There seems to be some misconception that the Rapture's House Of Jealous Lovers is the high-water mark of the current disco-punk retro scare. While it's certainly impressive in a Rent Boys Inc. throwback kinda way, the Rapture's signature jam has been trumped by their DFA labelmates, LCD Soundsystem, whose EMS synth ripper Give It Up is still causing serious dance floor havoc. The limited-edition double-thick Give It Up 7-inch put out by the UK Output label (www.outputrecordings.com) is momentarily still available, so grab it while you can.
Dope Don Cunningham
Unless you were at the St. Louis Playboy Jazz Club in 65 when Johnny Mathis percussionist Don Cunningham was selling his quartet's Something For Everyone LP, or you have $300 to blow on eBay, Ubiquity's re-release of the funky jazz exotica obscurity - mastered from the original analog tape - is something to celebrate for sample scavengers and jazz fans alike. Check the vital vibes action on Tabu and the slinky elegance of Samba De Orpheu and you'll know why this platter commands the big dough.
Mississippi-based magazine of Southern culture the Oxford American puts out an annual music-themed issue, and for the past five years it's included a superb compilation disc of the artists covered. Southern Music CD No. 6 maintains the high standard with a brilliant mix of Southern soul, country, blues, gospel and pop, including P.J. Proby's funky Niki Hoeky, Little Milton's horn-pumped take on Grits Ain't Groceries, the Collins Kids' swingin' Hot Rod, Blind Willie Johnson's captivating God Moves On The Water and Swamp Dogg's apocalyptic Total Destruction To Your Mind. All that and the best music writing you'll find on a magazine rack. What are you waiting for? Deadly DowdSome people feel that unsettling singer/songwriter Johnny Dowd has never surpassed the magnificently malevolent minimalism of his Wrong Side Of Memphis debut disc, and I wouldn't disagree. So I was delighted to discover that Munich Records (www.munichrecords.com) in Holland had the good sense to issue Wire Flowers: More Songs From The Wrong Side Of Memphis, which uncovers the rest of the eerie music Dowd committed to four-track in that lonely room seven years back. Scary good!