Some Notes About E-mails | General Info | Advertising Info | Order Form | Review Policies

October 1999 Reviews by

RATING SYSTEM | All Systems Go! | The Asteroid NumberFour | Blinker the Star | Caustic Resin | Collectors Who Take Collecting Too Seriously | Mimi & Richard Farina | The Folk Implosion | Darin Gray & Loren MazzaCane Connors | Guster | The High Llamas | Bill Laswell | The Panoply Academy Glee Club | Joel Plaskett | John Popper | United States Three | WestBam | Yes

*Additional Items Received*


ALL SYSTEMS GO! - All Systems Go! (CD, Coldfront, Power pop)
Excellent totally upbeat unaffected dance-crazy power pop. The guitars are loud, the vocals way up front, the melodies catchy as sin, and the overall mood is one of bright buzzsaw delight. None of that bad attitude crap noisy deep, dark ideas hidden behind anything... Such a NICE REFRESHING CHANGE...! This harkens back to some of the early to mid-eighties pop that I loved so much when I was an old, old woman. Now that I'm a much younger baby boy, this sounds even better. With so many bands trying so hard, it's ALWAYS the ones that just let it come naturally that stand out from the crowd. This isn't fluff though...these guys have digestible balls. REAL true live FUN! (Rating: 5)

THE ASTEROID NUMBERFOUR - Apple Street (CD EP, AudioInformationPhenomena, Pop/rock)
Regular readers of this goddamn web site are probably thinking "Ah ha...that asshole babysue guy is just reviewing this band because Kurt Heasley (of Lilys) produced their new CD." Well dear readers, as are WRONG. And, as usual, I am right again...because I have always been and will always be right (at least that is the case here in my cozy little cabin on the hill). Actually (and coming back down to earth momentarily), I listened to and loved this disc before I even noticed the Lilys connection (honest). Anyway...back to The Asteroid NumberFour... This band plays peculiar and delightful guitar pop/rock that harkens back to pop bands of the sixties...but they also have pop sensibilities that push them well into the nineties. Like Lilys, the band's tunes span a wide spectrum of styles. Instead of churning out one measley (heasley?) sound over and over, these fellows jump left and right...taking the listener on a cool adventurous musical roller coaster ride. And the vocals...are goddamn KILLER. The only bummer? This EP only has FIVE tunes. DAMN! Want more, more, MORE... (Rating: 5)

BLINKER THE STAR - August Everywhere (CD, Dreamworks, Pop)
Whoever is doing the choosing at Dreamworks is certainly choosing well these days. After co-releasing the latest from babysue favorites Self, the label has now picked up another band we really love...Blinker the Star. Lush pop music filled with cool hooks and neat production tricks. This is not gimmicky at all...but there is a lot going on production-wise. The music harkens back to one of our favorite acts of the seventies...10CC. Loads of soaring harmonies. Really dense arrangements. Slick production. And yet...with all these variables that ruin so many other bands...the fellows in Blinker simply make it all grab together and sound...well...just rather goddamn incredible. Excellent music for any season. True soaring melodies with a difference. A real KEEPER. (Rating: 5)

CAUSTIC RESIN - Trick Question (CD, Alias, Rock)
Extremely dense and thick guitar rock with little glimmers of pop seething in and out of the seams. It's a wall-of-guitar excursion to be certain...but the vocals and melodies are also integral to the overall sound of this band. The opening track "Unlucky" is like being hit over the head with a mallet for seven and a half minutes. The unrelenting beat becomes hypnotic...while the guitars just keep shifting and rearranging... The band is basically unpredictable from tune to tune. Instead of one sound, they have many. This isn't easy music...but then again, what is easy? A nice mixture of the familiar and the peculiar...with brushes of incredibility nestled under the bridges of uncertainty... (Rating: 4)

COLLECTORS WHO TAKE COLLECTING TOO SERIOUSLY (Retarded kind of retarded kind of things that are retarded)
Finding, collecting, and even selling things can be very rewarding and a great deal of fun as well. It's unfortunate that there are some people in the world who are so obsessed with the idea that they become absolutely MISERABLE CREEPS. A perfect example is one unhappy old bastard in Atlanta who I see at every yard sale. The "man" (I use the term loosely) is so obsessed with finding goddamn records that he will actually push you out of the way to get to a stack of them. He will even try to grab records right out of your hands. What an ASSHOLE. Is stuff really THAT important? Some people have their priorities all out of whack. This old record collecting fart used to get on my nerves...until I observed him closely and realized what an extremely unhappy and pathetic loser he is. He has no life...nothing whatsoever to live for...except his main goal of pushing people around at yard sales to try and get to a lousy pile of fucking records. Sad, sad, sad... Actually, anyone who takes anything too seriously is someone that I do not want to know. Life is an easy trickling streaming dream...and it doesn't require that much effort to simply have a good time and to enjoy living...without being a SHITHEAD to others... (Rating: 2)

MIMI & RICHARD FARINA - Pack Up Your Sorrows: Best of the Vanguard Years (CD reissue, Vanguard, Folk)
Upon putting this in my player I started thinking...hey...this sounds just like folk music from the sixties! The reason why (and I only realized this when I read the press release) is that this music WAS recorded in the sixties. The duo of Mimi and Richard Farina recorded three albums for the Vanguard label in the mid-sixties...and this disc features a sampling of the best tunes from those releases. This is a style of light folk music that has gone by the wayside...partly because it sounds dated...and partly because people have now become obsessed with nonsensical issues (the environment, wife abuse, drugs, etc.). Things used to be simpler...and this is a nice reminder of that fact. Happy, provocative, and sincere...these tunes won't reach much of an audience these days...which is too bad...because it's just another indiication of how pathetic and stupid people have become in the nineties... (Rating: 4)

THE FOLK IMPLOSION - One Part Lullaby (CD, Interscope, Pop)
Nice laid back pop music that is slick, but just as equally memorable and pleasant. More than any other artist, this music brings to mind some of Donovan's mid-period recorded work (particularly the vocals). The Folk Implosion is the duo of Lou Barlow and John Davis. The two have come a very long way in a very short time...which is particularly amazing when you consider the fact that they're not selling out to sell music. In fact, they are a long way from it.. The tunes are slightly peculiar and particularly instinctive...and the melodies are far superior to your average nineties pop band. Interscope did well to scoop these guys up into their roster. The disc features thirteen spectacular tunes including "My Ritual," "One Part Lullaby" (YOW!!!), "Mechanical Man," and "No Need To Worry." This is about as good as pop gets...! (Rating: 5)

DARIN GRAY & LOREN MAZZACANE CONNORS - The Lost Mariner (CD, Family Vineyard, Instrumental)
Really nice, soft, slow, semi-ambient instrumental music created by bassist Darin Gray and guitarist Loren MazzaCane Connors. Family Vineyard is a new label begun by previously Secretly Canadian Eric Weddle. The label is off to a strong start. This disc is somewhat mesmerizing in its subtlety...yet it also has a strange hypnotic effect. Sparse to the max, these compositions are somewhat accidental in nature...almost like hearing very slow atmospheric jazz... This is the kinda stuff that's perfect for laying in front of the fire and thawing out into a sloppy, lazy haze (which is exactly what I'll be doing this winter). This disc is an excellent excursion into the slightly trippy world of two musicians who need nothing more than their own two instruments to present their authentic and slightly obscured tunes. Truly neato. (Rating: 5)

GUSTER - Lost and gone forever (CD, Sire, Pop)
Guster managed to pack a whole slew of fans under their belts with their last release which was a nice combination of creative pop and commercial sensibility. This disc picks up where the last left off. The band now sounds even slicker (?) than before...and percussionist Brian Rosenworcel (try to say THAT ten times fast) is still the focal point of the group because the guy is just so goddamn good. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, this is a very clean disc full of potential hits. It'd be nice if these fellows would take just a few more chances with their music...but that's a minor complaint . (Rating: 4)

THE HIGH LLAMAS - Snowbug (CD, V2, Pop)
One of the very best bands of the nineties is back with yet another SPECTACULAR release. Very few artists have a sound as stylized and well defined as The High Llamas. The band has single-handedly created a bubbly atmospheric brand of pop that sounds like no one else. This, the band's fifth full-length release, is full of the moody and lush pop tunes that the band's fans have come to expect. Everything is top notch on this album. The tunes are catchy and hummable...the vocals perfect (to put it mildly)...the arrangements well thought out and not overdone... The High Llamas' music appeals to a wide array of music fans...all the while catering to none. As usual, there is not a clunker in the bunch. This is a CD to be played over and over and over and over...and I can almost guarantee you that it'll STILL sound good fifty years from now. Another bull's eye...KILLER! (Rating: 6)

BILL LASWELL - Imaginary Cuba (CD, Wicklow/BMG, Cuban/world music)
Bill Laswell NEVER disappoints the listener. I have yet to hear a single release by this man that wasn't short of astounding and extremely entertaining. For this disc, Mr. Laswell invited various Cuban musicians to join him in creating some very ambient and authentic sounding tribal music...with just the slightest hints of digital electronics lurking in the background. The overall sound is very organic and natural...but the recording quality is state-of-the-art. The result? In listening to this, you actually feel as if the musicians and singers are right there in your living room with you. This isn't for everyone...nor does it try to be. A far cry from the increasingly unbearable crap one hears on the radio...this is the REAL thing. Fabulous, yes indeed... (Rating: 5)

THE PANOPLY ACADEMY GLEE CLUB - What We Defend (CD EP, Secretly Canadian, Art rock)
Whew. Spastic and very peculiar art rock that harkens back to the days of early Wire, early Gang of Four, and even early Joy Division. You don't hear this kind of music much these days. There aren't any clever potential "hits"...but the music isn't just noisy dribble (which is what most art rockers spew at the listener). The Panoply Academy Glee Club has accomplished the near impossible in that they don't really sound like any other rock band. They have their own sound...which ranges from spastic surges of noise to soft eerie pure loud aggression. It's difficult listening...but definitely worth it in the end. Very DIFFERENT. (Rating: 4)

JOEL PLASKETT - In Need of Medical Attention (CD, No Alternative, Pop/rock)
Nice unpretentious home recorded pop by Thrush Hermit band member Joel Plaskett. The idea here is to present ideas, thoughts, and emotions...rather than to come up with hits or to sell discs. Accordingly, this collection of tunes comes off sounding fresh and sincere. "I'd Rather Be Deadly Than Dead" is a particular standout track in terms of both songwriting and lyrics. This is a truly nice collection of tunes. Real humanity and a genuine regard for quality. Neat. (Rating: 4)

JOHN POPPER - Zygote (CD, Interscope, Jazz/rock)
You probably don't know the name John Popper...but then, you probably don't know your own name either. You probably don't know what's going on anywhere, but then neither does anyone else. You probably don't know what you don't know, but then...there was never really anything to be known in the first place. John Popper is cool. He's fat...but he's also very successful...which just goes to show some cases...talent is more important than physical appearance. The guy's voice sounds like Frank Zappa, and the music is an odd mish-mash of styles...although the overall vibe is certainly funky jazz rock. Mr. Popper has played with some amazingly big name people, yet this is his first solo release. It's a very mature, very cohesive batch of tunes. Look for even bigger things from this big, big guy in the future (he's also an actor). Great stuff...excellent recording quality...SLICK. (Rating: 4)

UNITED STATES THREE - Watergate (CD, Flat Earth Recordings, Pop)
It's funny what a pretty word "watergate" is...particularly now that we don't tend to associate it so much with the stupid goddamn government scandal. But words don't really matter in the end. What we have here is another rather superb collection of tunes by the always entertaining and evocative United States Three. The band's sound is slowly evolving and expanding...although in the end, it's still basically pop music. The Beatles influences still abound...but there are a host of other influences creeping in and out of the tunes as well. This is one of those bands that simply does everything RIGHT. The melodies are right on target...the vocals bordering on incredible...and the arrangements are never overdone. Standout tracks include "Lemonade," "Morning Breaks," "Space," and "We Love You Bye Bye." A great pop band. (Rating: 5)

WESTBAM - We'll Never Stop Living This Way (CD, Mute, Electronic)
Those peoples whats thinks there ain't no such things as goods electronics musics...why, theys is justs plainz STOOPIT. WestBam is a man with a simple vision. Come up with some startling yet simple beats, and then create simple electronics textures around them. The basic idea is similar to Kraftwerk...but the technology is definitely further advanced. Far too many folks creating electronic music do far too much with it...often burying whatever creativity they initally had. These tunes are simple, direct, and frank. The tune "Sonic Empire" is already a huge hit overseas. Will the band's sense of restraint translate to the United States? Probably not. It's too peculiar for American commercial radio. This will most certainly catch on really big in underground circles though. It's that good. This'll make you stop thinking and just enjoy the moment. REALLY cool...! (Rating: 5)

YES - The Ladder (CD, Beyond, Progressive rock/pop)
Even in their heyday, I was never really into the music of Yes. Actually, the music sounded good...but I could never embrace Jon Anderson's vocals. Apparently I was in the minority (as always), because the band achieved a much greater level of success than I would have ever thought possible. Of course, since those days when the band was in the limelight progressive rock has pretty much died in the caves...along with an entire slew of credible bands like Camel, Greenslade, Genesis (before they became a pile of shit), Gentle Giant, and...well...too many to mention here. But back to the new Yes disc. actually sounds pretty damn GOOD (!). Sylistically, the music is still the same...lots of complicated classically influenced passages...lots of time changes...and, of course, those ever present vocals. To my ears, this sounds as good as anything I've heard by the band. Accordingly, I would highly recommend this to Yes fans. The vocals will probably always cause me to distance myself from Yes...but I still can't discount the fact that they produce high quality and credible stuff... (Rating: 4)


Aerilist (Ind. CD)
Alex Gopher
- You My Baby & I (CD, V2)
Amen (CD, Roadrunner)
Michael Angel
- Same old song (CD, Deep Blue)
Anti-Heros - Underneath the underground (CD, GMM)
The Authority - On Glory's Side (CD, Outsider)
Basic Blue - Cover up (Ind. CD)
Battered Fish - Modern (CD, VelvetBlueMusic)
Before You Were Punk - 2 (CD, Vagrant)
Billionaire - Ascension (CD, London/Slash)
Blacklight Braille - Sailing away (Ind. CD)
Blacklight Braille - Dretles Tavern (Ind. CD)
Breakbeat Era - Ulta-Obscene (CD, A&M)
Bridges With Spirit
by Adam Voith (Book, Chapelle)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- The album (CD, TVT)
Meg Lee Chin - Piece and love (CD, Invisible)
David (CD)
Days of the New (CD, Outpost)
Divit - Low speed chase (CD, Coldfront)
Dum Dum Bullets (CD)
(Magazine, September 1999)
Brian Evans - Live at the Desert Inn Las Vegas(CD, RFC)
Eve - Let there be... (CD, Interscope)
Famous Monsters - Around the world in 80 bikinies (CD, Estrus!)
Filibuster - Deadly hi-fi(CD, Skunk)
Richmond Fontaine - Lost son (CD, Cavity Search)
The Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About (CD, Vagrant)
Will Haven - WHVN (CD, Revelation)
Hefner - The Fidelity Wars(CD, Beggars Banquet)
The Hippos - Heads are gonna roll (CD, Interscope)
Hit List (Magazine, Sept./Oct. 1999)
Hot Sauce Johnson - Truck stop jug hop (CD, Outpost)
Nina Hynes - Creation (CD, Reverb)
The Icarus Line - Red and black attack (CD, New American Dream)
Ilium - Paint by number (CD, Hefty)
Invaders From A Forbidden Planet - Queen City (CD, AAJ)
Jackpot - Boneville (CD, Future Farmer Recordings)
Jetenderpaul - The woolen spires(CD, VelvetBlueMusic)
Keyboard (Magazine, September 1999)
Patty Larkin - A go go - live on tour (CD, Vanguard)
Leftover Salmon - The Nashville sessions (CD, Hollywood)
Looking (Magazine, Summer 1999)
Los Straitjackets - The velvet touch of... (CD, Yep Roc)
Meat Loaf - Storytellers (CD, Beyond)
Memory Dean - Still hungry souls (Ind. CD)
Micromars - International Pop Modulations (CD, AudioInformationPhenomena)
Music To Listen To Music By - A Coldfront Records Sampler (CD, Coldfront)
Oneida - Annihilation to traitors (CD, Turnbuckle)
One Way System - Waiting for Zero (CD, GMM)
Outrider - All in a hard day's work (CD, JFG)
Paranoise - Private power (CD, Ancient)
Pedal faster bicycle rider (CD, Holiday Matinee)
Phaedo - Landscapes (CD, VelvetBlueMusic)
Picks and Lighters (Ind. CD)
Plankeye - Relocation (CD, BEC)
Povi - Life in volcanoes (CD, Nettwerk)
Rammstein - Live Aus Berlin (CD, Motor/Mercury)
Randy - You can't Keep a good band down (CD, Welcoming Committee)
Salako - Musicality (CD, Jeepster)
Samael - Eternal (CD, Century media)
Saturday Night Live - The Musical Performances Volume 1 (CD, Dreamworks)
Saturday Night Live - The Musical Performances Volume 2 (CD, Dreamworks)
Sense Field - Part of the deal (CD, grapeOS)
Seven Foot Spleen - Entertherapy (CD, Tee Pee/MIA)
Skygod - Episode 1 (CD, Skygod)
Snow Patrol - Songs for polarbears (CD, Jeepster)
Solar Twins (CD, Maverick)
Soulwax - Much against everyone's advice (CD, Almo Sounds)
Start Your Engines (CD, Side One Dummy)
Strict (CD, Family Vineyard)
22 Jacks - Going North (CD, Side One Dummy)
Three Finger Cowboy - Hooray for love (CD, Daemon)
Tommyrot - Just Tommyrot (CD, Answer C)
Turn Century Turn - Space rock and psychedelia from around the globe (CD, Mother West)
T.V. Killers - Have a blitz on you (CD, Vin de estrus)
Ugly American (Magazine, #13)
Ultra Swank - Cacophone Records Sound Action Sampler 1999 (CD, Cacophone)
Under the Gun - Nowhere To Run (CD, Mendit)
Unruh - Setting fire to sinking ships (CD, Pessimiser)
Various artists - The center of the universe (CD, O & O)
Denison Witmer - River bends (CD, VelvetBlueMusic)
Wretch Like Me - New Ways to Fall (CD, O & O)
The X-Impossibles "Nowhere to Nowhere" b/w "My Life" (7" vinyl 45, Vinyl Retentive)
Camille Yarbrough - Yo' Praise (CD, Vanguard)

Home | Table of Contents | Order Form

©1999 LMNOP