I’m still going through the gigabytes of mostly crap from SXSW festival (just got to the letter “P”); what was such a pleasant surprise last year is turning into a neverending chore that makes me wonder if any artists still have talent.
Never fear, though, for I am banking hope on two upcoming releases:
- Amanda Leigh – Mandy Moore. Yes, that Mandy Moore – the cute former teeny-bopper who seems to have dated everybody famous (although I think she just tied the knot with singer Ryan Adams). Her last two albums signaled a turnaround in style: an album of covers in which she paid tribute to her favorite artists, which surprisingly included XTC, Todd Rundgren, Joni Mitchell and John Hiatt, among others. The next album featured collaborations with indie artists such as the Weepies. Her latest (The title reflecting her first two names) is a collaboration with none other than Mike Viola of the Candy Butchers, one of my all-time favorite songwriters. The result, based on a few advanced cuts, is right along Viola’s style – bouncy pop music. The CD is due May 26.
- Under the Covers, Vol. 2 – Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs. I got this great news from the very excellent Too Poppy, who even had a preliminary track list. This follow-up to their album of 60s covers tackles the 70s, with covers from the Raspberries, George Harrison, John Lennon and Big Star. I’ve been waiting for this one for three years, folks. I could listen to Susanna Hoffs sing anything. Or watch her, for that matter. Release date is set for some time in July.
As I listen to the SXSW artists’ contributions, I’m drooling a little bit in anticipation for these two CDs. So far, the P’s are not showing any promise.