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Jack Rabid: May 21, 2006

  1. The Merry Go Round – Listen Listen: The Definitive Collection (Rev-Ola U.K.)

    Lately, I’ve been re-playing some of last year’s CDs as I box up my office for its move to Brooklyn. This one was one of the best reissues of 2005 for sure, the long awaited collection of this ‘67 L.A. band’s great Beatlesque pop and the songwriting genius of the poor man’s PAUL MCCARTNEY, EMITT RHODES. Really great stuff.

  2. The Marvelettes – Deliver: The Singles 1961-1971 two-CD box (Motown)

    This 1993 compilation has all I want from these underrated women, three great singers whose “I’ll Keep Holding On” remains an out and out classic (ever hear THE ACTION blow the doors off this?) as much as the oldies staples like “Please Mr. Postman” of
    BEATLES cover fame, “Beechwood 4-5789,” and “Too Many Fish in the Sea.” There dozens more where those come from, most never played on the radio since their star heyday. (Damn oldies imperatives.)

  3. Guided By Voices – Human Amusements at Hourly Rates best-of (Matador)

    As someone who properly appreciated them while they were ours, instead of waiting until they were gone like too many humans, I find I nevertheless really miss them 18 months later. And this best-of is just 32 reasons why. “When you motor away….”

  4. Wire – Pink Flag (Pink Flag)

    Though I—again—think they should have included the older bonus tracks from the Restless Records reissues a decade ago on this new remastered version, it’s still hard to resist this art-punk classic, which mixes original 1967 PINK FLOYD with their own minimal idea of punk. It remains in a category all its own, and that says it all.

  5. Teenage Fanclub – “Sparky’s Dream” EPs I and II (Creation U.K.)

    Did these great Scots ever come up with a single better than this treasure from GERRY LOVE in 1995? Maybe, but maybe not!!! I’ve never been able to get this single out of my head, with its images of magic wands and crystal balls, and I often take out the two EPs to get the covers of BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD’s “Burned,” THE CREATION’s “Try and Stop Me,” and THE VELVET UNDERGROUND’s “Who Loves the Sun.” as well as three decent non-LP originals (including another by the great Love, in fact!).

  6. The Go-Betweens – 16 Lovers Lane (Beggars Banquet)

    R.I.P. GRANT MCLENNAN. OK, this is what I do when people I admire die, just like everyone else. But again, I think it’s just as important to value someone while they’re still alive and making music, and this is the 200th time I’ve played this fantastic record, featuring some of late friend’s best material. It just has a little extra poignancy, that’s all. Sad, really.

  7. Jon Auer – Songs From the Year of Our Demise (Pattern 25)

    Such a beautiful debut solo LP by THE POSIES veteran, I just keep playing and playing and playing this! Really lovely stuff, not at all like his band, much as I love them too. This is what solo LPs are for!

  8. Astrid Williamson – Boy For You (Nude)

    This remains the former GOYA DRESS singer’s best work, her first solo LP released under the name “Astrid” (not the Scottish band of that name). Her songwriting has never been sharper and her singing is just flat out amazing. I sing along with every song. Man I love records like that.

  9. Voxtrot – Raised By Wolves EP (Cult Hero)

    Texas’s answer to THE SMITHS? Well, maybe on one song on this 2005 EP, but other than that (yet another reworking of “This Charming Man”!!!!), if you combine the songs from this debut with those on their new EP, you have the best album’s worth of songs by anyone of late. Yes, it’s odd that a group from the American South can sound so blatantly English, but unlike many anglophilic groups, they’re not coy, fey, or over-stylized, they’re just a first rate pop group with bite, and we should be proud to call them ours.

  10. Voxtrot – Mothers Sisters Daughters and Wives EP (Cult Hero)

    Of the two EPs, I think I prefer this new one, as it comes on harder and thicker, adding a decidedly American edge to their Brit-inspired multifaceted pop. Don’t miss.