In the Mailbag: Richard Swift

It's no secret that I love Harry Nilsson a lot. A lot a lot. And so it is that I hear traces of him in just about everything, from Madman Moon to Kelley Stoltz (if you look beyond the obvious Brian Wilson presence) to, now, Richard Swift. Swift's latest, Dressed Up for the Letdown (out February 20 on Secretly Canadian) brims with wistful mediatations on love and death--notably on how the former helps us all cope with the latter. It's heavy stuff, with Swift's sometimes happy/often sad piano melodies anchoring each song in a robust '70s throwback sound. And that's Nilsson '70s, not Jackson Browne '70s (sorry, Josh Rouse), the kind of stuff that plays in the musical theater quadrant of your mind's eye. Bonus points for asking too-good-for-this-one-SUV-town Frank Lenz to sit in on bass. For a better idea, hit Swift's MySpace page and listen to "Songs of National Freedom." Dude's touring Europe at the moment, but stay tuned for local shows to be announced. Also, check the Nov. 30 Dec. 7 issue of the Weekly for a full review of the CD.

OTHER RECENT ARRIVALS: All Black Cinema (formerly John Wilkes Kissing Booth), It's Like Stars Hitting Ice. Groovy stuff from former JWKB frontman Derrick Brown, once again begging the question: Why is this man starving in Nashville? Review to come in a few weeks Nov. 30.

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR: The awesome boys and gal in Lightmusic, who are finally laying down some of their spectacular tunes in the studio as we type. I may just have to pull a Rob from High Fidelity and start a record label so I can sign these kids before anyone else does. Obligatory full disclosure: drummer Kevin is so rad, we hired him as an intern.

BONUS FUN OF THE MUSICAL VARIETY: Visit lovely LA dudes Division Day's MySpace to watch top notch video for their song "Hurricane." Totally Police, totally rad.


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