This Week in Music, August 27, 2013: Bob Dylan’s “Self Portrait,” naked Page 3

FF Right

Franz Ferdinand:
Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

New release (Domino; tour dates)
Photo by Andy Knowles

Back in the early 2000s, Franz Ferdinand was among the post-punk revivalists who were supposed to set the whole music world on fire but who instead, 10 years on, have managed to keep only their niche warm. (Here’s looking at you, too, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Strokes.) There’s much to like (and dance to) on this fourth album from the Brits: the pecking guitars and hop-skip-jump beat of the opening “Right Action,” the pecking guitars and hop-skip-jump beat of the following “Evil Eye,” the pecking guitars and — you get the idea. You also get a decent amount of fresh-sounding hooks. At the same time, however, you get the feeling that these guys have developed relatively little since 2004’s “Take Me Out.” When the album’s over — with none of the subsequent nine tracks having equaled “Right Action,” and with all of the sonic blips having become a bit of a blur — you may ask yourself: What band is this? What year is this? How did I get here?

Rides Enough

The Rides: Can’t Get Enough

New release (429; tour dates)
Photo by Eleanor Stills

Produced by Jerry Harrison, Can’t Get Enough is the debut of the Rides, with veterans Stephen Stills and Barry Goldberg joined by youngster Kenny Wayne Shepherd. As the press info emphasizes, the album “was inspired by, and is an homage to,” Super Session, the 1968 Al Kooper-conceived blues-rock affair that featured Stills on Side 2 and included keyboardist Goldberg on Side 1 (alongside his Electric Flag bandmate Mike Bloomfield). Among the Rides’ four originals, “Roadhouse” and the title track are thicker and more heavy-going, while “Don’t Want Lies” and “Only Teardrops Fall” are admirably much looser. Among the five covers, there’s pure blues in Muddy Waters’s “Honey Bee,” Elmore James’s “Talk to Me Baby,” and the well-traveled “That’s a Pretty Good Love,” and there’s better rock in Iggy and the Stooges’ “Search and Destroy” than in the rote take on Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” The set closes with an energetic full-band take on the old acoustic song “Word Game” from 1971’s Stephen Stills 2. Throughout, there’s some fine guitar work from both Stills and Shepherd. All in all, a nice surprise.

Drumgasm debut

Weiss | Cameron | Hill: Drumgasm

New release (Jackpot)

That would be Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, Wild Flag), Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden), and Zach Hill (Hella, Death Grips, Boredoms). Yes, drummers all — and that’s all you get. No other players, no actual songs, just one improvised 40-minute triple drum solo. The only break comes when you turn the record over. (This is primarily an LP release, with no CD version available. However, listeners craving the full, uninterrupted monty can opt for an MP3.) The album ebbs and flows to a certain extent, occasionally adhering to a beat, but mostly it’s a simultaneous free-for-all. Or, as Weiss has told “No matter where we started, we ended up all sort of going crazy.” The hip rock critic in me is likely supposed to be in awe. The honest rock critic in me says: Aw, no thanks. As much as I love these players and their parent bands, Drumgasm leaves me frigid.

Parker Live

Other new releases

Graham Parker & the Rumour: This Is Live
(Shout! Factory; photo of Parker by Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures)
Having reunited for the 2012 studio album Three Chords Good, Parker and band were asked to contribute live-performance scenes for Judd Apatow’s This Is 40. The director ended up filming a complete concert, now released in this DVD+Blu-ray combo pack. The material goes back as far as “Soul Shoes” and “Fool’s Gold” (from, respectively, Howlin’ Wind and Heat Treatment, both released in 1976) and also includes half of Squeezing Out Sparks (1979): “Discovering Japan,” “Local Girls,” “Nobody Hurts You,” “Passion Is No Ordinary Word,” and “Protection.”

AlunaGeorge: Body Music (Vagrant)
Avenged Sevenfold: Hail to the King (Warner Bros.)
Barbez: Bella Ciao (Tzadik)
Belle Adair: The Brave and the Blue (Single Lock)
Blackfield: IV (Kscope)
Capsula: Solar Secrets (Krian Music Group)
Placido Domingo: Verdi (Sony Classical)
Robbie Fulks: Gone Away Backward (Bloodshot)
Goodie Mob: Age Against the Machine (The Right)
Ellie Goulding: Halcyon Days (Cherrytree/Interscope)
Jars of Clay: Inland (Gray Matters/Tone Tree)
Black Joe Lewis: Electric Slave (Vagrant)
Little River Band: Cuts Like a Diamond (Frontiers)
Jeff Lorber Fusion: Hacienda (Heads Up)
Puscifer: All Re-Mixed Up (Puscifer)
Carly Ritter: Carly Ritter (Vanguard)
Hayley Westenra: Hushabye (Decca)