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  Listen Up! 11/12/03 Listen Up!

Wednesday, Nov. 12

Galactic, “Ruckus,” Sanctuary Records. Galactic unfairly get lumped in with the hippie jam band aesthetic, but these guys are way too good for that. Unlike almost any jam band you can name, Galactic believes that front and center, the purpose of music is to groove, to get the feet to move, the body to flow, the mind to react to all that feeling. So, some blues here, some funk there, some jazz chops, some chill-out sounds, a general good time. I don’t even mind the songs on this one where the guy sings, though he’s entirely uninteresting as a vocalist. The cover of General Public’s “Tenderness,” done as a soulful New Orleans funk ballad, is surprisingly great. I do find it interesting that this band, organic as it is, serves the same function for me as the best electronic dance music. It’s not important to listen to every note and think about what’s going on. This is background music that feels good when you foreground it.

--Steve Pick

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