1) Love, Forever Changes
(LP). Back in the early '70s, when "Alone Again Or" and "You Set the Scene" were underground FM staples, it went right over my head (not enough loud guitars; Arthur Lee sounded like Johnny Mathis singing something by Bacharach-David with overdubs by the Tijuana Brass). Today, it sounds more up-to-date than any other record released in 1967, its depressive pop succeeding on pure melody alone. Lee foreshadowed latter-day sad bastards like Elliott Smith and Conor Oberst, but none of them ever wrote a line as great as "The snot has caked against my pants."
2) The Better Death
, Day of the Death
(USB Flash drive). This Dallas-based experimental heavy rock band has been on hiatus from live performance since their drummer was stricken with ulcerative colitis. Undaunted, they've released their new album in a novel format. Review to follow.