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Sean Daly's CD picks: the Caesars, George Jones, B.B. King, Shwayze

The Caesars

Album: Strawberry Weed (Astralwerks)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Anybody remember The Happy Organ by Dave "Baby" Cortez? It was a zany 1959 hit that sounded like a hyper Hammond B-3 frolicking with his piano and drum pals. Now imagine that Happy Organ all grown up — except these days he's drunk and surly and starring in a naughty Swedish rock band called the Caesars.

Why we like it: In 2003, the Caesars struck gold with Jerk It Out, a Watusi-appropriate '60s jumper playing on iPod ads. The organ noise was fuzzy, strutty, obnoxious, and it's the same here, especially on No Tomorrow. The band gets lost in space at times, but the hits are hot.

Reminds us of: The Hives with better manners

Download these: Boo Boo Goo Goo and No Tomorrow

Grade: B+

George Jones

Album: Burn Your Playhouse Down: The Unreleased Duets (Bandit)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Ol' No-Show Jones has had his share of turbulent relationships over the years. And when I say "turbulent," what I mean is he was famously ticked off for most of the 20th century. But he could be a real charmer in the studio. This 12-track album dusts off unreleased duets, from the '70s to '07, with Mark Knopfler, Dolly Parton and more.

Why we like it: A lot of this is mushy and slick. But when the Possum is teamed with fellow hellions Keith Richards and Shelby Lynne, the mutual weariness makes for late-night cool.

Reminds us of: The time Jones drove a lawn mower to the liquor store. Well, two times.

Download this: I Always Get It Right With You (with Shelby Lynne)

Grade: C

B.B. King

Album: One Kind Favor (Geffen)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Producer T Bone Burnett sends King and his trusty guitar Lucille back to the '50s, making the 82-year-old legend go face-to-face with his long-gone heroes. This is a gutbucket ghost party, as the master picks away at such gritty classics as John Lee Hooker's Blues Before Sunrise.

Why we like it: Burnett, who recently conjured a sonic seance for John Mellencamp, goes for juke-joint authenticity, scratches, screams and all. Session giants include Dr. John on piano and Jim Keltner keeping the beat. And as for Lucille, the ol' girl can still raise a ruckus.

Reminds us of: Life is more fun when you name inanimate objects. My work computer? Sampson. My toothbrush? Sweet Lou.

Download this: Sittin' on Top of the World

Grade: A



Song: Lazy Days

Album: Shwayze (Suretone)

In stores: Now

Why we care: With stoner movies a la Pineapple Express and Knocked Up hot-boxing at the cineplex, it only makes sense that stoner pop would make a comeback. This red-eyed Malibu duo features Hollywood bad boy Cisco Adler and rapper Shwayze, cash-fat goofballs mixing lazy-day hooks and rhymes about beer, buds and babes. It's silly, harmless and a lot of dumb fun.

Why we like it: Bonfire guitars gently crash against soft breakbeats, as Adler (the always-smiling son of music mogul Lou Adler) sings the hook, "We just wanna get our kicks for free," while Shwayze looks for love, etc. in L.A.

Reminds us of: I met these dudes at this year's Vans Warped Tour. They were pure West Hollywood: flighty, cocky and friendly. I like that.

Grade: C+

Sean Daly's CD picks: the Caesars, George Jones, B.B. King, Shwayze 08/23/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 23, 2008 4:30am]
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