Martin Malloy

Gene Ween Band: The Independent, San Francisco, CA 6/17/09

Ween may be lying low recently, but that hasn’t stopped one-half of the faux brother duo from picking up his acoustic guitar and hitting the road.  As the voice of the group, Gene Ween (real name Aaron Freeman) played two sold out shows at San Francisco’s popular The Independent to a crowd of eager fans.  Gene put on a very intimate show that found him altering many fan favorites to suit the acoustic mood of the night.  However, the changes found enthusiasm with the fans and Gene was all smiles the entire night.

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Rivers Cuomo : Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo

Alone II isn't the best release Cuomo has ever put out.  Nor does it offer the best songs he's ever written.  But for someone who has one of the strangest and notoriously guarded history in rock, it's exciting that he has become so open with his past.  I only hope that Alone III isn't that far off.

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Arizona: Glowing Bird

Want a group that knows how to create big, luscious melodies but that can still rock out? Look no further than Arizona. 

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Ben Folds: Way To Normal

Unfortunately, the worst of them is Folds.  He just lacks the knack for melody he used to have, his wit just isn’t as snappy and his jokes fall flat or appear forced.  His genius shines through a bit on album closer “Kylie in Connecticut,” but barely.

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Oasis: Dig Out Your Soul

Dig Out Your Soul offers some good songs like “Falling Down” and “The Turning” but those are just mediocre Oasis works.  It sounds like Oasis covering Oasis – merely going through the motions.  Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but while the songs sound like classic Oasis, they’re devoid of any real hooks or innovativeness that made them who they are today.  The only true great track comes, surprisingly, from Liam: “I’m Outta Time.”  It’s the first time Liam has managed to outshine Noel on an album.

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Loudon Wainwright III: Recovery

Recovery continues Wainwright's growth as a performer.  For those familiar with Wainwright's work it's an album that illustrates his best work is still ahead of him and for those unfamiliar with him, it will introduce them to a singer/songwriter possessing an unapologetic wit and a knack for good melodies.

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David Vandervelde: Waiting for the Sunrise

Initially claimed as Marc Bolan reincarnate on his debut album, 2007's The Moonstation House Band, Nashville-based David Vandervelde crooned in a high, wavering voice above spaced out, reverb guitars and a Phil Spector influence "Wall of Sound" production.  However, it appears this early 20-something boy is more than just a glam rock fan as he seamlessly eases his way into new, more laid back territory on his new album, Waiting for the Sunrise.

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