003_03.htmlTEXTR*chmBIN ROCKIST: reviews
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Busy Signals Babys First Beats
Mathlete Telstar Parthenon

Im going to institute a registration program for twee kids so that we can monitor their purchases of samplers. I'm of the mind that there should be an application system for samplers just like fishing licenses. Baby talk pink cover cute titles (Im so Slippery Constantly Awesome autopilot wavestation feel alright) whack beatz. Oh boy! (Busysigs@aol.com; Sugar Free Records PO Box 14166 Chicago, IL 60614 www.sugarfreerecords.com mathlete@excite.com www.prairienet.org/mathlete Plastique Recording Co. PO Box 223 Chapel Hill, NC 27514 www.plastiquerecords.com)

Butterfly Joe s/t
While youre waiting for the next James Kochalka or Jonathan Richman record, you may want to check out the new band by the singer and drummer from the Dead Milkmen. I dont know if I can recommend this to everyone, but if you liked the DM or you like funny songs sung by guys with funny voices, try this. (Razler Records 2300 Walnut Street No. 612 Philadelphia, PA 19103 215.563.7527 www.razlerrecords.com

Cadillac Blindside Read the Book Seen the Movie
Props for the beautiful b&w photography. Some interesting introspective lyrics coated in a melodic rock body that will remind you of a less-polished Get Up Kids (that's a compliment).
PO Box 80016 Minneaplis, MN 55408
Soda Jerk Records PO Box 4056 Boulder, CO 80306

Centro-matic All the Falsest Hearts Can Try
Centro-matic's 1997 album Redo the Stacks was one of the biggest surprises of that year. The blend of fuzzy sounds (many courtesy of the four-track) and fun guitar pop was a breath of fresh air. All the Falsest Hearts Can Try is not a radical break, but does succeed in showing a slightly better honed appreciation of catchy melodies. There's plenty of bite, pop, and whisp in there too. Fans of Archers of Loaf, yes Guided by Voices, Elliot Smith's earlier records, and Muler please take note as this may be your next favorite record. (PO Box 2464 Denton, TX 76202 www.centro-matic.com; Quaility Park Records PO Box 2464 Denton, TX 762202 www.qualityparkrecords.com)
Colin Clary Rock N'Roll Haikus
This album, all 37 tracks of it, serves as an interesting documentation of the songwriting process as it was recorded in one night. I do not dare speculate on the caffeine to beer ratio in Mr. Clary's apartment that night. What I do know something about is Mr. Clary's potential as a songwriter. As the lead singer and guitarist for The Magic is Gone and two of my favorite Burlington bands Madelines and Four Color Manual (the last two living on only on record), Clary has the ability to write a great pop song, which he clearly demonstrates with a triumphant frailty on songs like "Six Months is a Long Time," "The New Optimism," and "All YrFriends Have Been Wondering," which chokes me up every time. His slow and tender version "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and cheery version of Teenage Fanclub's "Guiding Star" are also must-hears. Not everyone will appreciate the spontaneity of this record, but it certainly has some really wonderful moments that shouldn't be ignored. (Dangerfive Records/Colin Clary 183 Shelburne Street #2 Burlington, VT 05401 sudshame2@aol.com)

Cursive Domestica
"I need a catalyst
To rekindle the flame
That once burned within these fists
Where defeat remains"

Undoubtedly their finest work so far. Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes served as a great introduction to the band and their blend of Archers of Loaf-ish guitar lines and melodies with incredibly earnest lyrics. That album also gave us the gifts of a number of fine songs ("Ceilings Crack" and "Downhill Racers"). The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song expanded on the dueling guitar lines and featured the call-and-response between main singer Tim Kasher and Steve Pederson, who has since left the band, moved from NE to NC, and formed The White Octave (see the review of their new record below.)

Domestica takes their songwriting to another level and is, quite simply, an emotional powerhouse. It's remarkably cohesive, like Storms, but the music seems tighter and seems to have been crafted with much stronger intent. They seem completely adroit at shrouding Kasher's words in blasts from the amplifier (as in the opener "The Casualty" and "The Lament of Pretty Baby"), playing both the loud and the quiet and creating musical situations as tense as the vignettes they describe.

The words that drip from Kasher's mouth seem to be the attempt at complete a complete exorcism or catharsis of the thoughts and feelings that surround a relationship. The songs upon multiple listens conjure up images of both the highs and the lows, mostly the lows. But the amazing thing about this record is that it somehow is able to instill a sense of hope or at least inspire reflection that can lead to changes in behavior, something I never got from other musicians that put love and relationships under the microscope (for some reason Joy Division and the Smiths come to mind).
Saddle Creek PO Box 8554 Omaha, NE 68108-0554
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