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  Listen Up! 4/30/04 Listen Up!

Friday, Apr. 30

AC/DC, ďLive,Ē Epic Records. Youíd think after all the times Iíve seen these guys play Ė I think itís four, but it could be five times in the last 20 years Ė I would have hastened to pick up this live document back in 1992 when it was first released. But, nope, I figured I didnít need it, or maybe I didnít even think that much about it. AC/DC deliver the goods live, but they donít vary much from the original recordings, so maybe I just wasnít in the mood for a single disc featuring most of their greatest songs. Right now, though, Iím happy to be listening to one of the most groovilicious rockíníroll bands in the world. And, let me tell you, the remastering that Epic did when they reissued the catalogue a couple years back is enough to make you scream with pleasure. The drums kick you in the chest, the bass throbs like your heartbeat, the vocals howl like the wind, and the guitars of those brothers Angus and Malcolm Young shine and crackle like no clichťd metaphor could hold them. An AC/DC concert is designed to get your testosterone or estrogen boiling from the git-go, and it works its way up to the next best thing to sexual release. This live album puts you in the front of the stage, with better sound. What a great way to start the day!

Sam Phillips, ďA Boot and a Shoe,Ē Nonesuch Records. I think this could be Phillips best record in years, or I could get tired of this really fast. Itís hard to call on first listen. I like the lightness of the production. T Bone Burnett is once again at the helm, and instead of crowding his wifeís voice with heavy bass like he did on the last record, heís got a lot of acoustic guitar driving the beat behind her, with other instruments adding rhythmic support and melodic color. The focus is on Phillips, who remains a distinctive singer with an intriguing sense of melody. There are individual songs here which are drop-dead beautiful; unfortunately, I wasnít paying attention to the track listing, and I donít know which one is which. Definitely a lot more listening is required. I donít think Iíll find that too difficult.

--Steve Pick


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