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26 August 2003

The Trembling, Seduce the Government EP
The Birthday Machine, Direction and Destination 7"
The Patty Duke Fanzine #4, Patty's Favorite "Boy Bands"
(Top Quality Rock & Roll)

This CD is a three-for-one deal of forthcoming releases from the tiny Top Quality Rock & Roll label - an EP from Detroit's the Trembling, a "7" single" (in CD format) from Vancouver's the Birthday Machine, and a 6-song various artists sampler from Detroit-area zine The Patty Duke Fanzine. The Trembling provide short, sharp bursts of high-energy pop punk with strident (mainly) female vocals. "Dilapidate", a scathing but hopeful indictment of Detroit, is perhaps the most enjoyable track, but the whole thing is pretty solid stuff for this genre. The Birthday Machine's slow, dreampop songs fall at the softer end of the D.I.Y. spectrum. For three tracks, the female and male singers alternate plaintive vocals, while the band provide shimmery accompaniment that emulates Galaxie 500 with a fair degree of success. Unfortunately, "Closet Superhero", the fourth track, is a hollow-sounding dance remix that does them no favors. Patty's Favorite "Boy Bands" continues a tradition of the Patty Duke Fanzine: getting various indie artists to cover Patty Duke songs (or covers of covers Patty Duke did). It's a cute gimmick, and actually provides some intriguing tracks. The most well-known artist featured this time is Mark Robinson of Unrest, Air Miami, and Teenbeat Records moguldom fame. Robinson's mournful, minimalist cover of "Come Live With Me" lends the paper-thin source material gravitas that makes it unexpectedly compelling. The other tracks go the electronica route, generally interpreting musical arrangements as series of pops, whistles and static, making for amusing, if not particularly recognizable results. All in all, the three releases packed onto this CD don't have much in common besides their record label, but they do show that Top Quality Rock & Roll is up to some interesting things these days.
      — Christine Di Bella

.: posted by Editor 12:27 PM


In bold are PopMatters Picks, the best in new music.
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be your own PET
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The Bottle Rockets
The Brand New Heavies
Johnny Cash
Slaid Cleaves
Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Cut Chemist
Miles Davis
Dinosaur Jr.
Dr. Octagon
Alejandro Escovedo
Fatboy Slim
Four Tet
The Handsome Family
Matthew Herbert
Ise Lyfe
Jefferson Airplane
Lord Jamar
Mission of Burma
Mr. Lif
Mojave 3
Allison Moorer
Paul Oakenfold
Grant-Lee Phillips
The Procussions
Corinne Bailey Rae
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Julie Roberts
Diana Ross
7L & Esoteric
Alice Smith
Snow Patrol
Sonic Youth
Soul Asylum
Sound Team
Regina Spektor
Sufjan Stevens
Matthew Sweet
Rhonda Vincent
Thom Yorke

Baby Dayliner
The BellRays
Cat Power
The Clientele + Great Lakes
The Coup + T-Kash
Mike Doughty Band
Download Festival 2006
Fiery Furnaces + Man Man
The Futureheads
The Handsome Family
High Sierra Music Festival
Billy Idol
Bettye Lavette
Love Parade
Nine Inch Nails + Bauhaus
Sonic Youth
Splendour in the Grass 2006
The Streets
Sunset Rubdown

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