One of those annoying winter storms today—not a real blizzard, just messy enough to cancel the kids’ school. So here I am working at home and watching the woods fill up with snow. Time for a Random 5!
- Cowboy Boots – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (The Heist). Let’s not judge, okay? I grew to appreciate Macklemore during his many live in-studios on KEXP, and there’s something homey about hearing him rap about the passage of time—though the chorus about urban cowboys on Capitol Hill is a little annoying.
- Sarah Anne – Daniel Bachman (Jesus I’m a Sinner). It’s not fair, the talent of this kid, who comes across as the second coming of John Fahey. This is a strong track from what’s ultimately a journeyman album compared to his epic River, but still mesmerizing.
- Last Time – Black Dub (Black Dub). A disappointing track that buries the old gospel song in layers of drums and reverb, along with the stylistically unsuited (if strong) voice of Chris Whitley’s daughter Trixie. I expected better from Daniel Lanois.
- Superhero – Jane’s Addiction (Strays). Okay, Shuffle, I guess the theme of today’s Random 5 is “regret.” As in, regret that I picked up this reunion disk 13 years ago. At least the playing is as tight as Perry’s lyrics are lame (“I’m not your average guy”? Really?).
- Like a Virgin – Madonna (Celebration). This is where I’m supposed to dump on Madonna like I did when I was 12 years old, right? Can’t do it. Incredible track, and her still-hiccuppy vocals sell the song in a way that her more mature voice couldn’t have done years later. I’m reminded of the joke in Sting’s “Nothing Like the Sun” tour program, where they did capsule bios of each band member—including Branford Marsalis, Minu Cinelu, and the late great Kenny Kirkland—and asked them about their musical guilty pleasure. “Madonna’s backing band” came up about four times.