Alt-hipster music fans rejoice! Cake is back with another helping of raucous retro rock. Best known for their hits “The Distance” and “Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” as well as their re-imagined cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” the band returns to funky form across the album’s 11 tranceinducing tracks, with keyboard duties shared between all. Check out “Federal Funding” and “Long Time” for just two recorded reasons why groove is still in their hearts. (Upbeat Records | cakemusic.com)
Justin Townes Earle Midnight at the Movies
“I am my father’s son. I’ve never known when to shut up,” Justin Townes Earle sings on “Mama’s Eyes,” one of 12 unforgettable tracks on his latest release Midnight at the Movies. The outspoken son of alt-country icon Steve Earle proves he is very much his own man here, stepping out of his famous father’s shadow with a near-perfect set of rocking, rolling, and riveting singer/songwriter fare. Kudos to producers R.S. Field and Steve Poulton, along with keyboard ringers Skylar Wilson and Cory Younts, for framing Earle in inspired musical light. Earle whispers on the title track, pleads for mercy alongside prancing piano and pedal steel on the country cooker “What I Mean to You,” and struts like a teenager on the rousing, boogiewoogie- fied “Poor Fool.” One of 2009’s true breakout recordings, Midnight at the Movies is worth the price of entry — and then some.