[the first in a continuing series of short takes on interesting or alarming new CDs that have crossed our desk recently]
THE KRINKLES: 3 The Mordorlorff Collection
An invigorating powerpop/punk/metal/glam confection from a Chicago quartet heretofore unknown to me. It's thoroughly modern sounding -- humongous guitars, pile-driver drums -- but it nods to the classic verities in a reassuringly knowing way; apart from the usual post Green Day riffage, I hear bits of the Fabs, the Who, Cheap Trick, Badfinger, AC/DC, the Smithereens, and the Raspberries. Nary a dud in the sixteen-song bunch, including a nifty cover of Rick Springfield's "Love is Alright Tonight," rendered here with just the right note of ironic insouciance, although these guys had me from the chiming guitar riff that kicks off their opening "Dirty Girl." Order it from Amazon or from CDBaby immediately. [Info at www.myspace.com/thekrinkles]
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE: Sweeping Up the Spotlight - Live at the Fillmore East 1969
In a word, wow. This is the Airplane's classic lineup at its peak, culled from four NYC shows on the cusp of the 70s (immediately post Woodstock and post Volunteers). Excellent sonics (although the technology of the time really couldn't capture the sheer size and volume of the sound the Airplane put out) and the band is obviously stoked. The album doesn't supplant "Bless It's Pointed Little Head," their earlier live classic, but it's got a more interesting set list -- lengthy, atmospheric workouts on the infrequently stage-tested "Good Shepherd" and "Uncle Sam Blues" -- and the more familiar material sounds thoroughly fresh; a spookier than usual take on "White Rabbit" is by itself worth the price of admission.