What's Next to the Moon
(Badman Recording Co.)
*** 1/2

Mark Kozelek of the Red House Painters doing a cover album, stripped down to Kozelek's warm, beautiful vocals and an acoustic guitar? Consisting entirely of Bon Scott-era AC/DC songs that Kozelek grew up with? You wouldn't think it would work. But with a loose grasp of the original melodies, the album creates a mood that's strangely comforting. If you can imagine someone trying to sing you to sleep by commanding the true ways of rock and roll, partying, and getting women, and you do, in fact, fall into a gentle rest, it would be a close relative to What's Next to the Moon. By wrapping up someone else's music in his own personal style, and producing songs that sound as if this is how they were originally intended, Kozelek achieves what could be the world's greatest success of a cover album. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY

P'TAAH Decompressed
(Ubiquity Records)

When Chris Brann makes music under his P'taah moniker, it never fails to be innovative--so much so that it defies staid categorization. Culled from a series of 12-inch singles, Decompressed is a collection of unreleased P'taah tracks and Compressed Light remixes. Brann is as accomplished at writing music as he is at knowing which knob to turn, and those on remix duty are just as competent behind the studio desk. Chateau Flight bring a light, floating interpretation to "Flying High" where airy washes of sound counter the jazzy, brush-stick breakbeat. Ashley Beedle melds "Compressed Light" into an electro cum Afro-Cuban jammy-jam, equal parts Electric Boogaloo and Tito Puente. That these reinterpretations are able to stand on their own merits is what makes this more than a lame collection of B-sides; each is a portal into the new crop of producers who are submerging traditional instruments in modern digital trickery. ELLIOTT ADAMS


Bad album titles get on my nerves like nothing else. No band is safe from having bad judgement. Hell, even Public Enemy had an album called Muse Sick N-Hour Mess Age. But PE's got the legacy and the integrity to counter-balance this misstep. What does Kittycraft have to redeem herself for this stinker of a pun? Sadly, not much. Catskills (groan) sounds like a CD of Cibo Matto demos with a less charismatic singer who constantly pushes her notes flat. She also has the annoying habit of using the same note progression in her vocal lines. Not the same melody, mind you, but specific leaps and lines that appear over and over again. This gives the record a redundant feel, which combined with re-hashed Miller advertisement beats, and the second worst album title of the year, makes Catskills a prime candidate for euthanasia. MURRAY CIZON