**** Dr. Huxtable delivers baby
*** Willis enters basketball tourney
** Rog goes on date
* Mr. Drummond dances

Know By Heart
(Tiger Style)

Melancholy is such a popular theme in music. Perhaps because it's such a popular feeling in life: I got a parking ticket, I'm fucking exhausted from work, I haven't gotten laid in six months... you know. And really, I don't think it makes you more depressed to listen to depressing music (at least not the American Analog Set), but makes you glad that someone can twiddle out your emotional state on the guitar, drums, and xylophone. Everything on the AmAn's CD is very subdued; the drummer lightly taps the high hat, the guitars seem to be played slower than normal, and the vocals are breathy. It's light, poppy, indie music for a night of whittling, or sewing, or hanging out in the living room talking smack. KATIE SHIMER

Cheap Recordings
(Stray Records)

This is, without a doubt, a CD to listen to on headphones while tripping out to that screensaver on your computer. If you listened to this album at, say, a crowded bar, it would most certainly just sound like someone fucking around with a synthesizer. But listen closely, and you'll notice the intricacy of the sound on the CD--a vocal-free, hiphop-informed, electronic experiment with samplers and drum machines. There's a lot of real melody here, and once you find it you'll appreciate it for its delicacy--the way the tiny chimes mess with the drums, which are so tight you can practically see them stretched out, etc. KATIA DUNN

Feel No Fade
(Le Grand Magistery)

Sometimes, a person will do something oafish and you will feel embarrassed for them, because you know they're being an ass, even if they do not. My boyfriend calls this phenomenon "Mr. Drummond dancing," referring to the sympathy embarrassment he felt whenever the rhythmless Mr. Drummond danced on Dif'rent Strokes. I mention this because Push Kings, with their hokey, feel-good harmonies, completely asinine lyrics, and Deep Blue Something-style guitars, have recorded the musical embodiment of Mr. Drummond dancing. The album is comparable to Gin Blossoms, Better than Ezra, The Rembrandts, or any number of shallow, insipid one-hit wonders. In their lyrics, they casually mention drinking a can of Coca-Cola. Now, I don't know if you remember the Lyte Funkie Ones "Abercrombie & Fitch" debacle, but it seems to me that if a crappy mainstream boy-band should get shit for promoting the agendas of corporate entities, certainly a supposed independent rock act should not think they can get away with it. Also, why the fuck do indie labels keep releasing music that sounds exactly like it should be on Atlantic or Sony? That a label I previously respected chose to release Feel No Fade fills me with sympathy embarrassment. JULIANNE SHEPHERD