Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v07n23)
Rick on the Records - by Rick Zeigler
posted: Dec. 03, 2010
FIRST ANNUAL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
So what's out there that would make a perfect musical gift for your favorite music lover?
Here are some possible ideas.
BOXSETS AND THE LIKE:
-For the Beatle fan, while last year was big with the remastered catalog and box sets, this year finds John Lennon's solo albums given similar treatment (both in a box and individually), along with Paul McCartney's best solo project, Band On The Run, AND a vinyl re-issue of George Harrison's best solo work, All Things Must Pass, The Apple Records catalog of other artists (Badfinger, Billy Preston, James Taylor, etc.) has also been reissued. Only Ringo seems to have been left out of the mix (just where is that Blu-Ray version of Caveman?).
-For the Bob Dylan aficionado, there are also a number of possibilities. Just out are the Witmark Demos (on either CD or LP), pre-fame recordings from the 1961-64 period. Also out is a CD box set of Dylan's first eight albums (from Bob Dylan through John Wesley Harding), all in beautiful MONO sound.
-Continuing on the 60s tip, the Hendrix family has just issued West Coast Seattle Boy (in various CD and LP configurations), composed of many unreleased gems from his pre-Experience days as well as many numbers with the Experience and Band of Gypsys.
-Still more treats from the 60s abound with a remastered vinyl-only box set of the Grateful Dead's first 5 albums (Grateful Dead, Anthem of the Sun, Aoxomoxoa, Workingman's Dead, American Beauty).
-There is also a newly issued Woodstock box set (CDs and DVDs) that includes a vast amount of material never included on the original records/CDs/videos.
-Moving up into the seventies, just out is a Neil Young vinyl-only box set containing remastered versions of his first four solo albums (Neil Young, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After The God Rush, Harvest), all on heavyweight vinyl.
-Bruce Springsteen enters the box set fray once again with The Promise (available in various CD/LP configurations), focusing on the slew of unreleased work he produced in conjunction with his Darkness On The Edge Of Town sessions, Included in the more "deluxe" versions is a killer live DVD from 1978.
-If your gift receiver is an Anglophile with a love for the early 80s, there are newly issued vinyl boxes from Joy Division and the Cocteau Twins.
-The final box set I will note here is for folk lovers. The Dusty Road contains a treasure trove of work by Woody Guthrie, mostly from previously undiscovered tapes and all with sound quality that is miles above any previous releases from Guthrie. It is like listening again for the first time to this seminal artist.
LOCAL MUSIC: Three local bands have recently put out fine self-released CDs. Blues boys 78 RPM have a fine self-titled CD of cover tunes. Chiaroscura has released a great CD of instrumental, guitar-heavy tunes in the vein of Mono and Explosions in the Sky. And newcomers Rocketbot have just released a self-titled disc of melodic rock winners. And of course, there is always Margot and The Nuclear So and So's great third offering, Buzzard, as well as the Reverend Peyton's The Wages (released back in May).
DVDs: In addition to the Woodstock set mentioned above, notable DVD releases that would be perfect stocking stuffers include The Best Of Soul Train (in either 1 or 3-disc versions) which delivers on just what the title says (the James Brown and Stevie Wonder sections are awe-inspiring, to name just two). The Jazz Icons series of DVDs continues, excellent recordings of just about every notable jazz performer (Miles Davis excepted) from their prime, including John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington, and on and on. And as part of the Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street reissue, there is Stones in Exile, an excellent DVD documenting the group during the period in which they recorded this landmark album.
INDIVIDUAL CDS: More potential stocking stuffers abound, of which I will name only a few here (check out your local INDEPENDENT record shop for MANY more recommendations). Going for a more electronic feel, Sufjan Stevens newest, The Age Of Adz, is fantastic. The frenzied bluegrass stylings of Palomino by Trampled By Turtles will satisfy the bluegrass lover on your list, while equally great is the New Orleans/hip-hop/rock groovathon that is Backatown by Trombone Shorty. Neil Young's excellent new offering, Le Noise, is a SOLO ELECTRIC affair, and then there is always my favorite CD of the year, the Black Keys Brothers (also available in a variety of vinyl formats).
HAPPY GIFT-GIVING (AND RECEIVING)!
Rick Zeigler, along with his wife, Jeanne, owns Indy CD and Vinyl at 806 Broad Ripple Avenue. Back in his musician days, his band opened for the likes of U2, XTC, Gang Of Four, The Pretenders, Los Lobos, and, um, Flock Of Seagulls, among others. You can read all of Rick's reviews at www.indycdandvinyl.com. Email your music questions and comments to rick@BroadRippleGazette.com