Super Secret Austin
Austin may be known as twang central, but the Texas state capital's lively music scene has always included a strong punk rock element, which should continue so long as Tim Kerr 's Sweat Box Studios keep running. Among Kerr's recent triumphs is the Kodiaks ' raunchy raw Cherry Blossom, Evil and Alcohol 7-inch EP, which Richard Lynn 's ace Super Secret label just released in a limited edition of 500 copies (400 black, 100 yellow). An even better Super Secret release is the scorching self-titled debut of the Winks - an all-girl wrecking crew fronted by the nasty-nice Amanda Hugnkiss and Dirty Sweets guitar slasher Penny Tration . Their Courtney-inspired You're Gonna Die! makes the Donnas sound like Puffy Ami Yumi. Get 'em directly from Super Secret at www.supersecretrecords.com.
Even before Green Lantern joined the Shady posse as Eminem 's tour DJ, the mix tape maestro had already earned a good rep based on the killer freestyles and insane exclusive tracks featured on his popular under-the-counter comps. Of course, Green's current position provides even greater access to primo unreleased material from everyone connected with the expanding Shady empire. The double disc Conspiracy Theory: Invasion Part II (Nocturne) brings together his previously released Shady Times mix, which documents Eminem's Benzino beef, while Conspiracy Theory covers Em's equally entertaining Ja Rule dis war along with the usual assortment of freestyles by Jay Z , 50 Cent , Kardinal Offishall and even Gang Starr . Dopeness. Watch for Invasion III: Countdown To Armageddon wherever fine mix tapes are unloaded. Green Lantern rocks the Kool Haus December 18.
Eddie does it... again
For most artists, one posthumous collection of studio outtakes and home demos more than suffices, but when it comes to Muscle Shoals mystic Eddie Hinton , I can't get enough. What a thrill to find that Playin' Around - the second disc in Zane 's Songwriting Sessions series of lost Hinton recordings - comes packed with brilliant moments like the original version of Down In Texas he pitched to Don Varner , You're All Around Me (later cut by Percy Sledge ) and Satisfaction Guaranteed, which could've been a hit for Joe Tex . Bring on volume 3!
While many jazz vocalists were trying to cross over into pop during the early 50s, pop star Peggy Lee was intent on going the other way, producing the wonderfully intimate Black Coffee concept album with a tasteful after-hours vibe expertly provided by the accompanying jazz quartet led by pianist Jimmy Rowles . Listening back to Verve 's new 24-bit remaster of the expanded 56 reissue of Black Coffee, it's obvious why Joni Mitchell loves it so much, but I'd also wager that Diana Krall went to school on Lee's sultry precision and Rowles's subtle swing. This could very well be the blueprint for Krall's whole standards crooning concept.