Dangerously in Love



If you want your eyeballs knocked out of your head, check out Beyoncé Knowle's video for "Crazy in Love." It's got that great hook ("OH-oh-OH-oh-OH-oh-oh-nono"), Tower of Power horns, and Beyoncé gyrates like she's got an outboard motor in her pants. Unfortunately for the rest of Dangerously in Love, Miss B drops well below Destiny's Child standards. Many of the songs fall back on '70s riffs (sampling Donna Summers, The Stylistics, Curtis Mayfield, etc), without adding anything new to the game. After song three, you quickly realize there's nothing left on the disc that has the lift of "Crazy in Love" and certainly not "Survivor," "Jumpin' Jumpin'," or "Bootylicious." On the upside, I purchased this CD with my own money, so if you want to download "Crazy in Love" for your personal Destiny's Child "Best of" collection--you have my permission. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


In Through the Out Door



You can tell a lot about musicians by the company they keep. Los Angeles producer Matt Haines--the Rip-Off Artist--hangs with sonic tricksters like Uwe Schmidt (AKA Atom Heart and a million other pseudonyms) and Matt Wand (of Small Rocks and Stock, Hausen & Walkmen obscurity). What unites these mavericks is their rare ability to mold inherently "funny" noises into crazy-angled rhythm puzzles that make you want to twitch like an epileptic in a hair shirt--let's call it slapstick glitch. In Through the Out Door exploits the paradox that Kraftwerk discovered on 1981's still-unbeatable Computer World: Stiff, robotic rhythms can be leveraged into the funkiest damned tracks you've ever heard. Haines revels in his synthetic palette of quirky noises, conjuring a microchipped surrealism that raises silicon to the status of gold. DAVE SEGAL


I Am the Fun Blame Monster!


Calling all Kinkos! Judging from the downright extraordinary flip-book packing on the stunning debut CD from local kids Menomena, it looks like someone has been stealing more than their fair share of copies from their day job. Watch in awe as the flip-book depicts each band remember playing away on their respective instruments. It's kind of like Steamboat Mickey but far cooler! Fantastic packaging aside, I Am the Fun Blame Monster! (or if you complete the word jumble, The First Menomena Album) is a remarkable assortment of rhythm-heavy digital beats, endless rolling bass, and charming vocals--all of which create an alluring debut record that blurs the line between the standard indie rock fare and some downright experimental glitch-pop. Sure it's about as geeky as a TI-80 Graphing Calculator in a custom-fitted pocket protector, but sometimes it's good to please your inner nerd. CARMELO MARTINEZ

**** The Running of the Bulls

*** The Running of the Grunion

** The Running of the Nose

* The Running of the 2004 Presidential Candidates