Tis the season, when Santa makes appearances at local malls, bell ringers accompany your holiday grocery shopping, and the music industry releases a slew of new albums just in time for Visa. Local performers are not immune to the cash register boogie -- here's a rundown on some of what's out there, what it sounds like, and if it's worth your time.
Gold Fever Productions
If Tony Teebo ever wins a Grammy Award, he's going to have to thank the Casio Corporation of America, because without them, Timeless would have never been possible.
Teebo has a pretty good voice and his original lyrics are top-notch, but the album is marred by over-eager keyboards and drum machines. Were the music provided by live performers, the arrangements would work beautifully; as it stands, they become a cheesy and distracting nuisance. Pass on this record -- Teebo is one to catch live.
Contact the artist at www.mp3.com/tonyteebo.
Looks Like Me
Imagine Me Records
The prog rock wunderband goes for the gold again on their third album, confidently laying down 11 tracks of heartfelt melodic attitude. While their modern style can't be called wholly original, Looks Likes Me's instrumental proficiency, strong lyrics and we-put-a-lot-of-effort-into-it production quality makes Foreword a refreshing breath across the local rock scene. If you dig LLM's intense live performances, you'll love this CD. Especially the naked picture of the guys on the back.
Contact the band at www.lookslikemeband.com.
Angel of Shavano
It's hard to go wrong with acoustic guitar music; you can put it on in the background and go on about your day, usually with a more relaxed outlook. And so goes Jim Bosse's latest release, two suites and two laments titled Angel of Shavano -- until you listen closely, anyway. Eleven original tracks in all, the album is mostly a collection of music Bosse composed after spending time in the Colorado outdoors. Like nature, the arrangements and instrumentation is actually quite complicated in an experimental kind of way, and trying to twist your ear around it can be taxing. The playing is beautiful, but if you're expecting dishwashing music, Jim Bosse is not the man for you.
Contact the artist at www.jimbosse.com.
The Ballistics of Electricity
Fat Kid Records
This CD kicks ass. Not because the sound is really good, but because it drives you out into the night, in search of Audioflood live. The mysterious and erratic band has produced an album that incorporates acid guitars, '70s glam and jam rock, served steaming over the pure youthful rebellion of punk. It's unclassifiable, but mmm mmm good. The eloquent sampling and orchestral track divertissements help too.
Contact the band at http://audioflood.tripod.com.
Eddie Three Eagles
Overall, it's your basic Native American flute album, complete with haunting melodies and contemplative drumming. Yet on a few tracks, Eddie Three Eagles branches out into a sort of Native music for modern society, expertly blending traditional harmonies, singing and beats with classic rock arrangements and guitar. The songs play like a long drive across a high plain, and are worth the purchase of the entire disc.
Contact the label at Box 6699, Woodland Park, CO 80866.
Crazy Uncle Earl
Big Back Yard
Local music darlings Big Back Yard have put out an album directly reflecting who they are live -- fun, easy to dance to and reliably mainstream. Seven original Sattiddy-night-at-the-Ritz-style tunes draw on BBY's alternative (contemporary) rock groove, creating an album that's only fault is maybe that just about everybody can find something to dig about it. The production quality isn't spectacular, but it isn't bad, either. A given for all BBY fans.
Contact the band at www.bbygrooves.com.