HAWKSLEY WORKMAN
For Him and the Girls
(Isadora Records)
***

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Rumor has it that in darkest night, with no moon in the sky, gypsies stole the eldest son of an earl and raised him on a diet of wormwood, rose petals, and David Bowie. This fantastically named lad from Ontario, Canada plays nearly all the instruments on For Him and the Girls, which careens drunkenly from the poisonous intoxication of "Tarantulove" to the drowsy clip-clop of country and western hooves in "Safe and Sound." Workman's soaring vocals and clanging, demented production lend the whole thing an air of "the circus is burning and the freaks have gone mad." A funny and charismatic debut from a fop to watch. TAMARA PARIS


MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA

Featuring Bachir Attar
(Universal Classics)
***

Expatriate writer, painter, and visionary pre-beatnik Brion Gysin was among the early Western champions of the Master Musicians of Jajouka. Upon encountering these "Musicians of the Pipes of Pan" in their northern Moroccan town, as the story goes, Gysin decided that he had discovered THE music as far as he was concerned--the droning, cacophonous pipes and drums of the Master Musicians being the perfect soundtrack to accompany him on his hashish-soaked quest to indelibly distort the fabric of space and time. The new disc finds the Musicians taking their pipes headlong into the world of electronic music, collaborating with visionary producer, composer, and musician Talvin Singh, whose prodigious output includes work with Massive Attack, Björk, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Like the green ants of Australia, whose dreams (the Aborigines believe) create the world each day as they slumber away in their desert mounds, the Master Musicians of Jajouka have been given a musical charge of sorts. These guys' ancestors have been passing their music from father to son since the sacred remains of Saint Sidi Sherk were entrusted to the village of Jajouka around A.D. 800. Stick that one in your kif pipe of indie credibility and smoke it. NATE LEVIN


TAB BENOIT

These Blues Are All Mine
(Vanguard)
***

This being a new millennium and all, music fans can be excused for wondering why they should go out and buy a blues record. Tab Benoit's guitar provides the answer: The Telecaster blues of Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds still sounds just right, whether played over quick jump grooves or slow organ grinds. Tab Benoit's silly name may not be widely recognized outside of Louisiana, but he's a solid practitioner of his genre, with his clear, communicative vocals providing an added bonus. He isn't groundbreaking or world-famous, but his greatest strength on this album is also the reason why he'll continue to be around for a long time to come: For Tab Benoit, playing the blues is as natural and necessary as breathing air or drinking water. NATHAN THORNBURGH

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RIAN MURPHY & WILL OLDHAM

All Most Heaven
(Drag City)
***

Fans of Will Oldham will no doubt be very pleased with a four-song EP that features him howling uncharacteristically over layers of well-produced pop music (co-written with Rian Murphy, esteemed producer of Silver Jews and Edith Frost, among others). Hipsters will love that it features Oldham doing a duet with Bill Callahan of Smog, as well as barely audible supporting performances by the likes of Laeticia Sadier of Stereolab, Edith Frost, and Archer Prewitt throughout the EP. Boy-musician types will jerk off to the fact that All Most Heaven was recorded by Steve Albini--in fact, the whole project is in some respects one big indie-rock circle jerk. Fortunately for those involved, the CD came out great: Oldham has never been more vocally adventurous than he is here, reaching ever-throatedly upward to accommodate an uncharacteristically dynamic set of well-written songs. "Song of All" is the final track, a tender, trademark Will Oldham song that makes the EP remarkable. The song rises to a dramatic crescendo toward the end, which could easily make one long for a quieter, more acoustic performance; but this is a different sort of project, and there's a definite grace to it--which is what makes most of what Will Oldham does so special. JEFF DeROCHE



IN STORES 9/19

by Kris Adams

Barbra Streisand, Timeless: Live in Concert (Columbia)

Madonna, Music (Warner Bros.)

Fastball, The Harsh Light of Day (Hollywood)

Björk, Selmasongs (Music from the Motion Picture Dancer in the Dark) (Elektra)

Cam'ron, S.D.E. (Sports, Drugs & Entertainment) (Epic)

Willie Nelson, Milk Cow Blues (Island)

Poe, Haunted (Atlantic)

Paul Oakenfold, Perfecto Presents Another World (London/Sire)

Capone-N-Noreaga, The Reunion (Tommy Boy)

Kandi, Hey Kandi... (Columbia)

The Go-Betweens, Friends of Rachel Worth (Jetset)

Octant, Car Alarms and Crickets (Up)

Phoenix, United (Astralwerks)

Simon Fisher Turner, Travelcard (Sulfer/ Beggars Banquet)

Damien Jurado, Ghost of David (Sub Pop)

Goldfrapp, Felt Mountain (Mute)

Killing Heidi, Reflector (3:33/Universal)

A.K.P., All Kinds of Problems (Spitfire)

Dave Allan & the Arrows, Live Run: Live at Westwood (Total Energy)

James Armstrong, Got It Goin' On (Hightone)

Blue Meanies, The Post Wave (MCA)

Caspar Brotzmann, Mute Massaker (Thirsty Ear)

Kasey Chambers, The Captain (Warner Bros.)

D-Cru, D-Cru (Elektra)

Fuel, Something Like Human (550 Music/ Epic)

Mat Maneri Quartet, Blue Decco (Thirsty Ear)

Mike G., Sugar Daddy (SeeThru)

Nature, For All Seasons (Columbia)

NIGO, Ape Sounds (Beggars Banquet)

Paloalto, Paloalto (American/Columbia)

Photek, Solaris (Astralwerks)

Stephen Simmonds, Spirit Tales (Priority)

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