The latest installment of my Rock Roundup column is dominated by legends and icons. Who can argue when Neil Young drops A Treasure, a rootsy live set from the mid-1980s that's heavy on Nashville flavor? And who can resist when Macca releases expanded editions of McCartney and McCartney II? The latter is a stone-cold masterpiece: homemade synth-pop that morphs from quirky to bizarre. There's this one bonus track called "Check My Machine" that sounds like proto-hypnagogic pop! (James Ferraro, you listening?) Also, don't sleep on The Hollies box set that gets an "honorable mentions" shout-out: those dudes were pop badasses. I never tire of "King Midas in Reverse," which Steven Soderbergh used to splendid effect in The Limey.
As for new jams, all across Napster, I've been singing the praises of the Tedeschi Trucks Band's Revelator album. It's fab for sure. But you also have to check out the North Mississippi Allstars' Keys to the Kingdom. Yes, it came out in February, but I missed it back then -- I'm basically an NBA referee making up for a non-call earlier in the game. Seriously, spend some time with the thing. It's my rock album of the year so far. Last but not least, Eddie Vedder far exceeded expectations with Ukulele Songs, a low-key joy perfect for rainy Saturday afternoons.