Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Two for Tuesday: 6/9/09

Dave Caruso-Elizabeth Parker EP. This EP from Michigan's Dave Caruso bears a 2004 copyright, but only recently emerged on CD Baby and the digital download outlets, so I seriously doubt that more than a handful of AbPow readers have heard of it. Now's the time to remedy that, as Caruso demonstrates pop craft of a high order here. The title track is the standout, a jangly treat that would have fit it perfectly on The Red Button's 2007 album of the year. "I Can't Be on Time" is no slouch either, 2:13 of Michael Carpenter-esque power pop, and "Letter to My Ex" follows in the same vein. A couple of demos (including a version of "Elizabeth Parker" that recalls Elvis C's "Veronica") round out the EP. I'm going to have to make a judgment call on whether this one qualifies for the 2009 EP list, because on merit alone it's a gimme.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Elizabeth Parker

Ryan VanDordrecht-Hurts Like Hell. It seems like a lot of the good music this year has come in EP form, and this one from Portland's Ryan VanDordrecht (who looks a bit like Elvis Costello in the album photo) is no exception. He was in the bands Castella and Sidestar, who played bills with the likes of The Gin Blossoms and Cake, and his solo debut is high-grade melodic rock. "One More Cigarette" has a Tom Petty-meets-The Smithereens vibe, and "I Ain't Coming Home Tonight" takes off on a more Jayhawks/Son Volt tangent. Elsewhere, the title track recalls the Blossoms' more melancholy moments, while "Your Records" is the poppiest treat on the EP with an irresistible chorus. Here's hoping this one propels him to record a full-length.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes