To Sur With Love
(Hush Records)

Graves' indie-gorgeous, summery sleep-pop brought Greg Olin some popular acclaim for last year's Yes Yes Okay Okay. To Sur With Love is a collection of 13 tracks recorded over the last four years, and it runs in the same vein: laid-back, dreamy, and occasionally jump-started by an alert drumline. However, I disagree with some of the superlative claims ladled on Graves--old music review stand-bys like "pleasantly disarming," etc.--nor did I find the lyrics particularly inspired, evocative, or clever. As a generalist, I would seat Graves in the somnambulant, sensitive-chic box--the kind of pillowy-soft noise-making that makes indie girls wet their panties. To his credit, Olin occasionally pierces the surface with an eye-opening phrase, melody, or a messy sample. Sur is at its best in these moments. EVAN JAMES

Graves celebrate their CD release Thursday June 30 at Doug Fir Lounge

The Glasgow School

Orange Juice emerged in the late '70s and became a crucial cog in the little-known trendlet dubbed the Young Sound of Scotland. Led by future pop star Edwyn "A Girl Like You" Collins, Orange Juice crafted literate, witty songs that jangled and spangled with brash insouciance. Like many worthy groups before them, they faded into obscurity, but Orange Juice also inspired bands like Franz Ferdinand, Belle & Sebastian, and Teenage Fanclub.

The Glasgow School wisely focuses on Orange Juice's early output. The quartet specialized in self-deprecating yet sprightly tableaux of heartbreak and brief, illusory glimpses of romantic triumph. With guitars as tartly sweet as the band's liquid namesake, Orange Juice distills Velvet Underground/Talking Heads jangle and recessive soul genes into a distinctively charming brand of underdog pop. DAVE SEGAL

Kill Rock Stars Video Fanzine 2005
(Kill Rock Stars)

Dear punk rock, you're the closest thing I got to a brother. But I forget. And I'm sorry. It's things like this, KRS' video comp, that bring me back and make me remember why so many people are punk por vida. Footage of kids passionately air drumming at a (surprisingly well-filmed) Unwound show! Semiautomatic's live vid inter-cut with shots of dogs pissing on lawn chairs! Mecca Normal employing "psychedelic" junior high '80s camcorder editing effects and making it look like high-grade FUN! These are all things that make me feel very good about life, and about punk, and totally make up for the fact that Quix*o*tic's segment was a phoned-in snooze, and that the Gossip's saucy, fire-spittin' video shoulda been 10 hundred hours longer. ADAM GNADE

**** Rainbow Jimmies
*** Cherry
** Hot Fudge
* Nuts