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The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup

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Noiseheads

Sitcoms for Aliens

Silly Monkey Music

Grunge music is alive and well in the Panhandle, thanks to Pensacola’s Noiseheads. With snarled vocals that are authentically ’90s rock and distinctively catchy hooks, it’s easy to see why the band has caught the ears of reviewers around the globe. Although Noiseheads seem to proudly wear the grunge label, there are moments of experimentation here, like the whisper-sung “Friend” and “Here,” which finds its footing dripped in reverb. Whether you’re nostalgic for grunge or love to embrace rock music that doesn’t play it safe, Noiseheads deserve a spin or five.

– Nikki Hedrick

Rebel Scum

EP

Dead Lizard Records

Angry punk music isn’t meant to be pretty. The beauty lies in those rough edges and one-take recordings that make you feel like you’ve transported to a live show. Pensacola’s Rebel Scum is adept at living in those edges, crafting frantic punk music that’s damn near impossible to listen to while being still. It makes you feel, makes you want to move…and makes you want to find the band’s next show.

– Nikki Hedrick

Dr. Lonnie Smith

All in My Mind

Blue Note

Dr. Lonnie Smith is 75, and remains the man to see on Hammond B-3 organ.  All in My Mind is his latest, and his first with Blue Note in 46 years.  It’s a jumping, love fest of a live recording (at NYC’s Jazz Standard, where Smith celebrated his 75th), including covers of jazz standards like “Up Jumped Spring” and “On a Misty Night,” and more recent pop (“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”). There’s just not one throwaway track here.

– Bruce Collier

Tempesta di Mare Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Players

Johann Gottlieb Janitsch—Rediscoveries from the Sara Levy Collection

Chandos Early Music

You have your choice with this one. You can delve into the story of the rediscovery of the works of this overlooked German Baroque composer. Sara Levy was Felix Mendelssohn’s great aunt. This collection was “removed” from Berlin near the end of World War II and “unearthed” in Kiev years later (How in the world did it get from the capital of the Third Reich to the U.S.S.R.? Were the Russians looting or something?). Or you can just touch the “play” button and let J.G. Janitsch speak for himself. The 17 tracks include church and chamber sonatas and overtures. Baroque music is some of the most orderly, best-of-all-possible-worlds sound humanity ever created. It’s interesting to listen and contemplate all the manmade hell that must have cut loose over this music before it was returned to light. It’s art, it’s history.

– Bruce Collier

U2

Songs of Experience

Island Records

Granted, I’ve been a fan since “Gloria” hit the airwaves, back when U2 were young and new and had a punk edge. So maybe it’s loyalty clouding my judgment, but I have to admit I like their much-maligned new album. That said, at least a few songs seem to clunk more than they rattle and hum. And as a whole, I wish this album was rougher around the edges and less constrained—it’s as if it needs the recorded equivalent of someone mussing its hair, untucking its shirt and feeding it shots until it loosens up and rocks in a way only U2 can. Even so, it makes perfect background music while doing computer work, soaking in a bubbly tub or engaging in conversation.

– Joni Williams

The Wide Open

Long Road Home

Two Moon Records

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve watched Season Ammons and Allen Rayfield’s journey to make this album a reality. Even as someone who knows their music well, the album surpasses my expectations. It’s a soulful, bayou-inspired exploration of modern Americana with an emphasis on harmonies and radio-polished production. Well done, guys.

– Nikki Hedrick

Various Artists

Claude Debussy, The Complete Works

Warner Classics

I love complete works collections of anybody—there’s a compact neatness about them that appeals to me. French composer Claude Debussy turns dead for the 100th time this March. In his honor, Warner Classics has released a 33-CD boxed set featuring the talents of Itzhak Perlman, Simon Rattle, Yehudi Menuhin, and many other musicians. Among the hundreds of tracks are world premiere recordings of six pieces, and a bonus set of recordings by the man himself. The only thing missing seems to be basement and bootleg sessions…or did they have those in Impressionist France? Feast on this.

– Bruce Collier

Pauseandplay.com – Since 1997, P&P has been the definitive place for music fans to find out when a new album is coming out. Also stay up on the latest reissues and music‑related DVD/Blu‑rays and books. Elton John says he uses Pauseandplay.com to keep track of new music, and Entertainment Weekly has included it on its list of “The 100 Greatest Web Sites,” one of only 17 music sites to be selected.

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