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  Listen Up! 6/30/03 Listen Up!

Monday, June 30

Jackson 5, “The Ultimate Collection,” Motown Records. Some music is beyond criticism for me. The Jackson 5 records always take me back to 7th and 8th grade, when I’d stay in from recess and watch the girls choreograph to these great songs. Slow dances for “Maybe Tomorrow” and “I’ll Be There.” Crazy moves for “ABC” and “Mama’s Pearl.” Intellectually, I can appreciate all the great arrangement touches, the deft use of backing vocals around little Michael’s pre-pubescent belting, the ultra-slick post-Detroit grooves of the Corporation. But, these records don’t thrill me because they’re great, even though they are. They thrill me because they are my personal madeleine, my ticket back to youth, my discovery that life wasn’t limited to what my parents had told me.

Various Artists, “It Came From . . . Uranus,” Pro-Vel Records. This is a St. Louis label compilation with a bunch of St. Louis bands and a bunch of others from the Midwest. For the most part, these are garage revival bands, though not narrowly defined. Better than half of this is unlistenable, but the good stuff is a lot of fun. What’s the good stuff, you ask? The Misses, the Reactions, the UnMutuals, the Trip Daddys, and some others I can’t remember.

--Steve Pick

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