Staff Picks, Volume 4
This Month's Picks...By David P.
Stay tuned for more!
For their 4th LP BIRTHDAY, these former folk rockers traded in their cardigan sweaters for paisley shirts and nehru jackets and created their masterpiece. Put this one on immediately and tune in to the swirling harmonies, psych-lite arrangements, and flower power hooks. If you've worn out your copies of "Pet Sounds" and "Smile," this should be your next stop.
RED CAB TO MANHATTAN
In case you don't remember Stephen Bishop, he played the poor folky who had his guitar smashed by John Belushi at the Animal House toga party. Or perhaps you remember his MOR classic "On And On." On RED CAB TO MANHATTAN, he puts his wonderful spin on early '80s Yacht Rock. These smooth grooves and lush melodies are perfect to set a sexy mood or just wind down after a long day in the trenches or on the yacht.
You know the remakes from Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band and The Sugarhill Gang, now it's time for you to check out the original! There's no denying the tribal surf power of the Dutch guitarist's original version of this classic, and you certainly shouldn't miss out on the thrill of such deep album cuts as "Echo Boogie" and "Oh!" Perfect for your next Mad Men viewing party.
Whenever I'm having a tough day, nobody beats the Biz when it comes to making me feel better. You can't go wrong with this EP, as every one of these tracks is a stone cold Biz Markie masterpiece.
Van Dyke Parks
Van Dyke followed up his left field classic Song Cycle with an album of.... calypso music? Correct! Well, as you would expect from the title, the album does have some sort of narrative loosely base on American history, but I'll be darned if I can figure it out. What I can say definitively is that the combination of the Esso Trinidad "Tripoli" Steel Band's rhythm track and Parks' quirky vocal stylings makes this a musical fiest for your ears and your feet.
David Ponak dreams of long bike rides, dry martinis and Scott Walker LPs.