Spike Priggen 

Stars After Stars After Stars

New York-based Spike Priggen of Liquor Giants, Pussywillows, and Dumptruck enthralled fans with his 2001 solo debut's synthesis of Big Star's chime, the dBs' quirkiness, and Dwight Twilley's pure pop power. This follow-up of lovingly selected covers (in the tradition of Bowie's Pin-Ups and the Band's Moondog Matinee) melds the hearts and minds of the originals with his overarching melancholy, mating a collector's ear for material with a producer's imagination for re-creation. Highlights include Priggen's versions of the Pontiac Brothers' yearning "Be Married Song" and the Zombies' delicate morning-after B-side "How We Were Before." The Ramones, Tracey Thorn, and Scritti Politti's songs all find a common wistfulness in Priggen's soul- and country-inflected arrangements. Closing the disc is a mesmerizing found-sound "J&H Productions" tape, in which a would-be Cincinnati concert promoter attempts to "get with" the "label industry." Whether the "label industry" "gets with" Spike Priggen, lovers of Lennon, Chilton, Stamey, and Sweet certainly should.

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