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  Listen Up! 9/25/03 Listen Up!

Thursday, Sept. 25

The Mavericks, ďThe Mavericks,Ē Sanctuary Records. There are so damn many great records out lately, Iím drowning in a sea of quality. How am I expected to pay attention to them all? Hereís another, the reunion of this fantastic rockiní country band (as opposed to a country rock band, if you get the drift.) I loved the Raul Malo solo record last year, but Iím perfectly happy to have him back doing the kind of stuff that made him famous. Well, sort of famous. Famous enough for me to know who he is, anyway. Malo has this honey-smooth croon, that soars on long notes, and which hugs the melodies on the fast songs. From a marketing stand-point, I think itís awfully foolish to avoid naming this album Ė the band has been gone for a couple years, and the generic title, combined with a dull gray and white cover, isnít going to get the publicís attention. The music will, if it gets a chance to be heard. Youíll hear it on my radio show (Wednesday mornings, KDHX 88.1 in St. Louis, www.kdhx.org on the internet, 7 Ė 9 am St. Louis time), but you wonít find it on commercial stations. These songs are tailor made to be hits.

Elvis Costello, ďNorth,Ē Deutsche Grammophon. Well, I couldnít hear it well enough in this loud office to really grasp it, but Costelloís jazzy, snazzy ode to love lost and found is at least good enough to survive incredibly loud office conditions. Iíll have to play this at home and in the car to really get to know it. Itís quiet, ballads, with string arrangements and horn solos all over it.

--Steve Pick

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