not as awesome as !Americano!, but certainly among their best (though really, which isn’t?).
I’ve also just received the new Arsenal CD, Outsides, their follow up to Oyebo Soul (the latter of which apparently most accurately translates to “White Boy Soul,” which, being a white boy, I find amusing). They’re a bit of a fusion band; as nearly as I can figure, the members of the band are from El Salvador, Puerto Rico, and Boston, or somesuch; really, they’re a terrific mixture of some very different styles. They’re a bit electronica, but a little lounge-y, with some rock thrown in for a sexy groove. I dig them lots.
And finally, Steve Acho. I found Steve by accident; I’d been searching on iTunes for different versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (the greatest lyrics in the history of music? Discuss), and his covers CDs came up. I like his style and delivery; I’ve seen comparisons to Elton John and Billy Joel, but I think they’re superficial at best–just because he’s a dude with a piano doesn’t make him comparable. He lacks the ostentation of the former, certainly, and seems more passionate than the latter.
So what’re you listening to?