Just in time for the end of the month, I’m including some fairly new stuff before I try to get caught up on all the other stuff that’s been building up. In fact, it’s entirely possible that I’ll be doing more quickies rather than longer reviews just so I can get something out to help promote some really cool music.
Insane Ian – Greatest Hit(s)
Greatest Hits albums typically serve as good introductions to an artist whose catalog is perhaps a bit daunting to the newcomer. If Insane Ian is one of those artists for you, this is a perfect stepping on point for his music, “culled from a survey of fan picks of the best II songs, as well as Dr Demento hits and Logan Award nominated tracks.” So is there anything here for the already established fan? Well, sort of. If you’re going for the physical CD version, two of Ian’s most recent tracks (“Benedict Cumberbatch” and “Godzilla”) are available for the first time in that format. And of course there’s just the satisfaction of knowing you own everything Ian has released.
The tracks span Insane Ian’s solo career, from “Guitar Hero” and “Hey There, Hermione” to “Internet Famous” and “Shut Up, Ian” (appropriately the last track on the album). There are plenty of collabs, too, like “We’re All Gonna Die” with Kiki Canon, Devo Spice, and Schäffer the Darklord as well as “MvL” which features Odd Austin and TV’s Kyle.
So if you haven’t yet explored Insane Ian’s music, or if you’re a completist, then this album is absolutely perfect for you.
Insane Ian – Live… Because, Why not?
And if you’re already a fan of Insane Ian, then this one is for you! Recorded live at FuMPFeST in 2015, this album features many more of Ian’s tracks. I’ve been looking forward to this one since I completely forgot to listen to the live stream when it actually happened.
Stand out tracks include the well-timed “Ant-Man” (a parody of The Beatles’ “Tax Man”), “I’ve Never Played FF7,” and “It’s Burgertime” (in which Ian attempts, more or less successfully, to perform Steffeny from MPFM’s part). I also love that he included “The Shortest Song” and “The Second Shortest Song,” although no sign of “Not the Shortest Song” from the same EP.
In short (see what I did there?), if you buy just these two albums, you’re well on your way to become an Insane Ian connoisseur.
Andrew Allen Trio – Live! From the Cantina
I previously mentioned their superhero theme based album, and now the Andrew Allen Trio returns with another jazzy cover album, this time of Star Wars music.
They pretty much cover the expected tracks, including the “Main Theme,” “Cantina Band,” “The Imperial March,” and “Duel of the Fates” (probably the only good thing to come from The Phantom Menace). The covers are funkier and feature more instruments than previous release, mainly because of their successful Kickstarter.
I’m pretty sure that any fan of the Star Wars music (and who isn’t a fan?) will love this album. It seems that CDBaby is the best place if you just want the album now, but you can still get in on orders via Backerkit, which also includes lots of extras. Go grab it now; you won’t be disappointed!