* - Poor.

** - Not so good.

*** - Typical to good.

**** - Stellar!

***** - Classic!




well, it has been a long time, and i suppose that should be followed up with lots of interesting reviews. Sadly, it isnt. I spend most of my time buying CDs that have been out for at least 40 years, and let me tell you this- Buddy Holly's Master Tapes included some of the best stuff I've heard since Bis' last release. It's just that good. I also borrowed/stole a great live/compilation Violent Femmes thing, which appeals to the Dylan-loving side of myself greatly. But you all already have an opinion about them, dont you? I did buy/rip/have ripped for me a few things, some of which I haven't really ever listened to...

The Divine Comedy- A Secret History

This is one of the best records I own. Very nice- "quite beautiful" as my mother would say. It spans the entirely of the band's career from the very start, so you can see how the band has gotten more and more extravagant with their mixes and arrangements. It's a bit like Pulp mixed with Bach and big band stuff from the forties. I suppose the funniest track would have to be the "Marvelous Party" track, which mixes some Edith Wharton-esque late-1800 socialite tea-sipping jargon with some heavy as hell drum-n-bass dance mixes. It's like no other. I was very impressed, not to mention i looked for it EVERYWHERE. I guess if you're a real honest to god indie fan, like myself, you should like it. Of course, if you're not into bach, it would be quite a waste of money.


This was a pretty good soundtrack from a relatively good film. I dont really listen to this alot, the tracks they play on the radio are nice but something about the other Aimee Mann tracks bother the hell out of me. The Supertramp songs are pretty good, kinda have a kitsch thing going for them. I especially liked the additon of "Dreams" by the one-named wonder Gabrielle. Very funny if you have seen the movie, which you should, asshole.

Pearl Jam-Binaural

When I first got this thing I was pretty sure it was going to be the Okcomputer for the 2000. I was really very amazed at it. But something about it makes me like it less and less every time i listen to it. My enthusiasm has kinda dropped out. Of course, its still a really good record. (not everyone can be godly radiohead.) "Soon forget" is a very good song, also "lightyears" has amazing lyrics. Apparently these boys dont like the WTO any more than the rest of us. Thats nice. "Evacuation" has some syncopation, very nice vocals. "Thin Air" is quite romantic. very lovely. Looking back on it, I'd say this is a pretty damn good record, despite what my boyfriend says.

Foo Fighters- I dont really know what this disc is called My bud Josh ripped this one from me, but i haven't really listened to it or anything. The singles are very good, The Foo are an extremely competent band with a nice style and very good lyrics. They were my first real concert, you know, so i guess i have a soft spot for them. They retain alot of respect from me because they seemed to have maintained despite their position as a staple mainstream band, not something that i really get into alot.


Head Music


Buy this like I did, if you have a gift certificate. If you don’t, buy some other album where Suede are themselves and not trying to be Blur. Head Music has some decent, even great tracks. But some of them arent. I suppose that's like all indie, right?

Guest Review - Macy Gray at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC: The thing I love most about debut promotional tours is the bull that people love to say about the new artists. How wonderful and revolutionary the artist and their sound is. Then they turn out to be the worst live act you’ve ever seen or heard. I began pondering this issue in regard to the person I was about to see perform. The burning question on my mind was, Who the Hell is Macy Gray? and how do all of these people know about her when she hasn’t even released a single yet. I am assuming that this chick is good because on this warm night the Bowery ballroom is packed. She has only had one other NYC performance and that was at SOB’s a month prior. If that performance had anywhere near this many people her debut album will do very well. I made my way upstairs to the VIP section and took my throne right next to the engineers booth and waited for the show to begin. What was supposed to be a 9 p.m. start turned into a two hour wait. I see the diva drama already starting before the first album is even released. While waiting for the show to start I noticed the list of songs to be played, along with the encore (How contrived can we get). I’m trying to keep an open mind, as a rush of pissed off anxiety came over me. The crowd was kept pacified with a DJ playing the best house and hip hop mix I’ve heard since Little Louie Vega. I prayed...this was not the highlight of the night. Finally the lights dim and appears the main event of the night Macy Gray with an 11 piece band, including horn section and DJ, backing her up. The Band—unbelievable. Throwing down old school Cameo, Rick James, and Parliament style funk. With Hip hop and reggae ingredientsspread thinly over guitar riffs and soulful wails. Music rarely heard coming from a female. The 29-year old raspy voiced siren. Whose vocal styling is a cross between blues great muddy waters and jazz songstress Abbey Lincoln. Macy should be crowned female impresario of Funk. With her own special fusion of funk, hip-hop, rock and soul. The crowd was pumped up as she’s was making it funky for you on songs like Sex-o-matic, and Why don’t you call me. She brought reggae in on the song Murder, and slowed it down for us on the ballad Still. While harkening us on the next piece to Do Something. The title track from her upcoming debut album On How Life Is. She made her Television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman on July 28th. There are write ups everywhere about her, in Vibe, Vogue and on the Internet. The Ohio native, who resides in L.A. notices the buzz surrounding her debut, as she states in her song Do Something "I’m the latest craze." Maybe the buzz is coming from the fact that she wrote all of the songs on her album, something she might have picked up, while studying screenwriting at USC. The video for her title track seems to be in heavy rotation on The Box Music channel. But Let’s get back to the voice. At first I thought it was an act. the guy standing next to me said "her Buckwheat vocals are starting to annoy me. she might sing like that but she couldn’t possibly talk this way—her friends would kill her." During the show she did have some dialogue with the audience and to his shock she spoke like this. The NYC masses seemed to be enthralled by her commanding them to sing along, raspy voice and all. I thought to myself I haven’t heard a single song from her on the radio but apparently she has a following here in New York. To answer my first question, who the hell is Macy Gray?—The answer—she is the Funky diva of the next millennium.


Hagnesta Hill


For every genre of music there is a secret formula, hidden from many, and acquired by a very few. It is the formula to writing a good song. I think kent stole the last copy and are keeping it for themselves. If I go into hiding I will take this with me.


Midnite Vultures


Beck wasn't kidding when he said the next album would be a party album. No, rather this is a Barry White album with street sense. And where'd Beck get all this street sense? And how does he make a lazy eye seem so damn sexy? Beck has fused every carnal desire, and every cliche into an album that many are frightened to take serious. But since when has Beck's lyrics made any sense? The man is pure genius, he's exapnding minds and expanding genres like not even the Elementree gang can. And what a voice. Mmmmmmmm.....




I bought Muse's CD because it cost 9.99, and that is the only reason why. However, what I found inside was an extremely good CD made by a band with boundless potential. It is true that Muse walk an incredibly fine line- One might say that their lead vocalist's voice, and their fusion of cool, layered melodies are what gives the band their strength. Others might simply call it a sound ripped straight from Radiohead and Jeff Buckley, stadium rock with an attitude that may not be their own. And they'd both be right. Muse is neither Radiohead nor Buckley, but with their interesting and well-crafted (however "large-scale") multi-layered songs, I can see this band growing to greater heights.

Sleepy Hollow


Ask anyone- I adore Tim Burton. In my mind's arsenal of Movie Directors I Will Aspire To Be, Burton ranks at the very top, dwarfing such giants as Anthony Mingella and Alan Parker. Which is why I anticipated Sleepy Hollow feverently. And it is that same reason why I was so very unimpressed. The film looked spectacular, which is not suprising with such a director. Burton has an uncanny and shameless sense of drama that permeates all of his films. "Hollow" is no exception to this rule, but it is certainly not as far in the "Tim Burton Universe" as his past films. Which is also not too suprising- "Hollow" seems to be a collaboration. Producers range from Scott Rudin (Truman Show, The First Wives Club) to Francis Ford Coppola. (Does he need any credits? No.) Screenwriting was handled by Andrew Kevin Walker, writer of "Seven". However, while his conspiracy banter is brilliant while set at the NYPD, it grows stale in eighteenth century New England. As the computer age makes any type of visuals available to the filmmaker, good graphics have come a dime a dozen. There has been a push from critics toward movies with style and substance. Hollow is unbalanced. But it is in no way another "Twister". I still recommend you see it…just see it on mute.


Social Dancing


If they were trying to keep their Disco loving undercover, then they failed miserably this time, because Techno Disco pretty much sums up Bis' newest release "Social Dancing". And while the "aqua thing" is all good, it's also quite a loss. This time around, Bis have set out to manipulate the bleak, dark, inhospitable world commonly known as pop music. If there's anything about Bis that we certainly love, it is their philosophy. They know about those hidden terrors we all have about being trite, and they see through the activists. Bis have the right idea. They know that the only way to survive this society is to distance yourself, look at it from above and then change it. Here's hoping the dreamers can do it.

Meeting People is Easy

A film about Radiohead by Grant Gee

(No numerical review given)

Perhaps it is because I am a huge radiohead fan, or because I am not associated with mainstream media, that I approach this review in a way very different in ones I have seen in other magazines. Meeting was an engrossing film. In artistic merit, it surpasses any music documentary I have even seen. However, information wise, it does not. The artistic quality of the film compromises the message and in the end, you feel like you’ve learned nothing at all. Certainly the music over the conversations evokes quite a mood, but we have the CD for that. With Meeting we are hoping to learn about the band, but choppy images and graphics ruin it. Radiohead have long protested the media’s idea that their lead singer, Thom Yorke is a horribly upset angry fellow, always arguing that their music does not mirror their personalities. I was surprised to see that the movie did nothing to try to convey that. Instead, it further impounded the idea of the tired, outsider band on the verge of implosion. I don’t know, maybe that’s what they wanted. But a 2-hour movie on the horrors of touring certainly isn’t what ticket-paying fans want. In the middle of all the mass media lies and plastic people, Radiohead seem to forget that it’s truly all for the fans. Or perhaps, in the same way the magazines took offense to the anti-media attitude of the film, I take offense to the negative portrayal. In any case, radiohead are themselves, pushing buttons and expanding minds as no one else can. This time they do it beautifully.

Manic Street Preachers

This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours


This album is a slice of pure post-britpop bliss. It includes all the swagger of one : full orchestra, drum machine, and mammas-and-the-poppas harmonies. It’s no wonder all of england adores them, they are pop songwriting geniuses! The songs are smooth and catchy. Does this sound like praise? Well it is. But this is the kind of album that makes you think, “is this really considered rock?” MSP are losing some of their grit. Sometimes that grit makes an album.

The Chemical Brothers



People still say techno shows no emotion. Surrender conveys plenty of emotion. The Chemical bros. have blurred the line between mood music and dance music to an undistinguishable point. Using the voices of Bernard Sumner, Hope Sandoval, and, on their first single, Gallagher brother Noel, the album relates a mood of restless energy. In a word: surrender.




I've had this CD for a week, and it has taken a week for it all to sink in. 13 is a marvelous album. On first try, I found it unfriendly and complex, but after several listen, I found it was, to quote a friend, "worth getting into." This is not the Blur you've come to expect. 13 bares no resemblance to past albums, there are no Song#2's or automatic top 10 hits. Blur are playing with many new ideas, putting church choruses into their first single, playing with punk angst and techno sounds. The songs flow seamlessly into each other, but they are not to be listened to together. Each song must be heard separately in order to capture the full impact of the track. The lyrics are inventive as well. 13 is supposedly all about break ups, but it seems to me to be more about loss. If the music doesn't offer something for everyone, then the lyrics will.

A new CD and a new obsession. I was hoping for an 80's revival with Orgy, well I finally got one in Bis. This mini-record Intendo is an in-the-middle project directed to the die-hard fan. Bis are the perfect column A, Column B band, mixing pop, punk and techno. Covering it all are the lyrics and voice of band members "Manda Rin" and "Sci-Fi", who speak all too truly about society, growing up, and, pay hefty homage to the beasties (who's label, Grand Royal supports the trio from Glasgow.) Yah, you all know them from the powerpuff girls' closing theme song, but don't expect anything so candy-sweet on Intendo. Some of these songs are pure punk.


What is it about Sweden that is producing such wonderful bands nowadays? I can't say enough about this band. They are songwriting geniuses! The first half of their new album (yes! that's right. They've been around for a long time now.) is filled with wonderful, sophisticated pop songs. (The kind you put on loop over and over cos you simply can't enough of them.) If you think their U.S single "If you were here" was good, it pales in comparison to the others, which include "Life saver" (dig the opening guitar riff.) and "OWC". However, as the record goes on, a different type of song emerges, these with a wandering drive. This half ends with the beautiful 747 (So appropriately named, as you will see.) a perfect ending for this wonderful album.

So you hear "Blue Monday" and you're left feeling like "yea! go 80's! Eighties forever!" and you get the hankering to watch 20 hours of VH1's "Behind the Music", right? Well sorry, the rest of the albums does not echo the pop sound of their first single. The rest of the songs are pure rock, remiscent of a more alternative- oriented Korn and glammier Marilyn Manson. I am dissapointed in Orgy, I was hoping for something, well, less Elementree. Orgy especially shine on "Stitches" "Dissention" and "Dizzy".

Velvet Goldmine Soundrack:
** 1/2
Don't you hate it when you get a CD that's been yelled about and yelled about, gaining spots in every single rock weekly in the world, then come to find out, though it has almost 20 tracks, only half are any good? Yeah, I hate that too. However, those that are any good are stellar, but recommended only for fans.

The Cardigans
Gran Turismo- ***
What a different sound from the swedish champions of kitsch-pop! Grand Turismo is the cardigan's first attempt at a more "serious sound". I have been looking forward to this record, and now that I have it, I'm not quite sure what to think of it. Nina's voice is beautiful, and the synth is refreshing. However, the incessant drum machine beat almost overpowers it all, and sometimes ruins otherwise wonderful songs. (Cards, you have a great drummer, please don't him on a loop!!) All in all, this serious venture is a success.

The fall season always brings the best records, and this seasons' best has got to be Mutations. But Odelay fans beware, this is not the Beck you've come to know. This is the Beck I like the best, folky and acoustic, with lyrics that (yes) even the average high school dropout(!) can understand.

The boy with the Arab strap
This is indeed a fine example of sunny summer rock. The stuff is guaranteed to get you out of a bad mood. In fact, at times it's almost too sunny. Tracks such as "dip your feet into the sea" (at least I hope that's it's name...) are almost too complex to really get into. Still, other songs such as "Summer Wasting" are beautiful examples of why you love their music in the first place. Always count on B & S to put out a great record, and they've done it again.