Reviews

23 Jun 2005 // 10:00 PM

	Hot Snakes: Audit in Progress

The third release from Swami's flagship band finds them trading in a bit of their venom for a sweeter bite, but make no mistake: these snakes are still as deadly as ever.

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23 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

This MC is too good, too talented and too clever to become a token rapper for well-off liberal arts majors.

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23 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Archer Maclean’s Mercury

What's truly frustrating about Mercury isn't that it lacks opportunities for freeform play, but that it builds up such a need for it.

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23 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Black Virgin Mountain by Larry Heinemann

Heinemann launches into a second-person narrative guiding the reader through a tense meditation as a soldier exploring the dark and dangerous unknown. The book breathes again (a stale, humid, underground breath) and it's as if we had never left the genuinely captivating part of his colorful brain.

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23 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

The Wool Cap (2004)

Though Gigot harbors no real affinity for the tenants, he can't tell them when he's annoyed or out of sorts due to his being mute.

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	The Matthew Skoller Band: These Kind of Blues!

Chicago harmonica maestro blows and blows, but in a very good, old-time blues kind of way.

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	Solvent: Elevators + Oscillators

Jason's addendum: odds and sods, or remixes and revisits?"

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	Ruins: Vrresto [remastered]

Japanese power duo's 1998 release remains as fresh, vital, and challenging as it did seven years ago.

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22 Jun 2005 // 10:00 PM

	Nathan Larson: FilmMusik

Former Shudder to Think frontman's burgeoning career in film scoring is assessed in this collection, featuring his contributions to Boys Don't Cry, Prozac Nation, and Dirty Pretty Things.

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	Bob James: Live at Montreux [DVD]

DVD release of a 1985 concert by the pianist and his crack band of proto-smooth jazz fusioneers.

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	The Dead 60s: The Dead 60s

Playing the degeneration game. The Dead 60s take us back to the days of a leaden age.

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	C-Rayz Walz: Year of the Beast

C-Rayz Walz can write a rhyme, that much is obvious -- now, he just needs to learn the art of building momentum.

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	Chet Baker: Career: 1952-1988

Chet Baker was a second or even third-tier trumpeter but an often first-class singer. This retrospective offers a view of his entire career, the complex ups and downs of which belie the simplicity of his art.

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I'll happily take Yorkston any place where 'Oi! Oi! Oi!' isn't seeping through the ceiling.

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22 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

The Comeback

Valerie Cherish is a far cry from Phoebe Buffay. Egocentric and manipulative, she's less outright hateful than passive-aggressive.

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The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium by Bernd Brunner

Finding a way to keep the creatures alive made it possible for more folks, the average bourgeois, to keep a little of the sea in the front room.

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Cursed: Unrated Version (2004)

'I guess there's no such thing as safe sex with a werewolf,' whines one victim.

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	Various Artists: Jazz Moods: Sounds of Spring

A happy hour of music, culled not merely from Concord's own archives but also those libraries which have appeared on Original Jazz Classics. No rubbish here! But also, no details on personnel or the albums some of these classics came from. Even Oscar Peterson doesn't get a name-check!"

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21 Jun 2005 // 10:00 PM

	Without Gravity: Tenderfoot

Folky Icelandic quartet operates in that malleable middle ground where 'sentimentality' is both a good and bad word.

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21 Jun 2005 // 10:00 PM

	Violent Femmes: Freak Magnet / Viva Wisconsin

I think most people would be surprised to hear that the Violent Femmes are still together and making music. Perhaps no other band has been so well known for their debut album, and only their debut album, than the Violent Femmes, whose eponymous 1982 album made them the darlings of disenchanted college and high school kids everywhere.

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