While Jack White was still in red shorts, Norton label executives Billy Miller and Miriam Linna - New York's teen trash First Couple - were creating the blueprint for all spousal guitar-drummer tandems to follow with their rock 'em, sock 'em A-Bones . The righteously ripping two-disc Daddy Wants A Cold Beer (Norton) set collects their nutty band-pleasing covers and collabos with Rudy Grayzell , Johnny Powers , Roy Loney and the Great Gaylord from limited-pressing singles and tribute compilations released around the world. The liner notes are a scream, and the closing nation-noogieing interpolation of O Canada had me in tears.
Burden of schemes
It took seven years for Liam Hayes to complete his Plush masterpiece, Fed - evidently he spent a few years planning before he even recorded the first note - only to have the elaborately arranged pop epic appear on the tiny Japanese indie After Hours label in 2002 before vanishing into cult myth. For those who missed the meticulous majesty of Fed, the basic song demos Hayes pieced together as a provisional guide in 99 have suddenly appeared as Underfed (Sea Note). The disc works remarkably well as a stand-alone piece of music, however incomplete. The songwriting is just that good. Grab it before Hayes has second thoughts.
Through some strange twist of fate, the contributions to the New York club scene of charismatic DJ Nicky Siano , who helped create the disco craze before forming Dinosaur with Arthur Russell , have been largely overlooked. But thanks to the UK Soul Jazz label, some of the anthemic soul, bangin' R&B, funk and gospel music that Siano rocked on his Thorens TD125 belt-drive turntables is compiled on The Gallery: The Original New York Disco 1973-77 . Disco is a misnomer, because all the best stuff here - like Gloria Spencer 's electrifying testimonial I Got It, Bobby Womack 's I Can Understand It, the Isleys ' Get Into Something, Zulema 's Giving Up and the Temptations ' storming Law Of The Land - was released before 74.
Moving away from conventional DJ tool collections of funky Afro joints selected for their potential dance-floor damage and relative obscurity, the African Spirits (Soul Brother) set focuses primarily on the explorations of African-American musicians seeking to reconnect with their roots. Much of the material here, like Carlos Garnett 's Banks Of The Nile, Archie Shepp 's Song For Mozambique, Adele Sebastian 's Desert Fairy Princess, isn't terribly sought after by collectors, but it's joyful noise nonetheless. But does the fact that Moe Koffman 's lush Days Gone By was sampled for Jill Scott 's Slowly Surely qualify it for inclusion?