Riot by Candle Light

(Stuck Under the Needle)

***Before you buy Sleep's Riot by Candle Light, you must purchase Oldominion's One (2000) for three good reasons: One, One is a masterpiece of local hiphop; two, it presents a basic outline of Oldominion's themes and aesthetics; and three, Sleep is a member of the Oldominion posse. Sleep's newest CD has a total of 16 tracks, six of which I immediately loved (so it's only a matter of time before the others grow on me). Like Onry Ozzborn's CD Alone (2001), Riot by Candle Light extends and deepens Oldominion's preoccupations with death, evil, madness, gothic colors, and negative moods. The world under construction in Riot and other Oldominion CDs is our city's (if not region's) underworld--the realm of its nightmares and night creatures. My favorite track on the CD, "Drink Fire," has a sample from the second song on Nas' Illmatic ("N.Y. State of Mind") that says it all: "Sleep is the cousin of death." CHARLES MUDEDE

Sleep's CD release party is Sat Nov 9 at I-Spy, $10 adv (free CD with paid admission).



(Sanctuary/Rough Trade)

***In all probability, you are going to hate this record. An obnoxious assortment of simple-sweet pop songs by one-half of the Moldy Peaches (New York's universally polarizing folk rock collective), Garfield is essentially a stripped-down reflection of that band's self-titled debut from last year. Adam Green's self-aware musical indulgence is packed to the gills with scatological discourse atop the stubborn four-track hiss of its "anti-folk" soundtrack. His solo debut establishes just how prominent a role he plays in the Moldy Peaches' aesthetic--what is almost certainly a Duchampian prank that has pulled the wool over the eyes of many a listener, your reviewer included. With a childlike insolence similar to early Beat Happening (sans that group's celebratory exuberance), Garfield is certain to resonate with existing fans of Green's silly, non sequitur rambles (as they're here in spades), but hardly proves more accessible than his previous output. ZAC PENNINGTON

Adam Green plays Sat Nov 2 at the Showbox, $15 adv.



(Geffen/Sub Pop)

****There are two reasons to buy this 14-track retrospective by the band who took Alt Rock™ to the masses: You are a sad completist who's gotta have Scott Litt's remix of "Pennyroyal Tea" and the previously unreleased "You Know You're Right"; or, you were born during the first Bush administration and need a concise lesson on why Nirvana rules. Everyone else with a three-digit IQ should have Nirvana's back catalog memorized or stored on his/her hard drive.

Clocking in at a mere 49 minutes, this CD is a remedial crash course for latecomers to the grunge/alt-rock party. It also smacks of a compromise between the parties struggling for the band's legacy (Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic vs. Courtney Love) until the snarls become disentangled and a deluxe document can emerge.

"You Know You're Right" kicks off Nirvana, and it's strictly second-tier Cobain: quiet/loud/quiet/loud/freakout/mantra. The remaining 13 songs span from 1989's Bleach to 1994's MTV Unplugged in New York and still explode with righteous bile and thorny melodiousness.

Most of us already know Nirvana is an epochal band whose powerful, angst-fueled rock both stung and consoled. Let's hope Dave and Krist's lawyers allow us to get the big-assed boxed set Nirvana and their fans deserve. DAVE SEGAL




***"I screwed up when I was young, but must I keep on paying for it?" asks Robyn Hitchcock on the first new Soft Boys LP in 20 years. Immediately, he then answers himself with a fatalistic melody: "Yes you must. Yes you must." Though the line occurs in the last song on the album ("Lions and Tigers," a cockeyed romp), it serves as a kind of talisman of the making up for a lost time vibe that suffuses this excellent, excellent work. Other lines, such as "Moon's forever, we are mortal/I wish I could be... 23," underline the theme, but are accompanied, as in all Hitchcock works, by an array of what sound like non sequiturs. Musically, Nextdoorland sounds alternately like a Hitchcock solo album abetted by players and production worthy of his talents (at last), and more often, like a proper band relishing its peculiar skills, leaning back, making with the vocal harmonies and guitar parrying, and generally living it up. If any band deserves to enjoy some attention, it's the Soft Boys. Nextdoorland is proof that the reissue of Underwater Moonlight was more than nostalgia, it was the chickens coming home to roost. SEAN NELSON

The Soft Boys play Thurs Oct 31 at the Crocodile, $15.

**** running *** trotting ** skipping * walking