Pound for Pound
(Drag City)

If you'd like to lead the white trash out of your neighborhood, I have a suggestion: hijack the local ice cream cart, throw Royal Trux in the tape player and lead the masses towards Gresham (their true home). Besides that, I can find little to no use for this disc--unless you are trying to clear out a party. The music has good elements, in theory--male/female vocals, xylophones, and wacky Sesame Street-esque digressions--but it still all ends up sounding like shit. The cris-cross of vocals is totally uncoordinated, and both singers sound like whiney chain smokers. Instrumentally, the music is far too simple and repetitive, sometimes just two alternating chords for hours and hours and hours. All this is no big surprise however, from a band that actually agreed upon the name Royal Trux--jeezus help them. KATIE SHIMER

(future farmer)

Somewhere inside us all, there is a wallflower. He scuffles his oxfords to look like he's doing something, but inside, he's dreaming about a breezy park where a frosted-hairdo belle awaits him with lemonade and Clarks Wallabees. Yuji Oniki is that very wallflower. He must have been terribly shy in high school; he may even have a slight lisp! How charming. Oniki, with his breathy, earl grey voice and wistful guitar spinnery, has translated his schoolboy inhibitions to a contemplative, grown-up empathy that unfolds like a scrapbook. His talented cohorts (Guided by Voices' Doug Gillard and members of superb SF pop ensemble Beulah) lend harmonics and brass for a dimension of melancholia that rests close, like a secret. Orange is the soundtrack to autumn. Make sure you wrap your arms around yourself, and don't forget to sway. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

Boys and Girls Soundtrack
(ARK 21)

Okay, kids, quiet up. Yeah, we're going to talk about the soundtrack, but first...Have any of you ever heard of Stewart Copeland, the best drummer in the history of pop music? The Police? Sting? Well, Stewart Copeland broke Sting's ribs! Yeah, see, Sting was a total cheeseball bastard, and Stewart just couldn't deal with him. So, Stewart went off to follow his artistic vision, and he still won't get back together with the Police, no matter how much money he'd make! But, here's the weird part: now he spends his time writing music for movies like this. Oh yeah, the soundtrack--a hit-less bunch of filler with the same non-threatening appeal and blithely lobotomized resemblance to once-alternative rock that Freddie Prinze Jr. shares with his dad. JAY HORTON