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  Listen Up! 3/13/02 Listen Up!

Wednesday, Mar. 13

Western Electric, "Western Electric," Gadfly Records. Syd Griffin, once of the Long Ryders, returns with a band modeled after the Byrds, all ringing 12-string arpeggios, sweeping pedal steel lines, and lush vocal harmonies. I wish the songs were stronger, but they're certainly pleasant, especially "Memory Captures Time," which I had to double check to make sure wasn't an obscure Gene Clark number. Alright, I guess if I'm comparing any song here to the work of Gene Clark, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Black Moon, "War Zone," Priority Records. Some underground hip-hop from three years ago, well done, uninteresting, can't get involved in it. I mean, I hear the rhythms, but I don't feel 'em.

Various Artists, "Retro Essentials: Sexy Swingin' Lounge," Lakeshore Records. This promo copy has no liner notes, hence no artist information. I can say it's slightly better than the title suggests, being loungy jazz with a spritely swing to it, and even some fairly interesting improvisations. It sounds to me like everything's done by one group of musicians, but it claims to be various artists, so who knows? Anyway, you've got smoky sax, swirling organ, and nifty electric guitar, to give you a sense of what kind of sound you're in for. I'd rather be dropped into a 60s swinger's lounge with this music on than with a lot of what could have been heard there and then.

--Steve Pick



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