Here are some lightning-fast looks at some of the many, many new CDs landing in shops in August and early September ...
Brookville -- Broken Lights (Unfiltered)
You know him as Ivy's Andy Chase and we just missed him last night at Shank Hall (with Scotland's Trash Can Sinatras, another group with which he plays). This is Chase's third solo disc -- one he initially thought he didn't have in him -- and it's just what you expect. Thankfully. That means breezy tunes with great melodies and lots of jangly guitars. The opener, "Happy," has a great summer feel, so buy this before the first frost. But you've gotta wait until Sept. 15, because that's when it lands.
A.A. Bondy -- When the Devil's Loose (Fat Possum)
If you're a Facebook friend or Twitter follower then you know I got this long-awaited and much-anticipated follow up to "American Hearts" last week. You also know I love it. It's different from its predecessor in that it's more heavily "instrumented" - if that's a word. There are more drums, more piano, more bass, more violin. But it's all very organic and never gets in the way of the stars of the show: the songs and Bondy's great, emotive yet intimate voice. If this is not my absolute record of the year so far it's at least tied for that distinction. It comes out on Sept. 1. Alas, Bondy's current tour dates don't include Milwaukee for now, so hopefully you caught him earlier this summer at Club Garibaldi.
ILAD -- here//there (Syjip)
I wish I knew how to describe this unusual but sonically interesting record for you. It sounds a little like an explorative, artsy indie band (from Richmond, Va.) playing on the far platform of a European train station on a rainy night at about 10 p.m. There are lots of samples, ethereal vocals. A previous record was called "psychedelic alt.country," but I only hear the psychedelic and, I guess, the ".alt," whatever that means. Trippy and fun.
Niney the Observer -- Roots With Quality (17 North Parade/VP)
Joe Gibbs -- Scorchers from the Early Years (1967-73) (17 North Parade/VP)
These two double-disc comps are among the forays into the world of classic reggae reissues (a la Blood and Fire, Trojan, Heartbeat and Pressure Sounds) by New York's VP Records. Long-running VP was founded by the Chin family that also ran the legendary Randy's in Kingston at, natch, 17 North Parade. So, expect quality. And you get it. The Niney discs are the rootsier ones, with great tracks from the ‘70s and ‘80s by Big Youth, Junior Byles, Max Romeo, Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor and others. The Gibbs said has a lot of overlap with a series of reissues Trojan did years back, but this one has a nice flow, some different material and comes at a nice price. There are gems from Peter Tosh, Errol Dunkley, The Pioneers, Delroy Wilson and others. This is proto-reggae, as the beats slowed and got heavier, transitioning from rock steady to full-fledged reggae. The set is a companion to a 2008 two-disc Gibbs set highlighting later, roots music from the ‘70s.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.