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Thursday, April 6, 2006 10:46 pm

Music notes

Boss Martians, the Coup, and notable new releases

SHOWS A-GO-GO! You will like the Boss Martians, because Steven Van Zandt likes the Boss Martians. The Seattle foursome won the coveted “Coolest Song of the Year” on Little Steven’s Underground Garage, Van Zandt’s Internet-broadcast radio show, in 2003. The Martians play garage rock, but if they’ve learned anything from the school of Little Steven, it’s that garage rock is nothing without soul and a little ’60s pop to boot, à la the Rolling Stones or Paul Revere & the Raiders. In keeping with this notion, the Martians create such gritty pop songs as the standout single “I Am Your Radio.” Taking a break from working away in the studio on their 14th release, the Martians visit the Underground City Tavern on Sunday. Outside the borders of our fair city are two shows worth the travel time: Local emo-punk favorite Park plays an all-ages show at the Independent Music Center in Urbana on Saturday and, delivering a heaping helping of soulful goodness, Floetry hits the St. Louis’ Pageant on Wednesday.
CD EXCHANGE: First the indie instrumentalists of Calexico decided to put some words to their experimental Americana music, and that worked well. Then the Tucson collective, led by Joey Burns and John Convertino, teamed up with singer/songwriter Samuel Beam of Iron and Wine for a wonderfully brooding album. Garden Ruin, due for release on April 11, takes Calexico to a different plane, giving in completely to the singer/songwriter styling. The new record may turn off fans of classic post-rock Calexico, but a warm reception from the roots-rock faction is likely. Singles “Cruel” and “Yours and Mine” evoke the spirit of such songsmiths as Jeff Buckley and Palace’s Will Oldham. Other notable releases this week include the Flaming Lips’ At War with the Mystics (April 4) and Moonlighting, the debut album from the Loud Minority Music hip-hop outfit known as Tanya Morgan (April 4).
SINGLES ONLY: Mix Parliament keyboard lines with cameos from Black Thought (the Roots) and Talib Kweli, and you get a hypnotic hip-hop cocktail, served up by DJ Pam the Funkstress and MC Boots, better known as the Coup. The new single “My Favorite Mutiny” conjures the soulful vibe of ’70s funk, laced with the updated flow that has made the Coup an underground hit. The new album, Pick a Bigger Weapon, drops April 25.
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