All week I've been sifting through stacks of loose discs lying around in milk crates, on my bookshelf, and in my closer. These are the cd's I quit listening toor never listened to, from times when I thought it would be a good idea to burn twenty discs at once, listen to two of them and throw the rest into a pile for 'later listening.' Which is where they are now. The stacks accumlate, swallow a couple of my favorite discs and store some that I'm luke warm on. They are inevitably lost for a couple months to a year, when I clean my apartment and try to figure out something to do with all these stacks of cd's.
I sifted through a pile or two such as this early in the week and made some re-discoveries that I've enjoyed all over, regretted ever owning and a few that remain there so I am not shamed when people look through my collection. But the point of this lengthy introduction is that during this process I rediscovered The Squirrel Nut Zippers 1997 album 'Hot.' Some, unnamed, people I work with have given me shit for listening to it and other people have placated me with their smiles and nods in my car. (In my own damn car) But fuck it. I didn't accept for a while that I could still like a good swing/jazz album like this and that's how it ended up in the pile on my bookshelf in the first place. I'm not going to music snobbed into a corner.
I like this is album. It is good. For many reasons:
Katherine Whalen's uncanny resemblence to Billie Holiday. Solid solos. They don't get too 'swingy,' you know, in the way you remember Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, even at their best (see their cover of 'Minnie the Moocher'). But it mostly leaves the stale, musty flavor of the late 90's and nu-metal lingering in your mouth like a dirty sanchez. BBVD aged like milk, metal or ska, The SNZ are more like your proverbial wine. Great harmonies, fun, playful songs (remember 'Hell' and then remember that the rest of the album belittles that track, its raw) but you probably don't remember any of this and if you know me, you're probably surprised that I'm defending this. I don't care. It's good. I'm not ashamed that I was listening to it all week. That's all.