Thanks to Luther Wright , we now know that Pink Floyd 's The Wall can stand up to a good twanging, but while I was in the Caribbean for Christmas I discovered that Dark Side Of The Moon sounds surprisingly great in a rub-a-dub reggae style. No, really - just listen to Frankie Paul 's take on Us And Them or Sluggy Ranks get busy on Breathe (In The Air) on the bass-bumpin' Dub Side Of The Moon (Easy Star) by the Easy Star All-Stars . Herbavores will be pleased to know that the disc has been recorded to sync up with The Wizard Of Oz DVD, just like the original. Irie.
Speaking of the Caribbean, the Steve Barrow -assembled Mento Madness (V2) comp disc - an enlightening survey of the breezy, bubbly rural mento music recorded for Stanley Motta 's MRS label between 1951 and 56 - offers an informative glimpse of the pre-independence Jamaican origins of reggae. The delightful rumba-box-backed jams of Harold Richardson & the Ticklers , Boysie Grant , Monty Reynolds and Lord Fly will put you in a laid-back island state of mind.
DFA still kickin'
There were concerns that the Rapture 's jump to the majors might mean their former indie label, DFA , would shrivel up and die. Strangely enough, it's the Rapture who seem to be in trouble since their much-hyped debut turned out to be a dud, while DFA is thundering along with the furiously crankin' new LCD Soundsystem club banger Yeah, certain to cause a dance-floor commotion wherever analog synth blasts are spun. Selectors should note the 12-inch single offers both "crass" (vocal) and "pretentious" (instrumental) versions along with clap-a-pella bonus beats for your mixing pleasure.
Townes Van Zandt was already well on his way to drinking himself to death Hank Williams -style when Live At McCabe's (Varese Sarabande) was recorded at the famous Santa Monica guitar shop. But the Texas blues poet was still on top of his game, delivering his parables of desperate living with a spellbinding moan and tossing off the hilariously horrible between-song jokes for which he was notorious. This is what Townes Van Zandt was all about.