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Five Albums You Should Be Listening to Right Now: Road Trip Edition
This week's curator: KCRW DJ Raul Campos
by Raul Campos
Five albums perfect for soundtracking your next road trip.
Every so often, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: KCRW DJ Raul Campos.
I had to make the trek from Los Angeles, California to Tucson, Arizona on Friday. So the idea of picking the perfect soundtrack for my drive on Interstate 10 began to occupy quite a bit of my time. Looking back at the drive, these five albums were my perfect companions.
1. The Alabama Shakes, The Alabama Shakes EP (2011)
Previously known as The Shakes, the band has added their home state of Alabama to their name. Right now, I only have an EP and I'm eagerly awaiting the forthcoming album. These days, it's a rarity when an album has more than one standout tune: on this four-track EP, all of them are amazing. It's soulful and funky with beautiful, aspirational lyrics. I already know the opening track, “Hold On,” will definitely make my best-of list in 2012.
Listen: "Hold On"
2. Various Artists, Sticky Soul Fingers: A Rolling Stones Tribute (2012)
A very wise radio guru once gave me this advice: when in doubt, play The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. I'm usually not a fan of covers, but I cannot get enough of this tribute to the Stones’ classic Sticky Fingers. Soul divas Sharon Jones and Alice Russell, among others, take every song in a completely different fantastic direction. I was a bit worried about how “Wild Horses” would sound, but I give credit where credit is due to Miss Jones for a killer rendition of one of my favorite Stones tune!
Listen: "Wild Horses"
3. Novalima, Karimba (2012)
Novalima’s Afro-Peruvian vibe makes you want to just get up and dance. I've had this release for about six months, but I was asked not to play it until the green light came from ESL. I would listen to it in the car quite a bit after returning from the Latin Alternative Music Conference last year, where the band gave it to me moments before taking the stage at NYC's Central Park Summer Stage.These days I can't take it out of my CD player. If you ever get the chance to see Novalima live, you'll see how representative this CD is of their live show.
4. The Black Keys, El Camino (2011)
What better way to begin my drive than with El Camino, which literally means "The Road" or "the Way?" This Danger Mouse-produced full length is just that: driving rock music at it's finest. “Sister,” in particular, has me reach for the “repeat” button pretty consistently. There are so many great gems on this one I'm sure you'll find your own “Sister:” the one that you'll want to hear over and over again.
5. Wilco, The Whole Love (2011)
Being a DJ means you're always looking for extended mixes of songs, and so it was a beautiful sight when I first noticed the lengths on some of the new tracks for this self-released album. The Whole Love starts off with the seven-minute rave “Art of Almost” and takes you on a journey that ends with the beautiful twelve-minute tune called “One Sunday Morning.” The latter is one of those songs that you wish would just keep going and going. The record is perfect for a nice long drive through the desert.
Listen: "One Sunday Morning"