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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Eric Burdon
Soul of a Man
SPV USA Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


February 7, 2006
Direct from the shambling miscreant who pled "Oh lawd, please doan let me be misunderstood" on behalf of the world's existentialists and unleashed the careening proto-punk primal screams of It's My Life comes a collection - no, clinical research study - of blues, gospel and rock standards. Time has scarcely dared tread on Burdon's voice, the bratty but perplexed baritone which embodied The Animals and War. As has been wont to happen with Burdon's solo career, we find him under the auspices of yet another label, if in name only (2004's My Secret Life, an equally raucous full-length, was released on Hunter, nowadays an arm of SPV/Steamhammer).

The Son House-penned title track sets an informal tone straight from the start - this could be Steven Tyler doing his back-bayou shimmy or Muddy Waters himself stirring the iodine in his coffee - while in the background Burdon's platoon of sessionfolk whoop things up with such abandon that the observer ends up wishing he or she could warp their way into the disc.

Before there's a chance to mop the Budweiser off the table the gears shift to 70s Blacula discofunk in a reupholstering of Imperial Crowns' "Kingsize Jones." Resplendent in Ohio Players horns, plucked bass and tightrope-walking BB King guitars, it's the first of several wonks-only tributes to obscurity. "Red Cross Store," the Mississippi Fred McDowell oldie, gets a shot of Golden Earring/Allmans Botox, thrumming along madly as our host nicks Duane without a sideways glance in the rearview.

Drummer/producer Tony Braunagel herds all ears on deck with a perfectly concocted aura of one-take looseness that lubricates the big-league sound, a special treatment that isn't reserved for the roots material alone but the curveballs in kind, such as the beer-sloshed Tex-Mex bash "Como Se Llama Mama"; the sultry, lone-spotlighted "GTO"; and "Circuit Rider," a honky tonk bum-rush that out-Monday-Night-Footballs Hank Williams Jr.

Perhaps if Burdon had stuck only to these guns throughout his career, completists would feel more compelled to pay this record a visit, but it should be considered essential study material regardless - after forty years of thumbing his nose at every straight in sight, one could glean some useful survival techniques at a bare minimum.

Reviewed by Eric Saeger
An LAS staff writer based in New Hampshire, Eric Saeger was named alt.flame\'s Newbie of the Year in 2000.

See other reviews by Eric Saeger

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