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Quick Hits (11/22/09)

Alright, another one of those cop-out blogs.  I’m gonna do some more reviews/full-length things soon though, promise…

1 – Bob Dylan’s new Christmas record, Christmas in the Heart, gets a thumbs up from DSH.  Dylan lets it all hang out as he croons scarily standard Christmas carols, backed by a traditional choir of voices that make his near-Waitsian croaks all the more noticeable.  Somehow it works, probably because of the sheer lack of pretense here–it’s not Dylan thinks he is gonna replace Bing Crosby…

2 – David Rawlings Machine, which inverts the arrangement Gillian Welch & David Rawlings usually have, just released their debut record, A Friend of a Friend.  It’s a good-to-great cover that is simultaneously more expansive and more laidback than the GW-fronted outings.  Check out the super-acoustic readings of “To Be Young” (Ryan Adams co-write), “I Hear Them All” (OCMS co-write) and the “Method Acting-Cortez the Killer” melody (Bright Eyes & Neil Young, respectively), as well as the soulful, Dylanesque closing number “Bells of Harlem.”

3 – I am gonna be working on reviews of two local releases, Austin Crane‘s A Place at the Table and American Gun‘s Devil Showed Me His Hand, very soon.  Both are amazing releases which are available on iTunes, although the AG record isn’t officially being “released” until December 1st, followed by an official CD release show at the Art Bar December 5th.  These two releases have sent this year in local music over the top for me, and will both appear on my “Best Of” 2009 series coming up early in the New Year…

PS – American Gun has a YouTube page where you can view some concert footage from earlier this Fall at The Handlebar in Greenville, SC.

4 – I recently got re-obsessed with The Rolling Stones.  So there’s that.  You might have heard one or two of their songs before…

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