Truck-Stop Pickups And Dockers Ads

noah | June 29, 2007 4:00 am

As Consumer Guide creator Robert Christgau once noted, there is so much recorded media coming forth every day, the idea that one would be able to listen to all of it is physically impossible. So we’ve taken the sage advice of gonzo rock writer Richard Meltzer to heart. Meltzer, ever the curmudgeon, considered promo albums precious commodities–provided you didn’t break the shrinkwrap on ’em, as doing so reduced their resale value. After the click-through, Andy Beta judges four new albums without even cracking open their covers.


PICK–Artanker Convoy: Cozy Endings (The Social Registry) Embrace of blue-collar trappings like trucker hats, countrypolitan records, and Pabst Blue Ribbon is tired by this point. Yet only this Brooklyn band had the vision and foresight to resurrect that neglected musical sub-genre of red state culture, the convoy. So while their insistence on being jazzy with 10/4 time signatures is certainly forced, Artanker Convoy truly do get inside the sex-starved, gonzo-obsessed, mini-thinned minds of our nation’s truckers. What truck driver wouldn’t pick this CD up at Love’s truck stop, what with the band putting some sweet thing’s panty-clad nummy-nums front and center, thus guaranteeing they’ll be up all night? A+


PICK–Cherryholmes Cherryholmes II: Black and White (Skaggs Family Records) Pissed that another color-blind family (a genetic defect from in-breeding, natch) stole their black-and-white rhinestone getup, Ma and Pa Cherryholmes round up kin for this affair. Never mind that they’re locked down in a maximum-security government penitentiary (replete with 30 foot walls and charged razor-wire fences) for plying their illegal white lightning-fueled strain of newgrass–there’s no way that four walls or Blackjack County chain can keep vengeance from being served. The Whites best watch out for the family-style thumping that’s a-coming. A+


Von Sudenfed: Tromatic Reflexxions (Domino) Embittered one-hit wonders from the eighties (see their synth ballad “Sex Induction Hour” from ’86) turned aged Dockers models for the 35-50 demographic, Von Sudenfed suddenly jettisoned their JCPenney catalog careers to show they still have an acerbic tongue, which gets shoved down our throats on these twinkling slow jams. Deep down in their Oxford-clad hearts ($55, available in Sailor Blue and Classic Limey White), they know they’re better than the next generation of synth-pop bands, brazenly calling out chart-toppers like Radiohead (“The Rhinohead”) and Damon Albarn’s latest bag of wankers (“The Young The Faceless And The Codes”). A-


Ryan Adams: Easy Tiger (Lost Highway) We all know by now that “no depressants” drug cow Ryan Adams told the Times how he had the saco de toro to brag to Steve Earle (Steve Earle!) about shooting up speedballs, but while the PR folks want to spin that this album shows Adams kicking the monkey (or is it dragon?) off of his back for good, there’s reason for pause. Apparently no one told Adams that marijuana is still contraband (and that you cannot communicate with dogs). But there he is, smoking a doob on the cover of Easy Tiger, his greasy hair thickening into dreads, while his watch highlights that time of day any trustafarian would recognize: “4:20 p.m.” B