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  Listen Up! 1/15/03 Listen Up!

Wednesday, Jan. 15

The Ventures, “Christmas Joy,” Varese Sarabande Records. Recorded last year, the Ventures new album proves they haven’t lost their touch. Imagine figuring out every last thing you’d ever want to do with music some 40 years ago, and then doing it again and again and again for all those years. The formula is simple. Take a steady four-four beat, some twang and reverb on the guitar amps, and chunk-a-chunk any melody you’d care to name. Don’t ask me why Lew put this on three weeks after Christmas, but it was kind of pleasant to come in to work and hear it.

Clarence Clemons Temple of Soul, “Live In Asbury Park,” Valley Entertainment. When I listened to this in my car, I thought there was one really good song on it. Damned if I can find it now. Clemons is a perfect foil to Bruce Springsteen, but as a leader, he gives us bombast without context. This is based on soul, but it doesn’t have much heart.

--Steve Pick



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