Sophisti-bubblegum label Kindercore Records is poised to be the next Sub Pop (the independent label that, with the slow upheaval of modern music, becomes intensely popular among the mainstream). Why? Because the Wallpaper-reading, iMac hipster kids love this music. Kindercore just needs a Nirvana (a band with ample energy and innovation--but not too much innovation) to catapult them into the next echelon of mass acceptance. But who? Likely suspects: Dressy Bessy, Japancakes. I guess that makes Call and Response the Mudhoney. Musically, of course, Call and Response is about as grunge as Air or The Free Design. Employing smooth keyboard pop and bewilderingly long songs, C.A.R. transcends the cloying nature of most '60s tribute bands only because of its vocalists. They lazily and glamorously sing their way through songs worthy of the finest champagne--the perfect lady counterparts to that sexy man from Tahiti 80. Okay, maybe they're a lot cleaner than Mudhoney, but it ain't so bad to be the Velocity Girl, n'est-ce pas? JULIANNE SHEPHERD
All Things Must Pass
Recently reissued, this most significant of Harrison's post-Fab work was all but canonized in my mind. The remastering is a revelation, with Phil Spector's production actually having some bottom to it as opposed to the treble-o-rama previous editions highlighted. The bonus tracks, including the country-ish "I Live For You," only solidify the record in my estimation. Unfortunately, a misguided remake of "My Sweet Lord" (with the obligatory "2000" tacked on) almost ruins the mood established on Disc One. Disc 2 is solid until the all-Starr jam, which didn't hold up when I was a teenager and doesn't today. Is this a masterpiece? Not quite, but it's better than anything McCartney has come up with since Band On The Run. MURRAY CIZON
How Do You Spell... ?
It sure seems like these guys are having a "good time." And that's all fine and great, but it doesn't make for a very listenable record. On some level, I can appreciate lighthearted quirkiness from bands like Ween, King Missile, or The Frogs, but I will never purchase those kinds of CDs. Void of the tongue-in-cheek wit that helps the aforementioned bands succeed, and any sign of identity, this full-length effort by Missoula's Volumen jumps all over the board, from dorky faux new-wave to cheap folk to whatever the hell else. I suppose you can have some "fun" with songs like "Miniature Action Jesus," "Pretty Girls," or "The Volumen Theme," but it would probably be "fun" in the pity- compliment sense, as opposed to the kind of fun that actually produces a good time. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY