Music

GrooveOut Shorts: October 2008

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Catie Curtis, Ani DiFranco, Gypsy, Bette Midler, Wayne Brady, Ultra Naté, Waves on Waves, New Arrivals, Solange, No Lip Vol. 1, Jem, Sex and the City Volume 2, Little Fish.

By Nancy Ford, Troy Carrington, and Suzie Lynde

CatieCoverCatie Curtis
Sweet Life
Folkie Curtis taps some heavy hitters to back her on her ninth studio album — pros who were instrumental to the success of Bonnie Raitt, Shawn Colvin, Rodney Crowell, and Peter Frampton. This pleasant, tuneful collection proves she’s worthy of the lofty company, especially on “Fools.” Compass Records (www.catiecurtis.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

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AnidiFrancoAni DiFranco
Red Letter Year

Formerly full of angst and profanity, a gentler, more relaxed DiFranco emerges on this release. Joyful, even. “I’ve got this great band and crew. And my baby, she teaches me how to just be in my skin, to do less and be more,” she says. Ah, motherhood. Righteous Babe Records (www.righteousbabe.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

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GypsyThe 2008 Broadway Cast Recording
Gypsy
The Merm, the Midler, the Roz — all big Gypsy shoes to fill. But Patti Lupone (whose mother knows my mother, by the way), do so, and admirably, in this legendary Broadway redo. And she’s got a brand-new Tony to prove it. Includes seven songs cut from the original Broadway production, to the likely delight of you Styne/Sondheim freaks out there. Time Life (www.timelife.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

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JackpotBette Midler
Jackpot—The Best of Bette
With 19 hits lifted from nine previous studio albums, this career-spanning collection reminds us why the Divine Miss M was labeled as such so many years ago. From the boogie-woogie to the ballads to the previously unreleased “Something Your Heart Has Been Telling Me,” it’s pure Bette. Rhino Records (www.rhinorecords.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

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WayneBradyWayne Brady
A Long Time Coming
If you can forget about Brady’s unfortunate Whose Line Is It Anyway? improv connection, and the fact that he calls this debut CD “the soundtrack of his life” with a straight face, you might like this ultra-smooth 12-pack. If you have any respect for musical greats like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, or Sam Cooke, you won’t. Peak Records (www.waynebrady.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

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UltraUltra Naté
Alchemy: GST Reloaded
Club music at its thumpin’-est, or as U.N herself calls it, “Bumping four to the floor straight-up deep house: no funky, no chunky.” This two disc-er breaks down into “The Remixers” and “The Sugar Sessions.” Dance, queen. Tommy Boy Records (www.tommyboy.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

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WavesWaves on Waves
Waves on Waves
There was a time when simply this cover art would have sent Tipper Gore into a frenzy. As if that image isn’t sufficiently entertaining all by itself, this debut from WoW is refreshingly delightful, especially “Secret Language.” If Morrissey, Tears for Fears, and Pink Floyd had a baby …. VIP Group (www.vipmusic.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

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NewArrivalsVarious Artists
New Arrivals Volume 3
Indie artists, some queer, some queerer, contribute a tune or two for this annual charity endeavor spearheaded by the mega-talented Rachel Sage. This year’s disc benefits National Eating Disorders Association. Yummy, especially Ten Minute turns’ “Sad Animals.” Mpress Records (www.mpressrecords.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

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SolangeSolange
SoL-AngeL & the Hadley St. Dreams
The best way to describe Solange’s sophomore album is to let her describe it: “I would like to think that it is as if The Supremes, The Marvelettes, Dusty Springfield, and Minnie Ripperton were to make music the way they did in the ’60s and ’70s now with a modern touch.” Music World Entertainment (www.musicworldent.com). — Preview: Troy Carrington

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NoLipVarious Artists
No Lip Vol. 1
Austin-based artist Charley Ramsay’s quirky “Monkey See, Monkey Do” stands out as the best tune on this banging rock-‘n’-roll compilation. Color us biased, but the rest of the cuts are unremarkable. Mohawk Bomb Records (www.mohawkbomb.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

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JemJem
Down to Earth
Welsh recording artist Jem’s sophomore album is a collection of songs that feature her ethereal vocals, hip-shaking beats, bright melodies, and introspective lyrics. “It’s Amazing” is featured on the original soundtrack to Sex and the City. ATO Records (www.atorecords.com). — Preview: Suzie Lynde

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SexandCityFollow-up to the Original Soundtrack
Sex and the City Volume 2
This follow-up features “Click Flash” by Ciara, “My First Love” by Craig David (both heard in the film), and a diverse mix of songs from such artists as Janet Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Ingrid Michaelson, and more. New Line Records (www.newline.com). — Preview: Troy Carrington

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LittleFishPremiere Cast Recording
Little Fish
Little Fish follows Charlotte, a young writer of short stories, who confronts her past, present, and future in post 9/11 Manhattan. She quits smoking and embarks on a modern-day odyssey as she attempts to fill her nicotine-starved days swimming at the Y. Words and music by Michael John LaChiusa. Ghostlight Records (www.sh-k-boom.com). — Preview: Suzie Lynde

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