Music Rundown Guide for January 19, 2012

New releases from Ani Defranco and Asian Kung-Fu Generation

WRITTEN BY: Fredric Hall
Singer/Songwriter Ani DeFranco
Image Source: Erinc Salor via Wiki Commons
Singer/Songwriter Ani DeFranco

So after a couple of weeks of slow releases, this week seems to be shapen up nicely.  Below are some albums that are worth checking out.  You're welcome.

Ani DeFranco – “Which Side Are You On?” [Righteous Babe]

Whether you love her music or think it’s ultra-feminist trite, you have to respect Ani Defranco’s tenacity towards creative independence.  With all the Britney Spears out there chucking formulaic crap that thinks to be music, the lady was doing her own thing, releasing seventeen albums through her Righteous Babe label since 1990.  “Which Side Are You on?” has Defranco maintain her creativity, writing poignant songs like “Life Boat” and “Promiscuity”.

Asian Kung-Fu Generation – “Best Hit AKG” [Ki/oon Records]

Anyone that’s even somewhat familiar J-Rock will know Asian Kung-Fu Generation.  Formed since 1996, the band has been doing pretty good for themselves, garnering numerous rewards and gaining international acclaim.  If you have no idea who these guys are, fear not, because “Best Hit AKG” is here.  I’m sure that “Best Hit AKG” is an attempted Japanese-to-English translation of “AKG Greatest Hits”.  The compliation to the typical list of best-selling tracks from the group, including “Far and Beyond”, “Rock N’Roll, Morning Lights Fall On You”, and the more recent “Marching Band”.  A good introduction to the band.

Pete Rock and CL Smooth – “The Main Ingredient” [Elektra Entertainment]

This week offers the re-release of the classic 1994 album “The Main Ingredient” featuring the legendary duo of producer Pete Rock and emcee CL Smooth.  Though the album wasn't as popular as the classic “Mecca and the Soul Brother”, “The Main Ingredient” have tracks that are sure-fire bangers.  Take the title track for example, with its suave drum patterns and CL rhyming with his traditional cleverness.  The re-release includes and second CD of remixes and instrumentals and a 20-page booklet. 

Mellow Madness – “Mellow Madness” [Kay Dee Records]

Now we conclude this article with some funk, courtesy of Mellow Madness.  The band wsa the idea of school principal Frank McNeil and high school band teacher Malachi Sharpe in the early ‘80s.  After founding Play-Rite Music, a school for young, talented musicians, they formed Mellow Madness.  The album happened due toKay Dee Records recovering  the band’s master tapes.  Hearing the tracks, like “Save The Youth” and the title song, you would think it came out in the ‘70s with its disco sound.  Still if you’re one of those people that pines for the obscure, put this in your collection.

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