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Rewinding July | The Best Oldies

Pop legends, rap icons, rootsy veterans and more bring it all back home again.

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Everything old is new again — eventually. Here are the best compilations and reissues that came out in July, listed in alphabetical order. Just click on the cover pictures to go to the original review page (where you can also probably listen to the album in full):


Dave Alvin
King of California 25th Anniversary Edition

The veteran L.A. singer-songwriter and guitar slinger with the woodsmoke voice presents an expanded reissue of his pivotal 1994 solo release, a critically acclaimed but commercially underappreciated acoustic gem that finds him hitting his artistic stride. Every track is a keeper. Pity the bonus tracks aren’t much of a bonus.


Paul McCartney
Amoeba Gig

It’s Beatlemania in Aisle 7 as the man who wrote the soundtrack to most of your life leaves the stadium to play a free surprise gig at a Hollywood record store in 2007. Featuring Macca at his most relaxed and casual, the personable set mixes Fab Four classics with cuts from his then-current album Memory Almost Full, cool covers and decent between-song banter.


Metz
Automat

The rightfully respected, long-serving noise-punk trio from Toronto present a chronological compilation of singles, demos and other odds ’n’ sods from the past decade. racket. Obviously, some of the earlier works and B-sides might not be their strongest and most sophisticated work. But putting them in order lets you witness the evolution of their full metal racket.


Nas
The Lost Tapes 2

Nasir Jones cleans out his closet again with another collection of leftovers, musical orphans and fare from Hip Hop is Dead, Nasir, Untitled and Life is Good. Captured at his loosest and most creative, he dips his beak into everything from soul and R&B to jazz, welcoming an all-star cast of collaborators that includes Kanye West, Pete Rock, Hit-Boy, Swizz Beatz, RZA, Alchemist, No I.D., Statik Selektah, Pharrell and even Al Jarreau. Well worth finding.


Spoon
Everything Hits At Once: The Best of Spoon

Austin’s beloved, long-running indie-rock cult heroes compile singles and highlights from their last seven studio albums, offering up a dozen pop-rock gems from one of the best bands most folks still haven’t heard. And if that applies to you, this is a good way to rectify that.


Dale Watson
Live Deluxe…Plus

Enjoy a double-shot of Dale Watson as the winking Texas honky-tonker with the Cash-meets-Elvis baritone and regal grey pompadour resurrects two decade-old out-of-print live albums from London and Holland. It’s like having the world’s greatest bar band playing in your local tavern — and taking requests. Crack open a Lone Star and play some Chickenshit Bingo while you listen.