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  Listen Up! 5/16/02 Listen Up!

Thursday, May 16

Various Artists, "Darker Than Blue: Soul from Jamdown 1973-1980," Blood and Fire Records. This is an amazing compilation of Jamaican covers of American soul hits. Most of this stuff is extremely obscure to anybody who hasn't been collecting these records for a couple decades. About half the singers are familiar to me - Ken Boothe, Freddie McGregor, Junior Murvin, Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson - but it doesn't matter if I've heard of them or not, all these guys can sing beautifully. Most of these songs slide neatly into reggae rhythms, too. Highly recommended.

Motion Picture Soundtrack, "CQ," Emperor Norton Records. It's the soundtrack to a new flick by Roman Coppola, offspring of Francis Ford. I know nothing about the movie, but if the music is any sign, it's gonna be dangerously hip, with lots of retro-60s mod/avant garde references. We're talking garage punk, surf, lounge, exotica, all the acoutrements of modern-day ironic tunnel vision of the past. We're not talking anything worth taking seriously, any actual interest in either creating music that relates to life as it is lived or in creating music that builds on any actual zeitgeist of 37 years ago.

--Steve Pick



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