**** HEINZ

*** HUNT'S

** SYSCO

* FANCY

MAKE UP I Want Some (K) ****

I missed Nation of Ulysses burning their trainers onstage, and never got to catch The Godfather (James Brown, you dunderhead!) in his prime. Never once slicked back my hair, never hung around with the punk kids in shopping malls. Didn't learn to play gospel organ, or scream like an emaciated banshee in heat. Don't have no fuck-me lips like Jagger, or any ability to keep shouting the same word over and over until it becomes a mantra. Have no sense of rhythm, little sense of style. But fuck, I can holler "yeh yeh" and dance sexy-retarded if need be when Make Up start strutting and smooching their stuff onstage. I Want Some is the perfect gift for the '90s soul child: a 23-track singles compilation which blisters and burns in righteous fire. Punk meets gospel. My two favorite genres, together on one CD! Inspirational. EVERETT TRUE

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD Dusty In Memphis/Dusty In London (Rhino) ****

When Rhino released these CDs, they were meant to celebrate Springfield's work, not commemorate her life. Though Springfield cut her teeth as a pop singer, she had a heart full of soul, and Dusty in Memphis, originally released in 1969, is rightly regarded as her artistic coming-of-age. All that needs be said about this classic album is that Springfield had the sense to snatch up "Son of a Preacher Man" after Aretha Franklin, unbelievably, turned it down. This reissue includes a generous 14 bonus tracks, including previously unreleased material like "You've Got A Friend." Dusty in London is a collection of songs largely unreleased in the U.S., kicking off with a gutsy cover of "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart" and offering such luminous treats as "Who (Will Take My Place)," "Girls It Ain't Easy," and "The Second Time Around." Dusty, we miss you. GILLIAN G. GAAR

VARIOUS ARTISTS Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels OST (Maverick) **

Strangely weak soundtrack from the Guv'ner of British '90s gangster films, Lock Stock.... The snippets of dialogue are badly chosen (Why no wide-boy patter from the film's start? Why no spat-out "He's a fuckin' liability"?), and it always hurts when an album starts with a track from Steve Marriott wannabes Ocean Colour Scene. The brilliant atmospheric backing music is missing, and although it's always a real privilege and pleasure to hear Junior Murvin's eerie reggae classic "Police and Thieves," Pete Wingfield's trembling "18 With a Bullet," and Dusty Springfield's startling "Spooky" one more time, it hardly makes up for the paucity of imagination which went into compiling what should've been a killer album. Shame. ET

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ciao Amore! (Starbucks) ****

Okay, you fuckin' mooks. This is Vinnie "Three-Chin" DiMarco here, and I'm gonna give you some fuckin' good reasons to buy this CD, so pinch your fuckin' stinkholes. Okay. As you may have heard, our "organization" has recently welcomed this coffee joint "Starbucks" into our family, right? So, I stop by to make my weekly collection, and they're stinkin' up the air with some kinda Edie Brickell bullshit? Fuggedaboudit! So, I turn to this fuckin' punk behind the counter and I tell him, "Why you wanna bust my fuckin' chops, eh? I'll pick you out some REAL music." So I do. I pick some fuckin' Bobby Darin, some Dino, some Louis Prima--you know, a little this, a little that. Some Italia, you know? Something with a little passione, right? Anyway, everybody loves it so much, they make it into a CD, which if you know what's good for you, you'll walk into a fuckin' Starbucks and purchase for your enjoyment. And don't forget to buy some cappuccino while you're at it, you cheap mook fuck. VINNIE "THREE-CHIN" DiMARCO

BETH ORTON Central Reservation (Arista) **

This is music for moms. It sounds like it was specifically designed to get maximum play on the Mountain and other Adult Contemporary stations across the nation. If Beth Orton hadn't already played Lilith Fair, Central Reservation would certainly win her an invitation. Her previous album, Trailer Park, was good in spite of its tendency toward emotional banality, both because it exploited a promising new sound (folk plus electronics) and because it was good to fall asleep to. Though Central Reservation achieves that weightless ethereal beauty in a couple of places ("Stolen Car" and "Pass In Time"), its arrangements sabotage the songs in the same way Trailer Park saved them. Central Reservation abandons the electronics to dive into opaque folk/jazz nether-regions which only Tim Buckley, Joni Mitchell, and Van Morrison have successfully navigated without reverting to trite, lifeless platitudes. Here Orton just sounds like Jewel trying to do Nick Drake as remixed by a lobotomized Sarah McLachlan. PHILIP GUICHARD

HOWIE B Snatch (Palm Pictures) ****

When they grow up, what kind of music will our children listen to? When the Matchbox 20s and Dave Matthewses fade into the oblivion that is their destiny, Howie B just might triumph. With his first album, Music for Babies, and now with Snatch, Howie B has made music that's not overly machine-like, but is nonetheless evocative of life in the space age. It's music that's barely there, using a beat here and a sound there to create a gentle cacophony. Pop it in and dream of a beautiful future. COURTNEY REIMER

BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON Moanin' All Over (Tradition) **

I oughta be hollerin' 'cause o' Blind Lemon's impact on OUR contemporary culture's pop music, as he one o' the FIRST blewsmen to git recorded AND chart a fuggin' hit, "Black Snake Moan." YOWSA! He REEEAL important! Uh, so why this CD only got NINE tracks?! Oh, it his first LP... so WHAT? I don't CARE!! A CD got room fer SEVENTY-EIGHT minutes... gotdamn use 'em! Whatever... I reckon, if you jus' gotta start wif somethin', this "okay," but fer the load o' cash you'll hafta drop on this "respected" label's "product," you can find a collection elsewhere that sounds 'least "as good" an' is probably mo' comprehensive! MIKE NIPPER

JOEY McINTYRE Stay the Same (C2) *

I must say I'm disappointed. Not that I expected greatness from ex-New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre, but... c'mon! He's an absolute dreamboat, and his interviews on VH1's Where Are They Now? are a goddam hoot! Seriously, for someone who sounds like they have so much on the ball to come out with a paler version of his former group's poofiest, most saccharine toss-offs? Well, it's almost enough for me to tear my New Kids posters off the wall and resign from the fan club! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

THE AVENGERS Died For Your Sins (Lookout!) ***

When Penelope Houston learned that fans were busily trading live Avengers tapes on what's known as the "collector's circuit," she didn't call the RIAA. She simply started collecting tapes herself, until she had enough to draw on to compile this collection. As the lead singer for the San Francisco-based punk band, Houston (a former Seattle resident) made her mark as one of the genre's most compelling vocalists, female or male. Died For Your Sins is raw and raucous, the energy clearly full-throttle, despite the varying sound quality. (Houston also records new studio versions of Avengers' songs under the name the Scavengers.) The Avengers' gig most people know about is the band's opening slot at what was then the final Sex Pistols gig, at the S.F. venue Winterland in 1978. Now, perhaps more people will be inspired to investigate the band's primal fury. GGG

MILLIE JACKSON Caught Up/ Still Caught Up (Hip-O) ****

VARIOUS ARTISTS The Best of Shaft (Hip-O) ***

Two serious slabs of soul comin' right atcha. Millie Jackson's Caught Up and Still Caught Up albums, originally released in 1974 and 1975, respectively, have been combined on one CD for your listening pleasure. These landmark works are really concept albums, with Jackson, who co-wrote some of the songs, singing about the joys and sorrows of loving a married man, from the perspective of both the wife and the girlfriend. The backing, from the legendary Muscle Shoals rhythm section, is classy; Jackson herself is trés sassy. The Best of Shaft draws on music from both of the Shaft films (Shaft and Shaft in Africa), but is primarily instrumental. Shaft was one of the few so-called "Blaxploitation" films that crossed over to mainstream success, as the music did, winning three Grammys. Drink in the original sounds before Robert Roundtree is brought back to revive his Shaft character in the new millennium. GGG

THE CRABS Sand and Sea (K) ****

So sweet, so charming. Portland's Crabs play gentle, lilting pop songs reminiscent of early Beat Happening. Originally a duo (Jonn and Lisa), the addition of Cadallaca's Sarah Dougher on Farfisa organ, and her trembling harmonies, have really helped to flesh out their stripped-back songs: leading to such wonderful, understated moments as the inquisitive "Tumbling Away" and gorgeous female-led "Bricks of Gold" (my favorite break-up song of last year). Music that's guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of even the most jaded rockers. ET

VARIOUS ARTISTS Hot Rods & Custom Classics: Cruisin' Songs & Highway Hits (Rhino) ***

Hot Rods & Custom Classics is a love song to America's great obsession: cars. More specifically, souped-up rods driven by hopped-up teens. You'll find all the obvious tunes--Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," the Beach Boys' "Little Duece Coupe," Jan & Dean's "Dead Man's Curve"--but, this being Rhino, you'll also find some more innovative inclusions: The B-52's "Devil in My Car," and Dave Edmunds' "Crawling From the Wreckage." Fun stuff like "I Want a Lavendar Cadallac" by Maurice King & His Wolverines (hmm...) and kitschy stuff like the car commercial "See The U.S.A. In Your Chevrolet" by the ever-chipper Dinah Shore. Plus James Dean's unheeded auto safety PSA ("The life you save may be mine!"). All packed into a nifty little box that also holds such treats as decals, a bottle opener, and fuzzy dice. Crazy, man, crazy. GGG

VARIOUS ARTISTS I Want to Live! OST (Rykodisc/MGM Studios) ***

VARIOUS ARTISTS Johnny Cool OST (Rykodisc/MGM Studios) ***

Finally, a couple of movie soundtracks that don't include the inevitable "power ballad" or Top 10 fluff-pop single. Shame, then, that the movies are from 1958 (I Want to Live!, the film noir bio-pic with Susan Hayward as accused murderess Barbara Graham) and 1963 (Johnny Cool, a Rat Pack-ish gangster flick featuring Sammy Davis Jr., Telly Savalas with hair!, and a pre-Bewitched Elizabeth Montgomery). Mandel's all-jazz score for I Want to Live! highlights unconventional sounds from the contra bassoon (sounding hollow and downright sinister), the piccolo, the bass trumpet, and a few quirky E-flat clarinets--and also includes some kick-ass percussion on "Stakeout" and "Barbara's Surrender." Despite the decidedly more campy and sassy tone of Mays' Johnny Cool score, it's still a complex, damn good piece of jazz with plenty of tenor sax, muted trumpet, and a hysterical song with vocals by Sammy Davis Jr. ("The Ballad of Johnny Cool") that definitely belongs in the Vegas-Lounge-Kitsch Hall of Fame. MIN LIAO

VARIOUS ARTISTS BossaCucaNova: Revisited Classics (Six Degrees) **

The U.S. may be ground zero for the usually fatal remix virus, but its spread is depressingly international. The latest site of infection is Brazil and, as evidenced by this collection, the victims aren't ignorant American supplants out to make a quick dollar, but native Brazilians who ought to know better. Alexandre Moreira, Marcelinho Dalua, and Marcio Menescal clutter better-known "classics" with varying degrees of failure. By adding stereotypical funky beats, electric guitars, hand-claps, and echo and phase effects, the three quench any fire and dilute all the charm of the nine songs included in the collection. To add injury to insult, they've included two songs--the Tom Jobim/Newton Mendaca-penned "Meditacao," and "Val de Vez," penned by remixer Marcio Menescal's dad, Roberto--in their original incarnations. Those kinder, gentler versions will have aficionados screaming for the good old days of Ipanema before Cortez brought over boomboxes. RIZ ROLLINS

VARIOUS ARTISTS Source Material

(Astralwerks/Source 360) **

If the delightful insurgence of French pop as epitomized by D'mitri of Paris, Air, Buscemi, Motorbass, Le Funk Mob and their current offshoot Cassius could be traced to one source, it may be the label Source, which has released five collections of French artists in as many years. The Source Lab compilations (SourceLab, SourceLab 2 and the three set/double vinyl SourceLab XYZ ) are meaty examples of a scene that consistently overshadows its European counterparts. This latest compilation is a comparative disappointment. Whereas the previous sets ran the gamut from triphop to house with a distinct seasoning of humor in the mix, Source Material is mostly set in space age hi-fi ephemera. Think of Barbarella, itself a very stylish conceit, updated in surround sound. Standouts are Phoenix's "Heat Wave" disco, the '70s trip funk of both Scenario Rock's "Scenario Rock" and Riff Hifi's "Wizz Song", and the straight- ahead funk workout of ZFO's "P-Funk I & II". But overall the groove is thin, and better suited to the atmospheric background of a hair salon or a quick motor jaunt through a spring-soaked countryside than the foreground of a club. RR

CHER Greatest Hits: If I Could Turn Back Time (Geffen) *

Public Service Announcement: the title is a bare-faced lie. Greatest Hits doesn't contain "Believe," the only semi-palatable song ever recorded by the china-voiced, glassy-faced, boy-fucking witch. I still haven't forgiven her for defecating all over Betty Everett's gorgeous "Shoop Shoop" song. ET

STEVE WYNN My Midnight

(Zero Hour) ***

Fluorescent is the one you want, the gentle 1994 solo album from this ex-Dream Syndicate frontman, which sounded like everything Dean Wareham was attempting to achieve with his post-Galaxie 500 N.Y.C. band, Luna, but hadn't quite managed back then. For My Midnight, Steve has enlisted the help of Chris Brokaw (Come, Codeine) plus assorted minor lo-fi stars to make an album that sometimes haunts in its love for classic, blues-based '60s rock. There's a wonderful, laid-back brass section, too. The fact that Wynn can sound so fresh and untamed on his 16th album is an accomplishment in itself. "Cats and Dogs" has a particularly magical keyboard fill, courtesy of Joe McGinty (Psychedelic Furs). Lovers of the early '80s Californian Paisley Shirt Scene could well dig this. ET

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