I’ve decided to start a new type of column that I’m calling “Quickies” (the title of which is inspired in part by the “Quickie with Bob” segment on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast). The idea here is to give quick reviews to albums that I enjoy — but since I tend to focus on geeky lyrics (and since I’m only marginally knowledgeable about music), I have trouble finding an angle to write more than a few sentences about them. The music might be instrumental. Or there might not be any songs that are specifically geeky even though they’re made by geeky artists. Or it might be something I’d like to promote quickly but don’t have a lot of time to write about at the time. In those cases, I might explore them in more depth later on. Regardless, the length of my review doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the work. Heck, in the past, I’ve had albums show up on my Best Of / Favorites lists that I never wrote about before!
The first album was the one that got me thinking about doing something like this. When I realized that it would also allow me to promote the other one on the list, I knew it was a good idea. So let’s get to the music!
Odds and Ends – Jeff Penny
I’ve mentioned Jeff Penny a couple of times before, through his covers done with Diatonic Nerds. He also composes instrumental music influenced by video games and pop culture. A couple of track titles stand out to me at once: “Dog Park” and “Waltz no. 2.5 (Fitzsimmons).” I’m immediately reminded of Welcome to Night Vale and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and listening to the tracks makes me suspect that that’s no coincidence. Other tracks sound like they could easily show up on soundtracks for video games, TV shows, or movies. It’s highly enjoyable music that deserves a listen.
Secret Identity – Andrew Allen Trio
Rounding out this first quickies column is another group I’ve mentioned previously, with their cover of The Doubleclicks’ “Dimetrodon.” I even mentioned this album at the time; happily, it’s now available via CD Baby. It’s a double album of covers of songs from Marvel and DC TV shows and movies (one album for each company). Most of the tracks are covers of theme songs — like the classic Spider-Man and Batman themes from the ’60s, “The Lonely Man” from The Incredible Hulk, and the ’70s Wonder Woman theme — but there are a couple of songs from the soundtracks as well. “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath, for example, appears on the Marvel side for, I think, obvious reasons. All in all I really like what the Trio has brought to these covers. Plus they’re signed to Coverville records, and you know I love Coverville! Go check out the samples on CD Baby or, heck, just go ahead and buy it. You won’t be disappointed!