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Random Stabbings 20a

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Fast Food Nation Soundtrack (Park the Van Records)
Alt-rock fast food for the ears, ironically enough. A documentary version of the New York Times bestseller probably would have served as a better movie if going by the results of this soundtrack alone; much of the music is Calexican claptrap that would work fine if 90% of the movie was comprised of El Dorados driving through dusty deserts, and that isn’t just Friends of Dean Martinez’ fault but that of (when it really plods) Secretary Bird and the vocoder-fumbling Robbers On High Street. An uninspired Spoon throws some garbled samples at a sleepy groove in “Was It You,” setting their stock back a few points by blowing a golden opportunity for exposure past co-ed hell and making it plain that a little Bloc Party might have helped this whole thing along. Elvis Perkins contributes an anti-Pink Floyd off-key warble in “Moon Woman II” that’s at least partly made up for by the Capitol Years through their quirky big-band outburst “Seven Songs.” Order from Amazon.com


Q*Ball “Fortune Favors the Bald” (Bald Freak Music)
You’ve sort of got to hand it to NYC electro-geek Q(star, as in “let’s make the name a hassle for reviewers”)Ball, as not many one-guy operations have the potential of actually getting somewhere with heavy use of light-speed hardcore breakbeats; that he’s able to build undeniably catchy Duran Duran-like pop over jungle whiplashing is testament to… well, something, perhaps his guesstimated vision of the future’s music market. Label-mate Bumblefoot gets half the credit here, though, taking charge of an array of guitars and bass that add real depth to the record. Comparatively this would be Linkin Park after a Frankie Goes to Hollywood bender, Q*Ball’s voice taken right out of the Tears For Fears era and reeking of nasal spray. Order from Amazon.com


D. Christopher “A Moment of Your Time” (Universal Records)
Uncut soul-bubble bespeaking the hopeless crush you believed had a chance when you were in your tweens. A one-man Boyz II Men, Christopher’s apparently come out of thin air with all these hooks, enough to fill an entire That’s What I Call Makeout R&B compilation or the like regardless of an almost reckless reliance on the monochromatic; lyrically it can be summed up thusly: Babe, sit on the couch and let me rub your feet, and if may, this little piggy went to market, tee hee. We could cite references like Al Jarreau and Otis Redding and they’d probably be true, but he’s through and through a 90s pop-radio guy who at times could use a SWAT team surrounding him and demanding that he put the vocoder down, right now – it’s a fun little effect, but with a grain of studio ingenuity Christopher could have had guys like Pharrell peeking into the rearview. Order from Amazon.com


MxPx "Let It Happen" (Tooth & Nail Records)
With the holidays necessarily came storms of reissues and remasters, and it really rained – the 80s chestnut Stoneage Romeos from Hoodoo Gurus recently darkened our door thinly disguised as a newborn, but since every person on earth has nodded their head to “I Want You Back” whether they know it or not, we’ll instead tramp more obscure ground with Christian-straight-edgers M(x standing for a period because they’re punks, man)P(same thing). SoCal buzzcut-retards to a fault, MxPx are to the Descendants what Dead or Alive was to Culture Club – looks and tastes better, less filling to its own detriment. The four billion songs gathered here constitute a pre-emo bouquet of middle fingers, Mike Herrera’s well-behaved voice finding nirvana on such covers as “Oh Donna” and skate-boy sameness on pretty much everything else, but with the emo zoids slowly realizing that they’re not going to take over the planet with a clone army in which every troop has the same weakness, it’s kind of neat to think of the shadows of their predecessors looming over them, backing them into corners and methodically stomping their guts out. Order from Amazon.com

Outraged ranting, indie label release news and spaghetti sauce recipes are always welcome.  Email ericsaeger@mindspring.com


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