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CD: Portugal. The Man: The Satanic Satanist

Portugal. The Man’s bizarrely titled fourth album kicks off with a groove so fat and swampy, you’ll swear it was recorded in Memphis, circa 1967. “The Satanic Satanist” opens with the anti-war anthem “People Say” that builds on that funky riff to become a full-fledged barnburner. “What a lovely day, yeah we won the war,” sings vocalist John Baldwin Gourley. “May have lost a million men but we’ve got a million more.” The rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to that awesome opener but it comes pretty damned close. [...]

CD: Ian Hunter: Man Overboard

Can you believe that “All the Young Dudes” crooner Ian Hunter is 70 years old? Kinda shocking if you remember him with his white-boy ‘fro, tight jeans, and trademark shades fronting the proto-punk outfit Mott the Hoople during the 1960’s and 1970’s. But here’s the good news: on his latest solo outing, Hunter is a still-virile presence, singing with more force and feeling than vocalists half his age. [...]

CD/DVD: David Bowie: VH1 Storyteller

On the surface, David Bowie seems ill-suited to the chatty format of VH1’s “Storytellers.” He barely speaks on his previous live CDs and has seemed, through the years, content to project an inscrutable air of mystery. But where Bowie is concerned, it’s all about cha-cha-cha-changes. [...]

CD: Hill Country Revue: Make a Move

The first time you hear Hill Country Revue, you will think they sound like the North Mississippi Allstars. That is a very good thing, and makes sense, since Cody Dickinson formed the new band with Chris Chew. Cody and Chris make up two thirds of the NMAS. Hill Country Revue’s debut album, “Make a Move,” is a blend of southern rock, blues, soul, and swampy funk guaranteed to get your body moving. [...]

CD: Sweet and Hoffs: Under the Covers Vol. 2

With “Under the Covers Vol. 2,” their second collection of covers, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs turn to music of the Seventies, drawing inspiration from AM and FM radio mainstays alike. The beauty of the CD is that bubblegummers like Bread ("Everything I Own") and the Raspberries ("Go All the Way") sound as righteous and relevant as critical darlings George Harrison ("Beware of Darkness") and Big Star ("Back of a Car"). [...]

CD: The Dead Weather: Horehound

Is Jack White the “Hardest Working Man in Show Business” or what? In addition to producing CDs for artists he admires (Loretta Lynn, Soledad Brothers, Greenhornes) and juggling two full-time bands (White Stripes, the Raconteurs), he recently put together the psycho-blues outfit the Dead Weather, with Kills vocalist Alison Mosshart, Raconteur bassist Jack Lawrence, and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist-organist Dean Fertita. But if the quartet’s debut CD “Horehound” is any indication, White might be spreading himself a little too thin. [...]

CD: James Luther Dickinson: Dinosaurs Run in Circles

Never one to gussy up his music, James Luther Dickinson goes back to his roots with “Dinosaurs Run in Circles,” a bare-bones affair that pays tribute to the jump-blues and novelty songs he grew up loving in the rural South. Easy does it for Dickinson as he ambles his way through numbers made famous by the likes of Louis Jordan, Ray Charles, and Jimmy Dorsey. [...]

CD: Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

After 2006’s hard-rocking “It’s Never Been Like That,” Phoenix, the French quartet, have returned to their synth-pop roots on “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” for a ten-song collection that combines the dreaminess of their early CDs with a newfound sense of ambition. [...]

CD: Tony Bennett & Bill Evans: The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings

The notoriously introspective piano man Bill Evans had rarely fraternized with singers when he decided to join Tony Bennett for 1975’s “The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album.” The pairing proved so groovy that a year later, the duo recorded a second, similarly stunning set called “Together Again.” Now collected in one package, along with a whopping 22 alternate takes, the remastered Bennett/Evans sessions sound more essential than ever before. [...]

CD: Iggy Pop: Preliminaires

Last spotted with the reconstituted Stooges on the critically panned “The Weirdness,” it was only a matter of time before Iggy Pop, the Godfather of Punk, shed his bandmates and got back to the business of being the idiosyncratic Ig. [...]
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