Known Johnson

July 17, 2007

Overlooked Alternatives: Grant Lee Buffalo, Suzanne Vega

Filed under: Music,News,Overlooked Alternatives — Tom @ 11:18 am

I usually welcome these weeks that look quiet, but there’s the catch – it looks quiet for most but good music listeners will immediately find the nuggets hidden in the mid-summer release doldrums. For this week, Grant Lee Buffalo’s reissue of Fuzzy, an album that I’ve long wanted and, since it’s been out of print, I’ve never picked up, and Suzanne Vega’s new album Beauty And Crime fit the bill nicely. This is what it is to be a music addict. Gotta have my fix, man.

Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy and Copperopolis: The band’s first and third Americana-pop albums, a band seemingly forgotten by all but fans, have been out of print for some time, but new label “Noble Rot” (Am I the only one to get a kick out of saying that name?) is bringing both back in new digipaks with new liner notes and, presumably, remastered sound. Unfortunately, there are no bonus tracks to be had on either. Let’s hope that it’s not just fans that are picking these one up. The band deserves better than that.

Suzanne Vega – Beauty And Crime: Most people seemed to tune out of Vega’s music after “Luka” and/or the various remixes of “Tom’s Diner” had their way with the airwaves, relegating her to that sad status as fluke hit-maker. Luckily for discerning listeners she paid them no attention and carried on creating strong albums that provoked and questioned what women in pop/folk could and should do. Six years after her last album, she’s back with her first release on Blue Note with an album that is being called one of her best.

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