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for February 22, 2002

What the Rest of Winter Brings
by Lorraine Doran

Monday was my birthday. I have been promised -- by both my most trusted astrologers and a slew of greeting cards -- change. Generally, change scares me. Last week I was sent into fits at finding the color pink in a bag of M&Mís. Electric blue was unnecessary and startling. Red, as anyone born before 1980 well knows, is toxic. Pink is just too much. The signs are all around us, in the smallest things: Change is not good.

U2 clearly thinks change - not to mention its own recent music - is something to be avoided. How else to explain that, when choosing songs to wrench our organs by during a halftime show that, as a sideline to selling online investment advice, served as a September 11 tribute, the band had to reach back 15 years or more. And then there is Britney Spearsí incipient film career to look forward to. Brought to you by Pepsi.

Reasons to be nervous abound, but letís try to be positive.

Over the next several weeks, Cat Power will come to a small venue near you. If youíre lucky. Cat Power neither gets much air play nor tours widely, which, in the perverse world we live in, is the first sure sign that this is a band worth listening to. Word has it that singer Chan Marshall is sometimes unable to finish a song for the emotion it brings on. Granted, this comes from one of the few people who saw passion not petulance in Fiona Appleís infamous refusal to continue a show until Roseland got its sound system together. But if Chan cannot sing a song like "In This Hole" without crying, so much the better. Thatís exactly how I feel when I hear it.

Speedsters and Dopers promises that music to buy and shows to see are coming soon. Greg Di Gesu, formerly of Fishermenís Stew and the Wooden Soldiers, has come out from behind his guitar so we can watch him get his Jagger on. The only problem with the amount of fun to be had at an S&D show is that it is hard to listen to the lyrics when you are repeatedly pinching yourself. And you really want to listen to the lyrics. Imagine that.

In March comes "Tremulant," the debut EP from The Mars Volta, one half of the phoenix rising from the ashes of the brilliant At The Drive-In, a band A&R people far and wide are still kicking themselves for missing out on.

Battered as they are, my hopes are high.

©2002 Lorraine Doran

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...

A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
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Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
Miike Snow - Black & Blue

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