Soundcheck CD Picks of the Week

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Each week, the Soundcheck staff digs through their inboxes for the best, catchiest, or strangest music they can find.

Richard Leo Johnson & Gregg Bendian, "Who Knew Charlie Shoe?" Johnson is perhaps the real heir to the throne left empty when John Fahey died. His acoustic guitar playing is subtly virtuosic, and his music is informed by everything from Stravinsky to folk music to acid rock. Drummer Bendian reveals another side of his colorful, experimental nature. picked by John Schaefer

Who Knew Charlie Shoe? is available for purchase at

Kim Kashkashian and Robert Levin, "Asturiana – Songs From Spain and Argentina" Viola player Kashkashian and pianist Levin perform traditional songs from Spain and Argentina by composers like Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados and Alberto Ginastera. Stripped from the lyrics, the album is sensual, beautiful, reflective. picked by Gisele Regatao

Asturiana – Songs From Spain and Argentina is available for purchase at

RF and Lili De La Mora, “Eleven Continents” Simply a beautiful, gentle folk gem, from the duo of Ryan Francesconi and Lili De La Mora. The arrangements by multi-instrumentalist Francesconi are simple, mostly acoustic guitar with cello and harp (from Joanna Newsom) underscoring the music. De La Mora’s vocals aren’t so much sung as ‘breathed’ out almost as a sigh. picked by Irene Trudel

Eleven Continents is available for purchase at

Thurston Moore, "Trees Outside the Academy" Second solo album from Sonic Youth member. Given Moore's entensive explorations of guitar noise over his 30-year career, this album is a pop shocker: a collection of tight, catchy songs, many performed on an acoustic guitar accompanied by (gasp!) strings. A few guitar grinders, for the purists. picked by Joel Meyer

Trees Outside the Academy is available for purchase at