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Week of May 8, 2000

[the rising tide]
Sunny Day Real Estate / The Rising Tide / Time Bomb

Fans and critics have eagerly awaited the band's first new album since 1998's shimmeringly brilliant How It Feels To Be Something On -- and true to form, the band has not disappointed. The Rising Tide proves to be Sunny Day Real Estate's most focused and realized album to date...more»

[toshack highway]
Toshack Highway / Toshack Highway / Catapult

Much of Toshack Highway probes trance music, exploring both ambient techno ("Just Landed") and traditional Eastern music ("Man in the Middle East"). As intimated by ship on the album's cover, the music has an almost aquatic feel, with gently rolling rhythms and broad, sea-foam colored sounds...more»

[that's your fire]
Aloha / That's Your Fire / Polyvinyl

Normally, I'd have to take a long, hard, slug of guanabana nectar before braving music described as ranging "from prog-rock mantras to free-jazz breakdowns and heartfelt ballads..." But Aloha isn't a normal band, so such urgent measures are thankfully unnecessary...more»

[cursive's domestica]
Cursive / Cursive's Domestica / Saddle Creek

You should know that songwriter Tim Kasher -- never prone to the sunniest of lyrical concepts -- is a fairly recent divorcee. His take on the love/hate relationship dynamic is about 80% hate, tempered with loss, confusion, anger and loneliness, which makes listening to Cursive's Domestica the sonic equivalent of staring at an open wound for half an hour...more»

Gauge / I / Tree

Obviously, most bands never accumulate quite enough fans to gain notoriety and justify extended, high-profile careers. Since a great many of those bands suck, that's a good thing -- but every now and then something special succumbs to indifference and slips through the cracks. In Tree Records' opinion, that's Gauge...more»

[gimme indie rock!]
Various Artists / Gimme Indie Rock / K-Tel

There's plenty of feedback, a host of hummable melodies and no shortage of chiming, jangling guitars. Bands you know (Dinosaur Jr., The Mekons, Yo La Tengo and the Flaming Lips) mix with bands you should know (Death of Samantha, the Vaselines, Scrawl and Half Japanese), and few will fail to delight you. You'll be surprised at how many of these icon-artists are still at work today in some form or other -- testament to their enduring quality...more»

[postcards and audio letters]
Damien Jurado / Postcards and Audio Letters / Chapelle-TNI/Made in Mexico

I can't be certain, having never heard the originals, but Jurado has apparently done little editing of the material. To draw from film vocabulary, these recordings are long takes. The manipulation Jurado has performed is thematic. The disc's eight tracks can be divided into four chapters. Each chapter explores the relationship between a man and woman...more»

[the legende of jeb minor]
The Original Brothers and Sisters of Love / The Legende of Jeb Minor / The Telegraph Co.

Since 1996, when the band began recording this CD, their music has undoubtedly been through many changes. The Legende of Jeb Minor starts off like a modest Chieftains-style record, then splinters and seesaws through Camper Van Chadbourne territory. It, shall we say, becomes a traditional album on acid...more»

[when 20 summers pass]
Shelter / When 20 Summers Pass / Victory

When 20 Summers Pass continues the messages of Krishnacore, with the unusual backing of hardcore punk rock as its primary vehicle of expression. Ray and Porcell have done their time in the music scene, and their latest release clearly shows that this duo can pack a spiritual punch while creating tunes that just as enjoyable to staunch fans and followers as they are to casual hardcore listeners...more»

[gods and heroes]
Matt Tiegler / Gods and Heroes / Waterdog Music

Itís a good thing that I actually bothered listening, because once I pressed play on the CD player, I discovered that my prejudices were wrong. Gods and Heroes isnít hippie music. Tieglerís songwriting has much more to do with Skylarking-era XTC than with the Grateful Dead, thank heaven...more»

[at a glance]
And this week in At A Glance...
The For Carnation, Pop's Not Dead: Songs from Sacramento, Uncle Tom, All Transistor, UnAmerican, Girlfrendo, Speedy J, On the Floor at the Boutique, Pollen, The Alkaline Trio, Edge City Collective, Mixmaster Mike, Unsound Vol. 2: Guitars!, The Euro Boys, The Maggies, Elliott Smith, Hefner, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, SFB, Penelopes

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