· The Dresden Dolls The Dresden Dolls
I truly don't listen to a lot of music, so it's rare for me to hear something that pushes me to physically get in my car and drive to the store to buy it. But this is my favorite newer record. It's given me some freedom to be a little more wordy with my lyrics, as Amanda never seems to run out of things to say. Her piano playing is interesting; hardly your typical Tori Amos or Vanessa Carlton. "Coin-Operated Boy" will be a classic, but actually the whole record is awesome. (Sound Guru alert: This record is very dynamic and probably not compressed, so it's a challenge to hear everything if you are driving or if your CD-Rom drive is running.)
· Ben Folds Super D EP
This is classic Ben — story-based lyrics dripping with wit. His piano skills never cease to amaze and entertain and the production is filled with surprises. The last song is a live version of a Ray Charles tune, "Them That Got." It's only one minute and 45 seconds long, and Ben explains that he doesn't even know the whole thing, but he likes it and hopes to learn the rest of it someday.
Ben Folds is the only person I have ever seen break a piano string. Go see him live. You will be in awe.
· Radiohead The Bends
I wanted to pick up some of their newer stuff but found this used at the record store. I'm really glad that I added this to my collection. I never realized they were so Pop. Better late than never, I suppose. The delayed piano on the first track sucked me in, and I haven't been able to stop listening. Great production with melodies you find yourself singing for days on end.
· Dawson Dawson's New Rage
I meet a lot of people on the road and at music conferences and therefore end up with lots of demos. This disc has lots of Latin-inspired tracks, as well as some weird Buster Poindexter-types of things. At any rate, it's different and, so far, I'm enjoying it.
· 500 Miles to Memphis demo
I saw these guys at (the MidPoint Music Festival) and was blown away. There are only three songs on this, but they are really incredible tracks. I'm a big fan of The Old '97s and Green Day; 500 Miles to Memphis seems to take the best of both bands to create their own blend of Country-tinged Punk. Whatever it is, I can't stop listening and can hardly wait for the full-length to come out in March.
PALE BENEATH THE BLUE (palebeneaththeblue.com) performs Saturday at York St. Cafe in Newport with Stacie Collins, the Roscoe Justice Band and Hyde Park Outrage.