Michael Cerveris does Broadway plays (The Who’s Tommy), Bowery rock shows (as a solo artist and member of Bob Mould’s band) and things in between (Hedwig And The Angry Inch). Nominated for a Tony Award earlier this year for Sweeney Todd (he won one in 2004 for Assassins), the actor/musician will release The Hinterlands EPs next spring on the Low Heat label, with guest performances by members of Teenage Fanclub and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. Cerveris selected a playlist of songs by his friends and acquaintances.
Jolie Holland sometimes sounds like she stepped out of a folk/blues fog that lifted 60 years ago. Her third album, Springtime Can Kill You (Anti-), isn’t merely retro, it’s downright strange. Filled with bohemian piano laments, midnight ramblings and boozy waltzes, it’s the work of an old soul with a deep record collection.
Rhett Miller is a believer. Putting his iPod on shuffle, the Old 97’s frontman entrusts it to make the perfect mix tape for MAGNET. Miller also has faith in The Believer (Verve Forecast), his second solo outing of smart, countrified pop. From his home in Hudson Valley, N.Y., Miller dances the iPod shuffle.
OPAL “Harriet Brown” (1989)
Opal is the guitarist (David Roback) who went on to form Mazzy Star. It was his earlier band, super-psychedelic and with a different vocalist. Instead of Hope Sandoval, it was Kendra Smith. Now she lives up in Humboldt County on a farm. Dude, it’s this really beautiful, spacey stuff. I feel like Kendra never got her due.
Husband-and-wife duo Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang are a psychedelic power couple. Since first making the scene with Galaxie 500 in the late ’80s, they’ve served as ambassadors of international acid folk (collaborating with Japanese gurus Ghost) and have acted as at-home historians (performing with Pearls Before Swine’s Tom Rapp). The Earth Is Blue (20/20/20) is a pristine reflection of Damon & Naomi’s vision and taste, featuring eight gauze-pop originals alongside covers of songs by George Harrison and Caetano Veloso.