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January 27, 1998


WHAT IS MINE IS YOURS: The Emo Diaries Chapter 1, Various Artists (V), 1997.

This is a mediocre compilation of mostly mediocre bands. Some good bands appear on here (Camber, Race Car Riot), some well-known bands (Samiam, Jejune), as well as many lesser- known, seemingly uninspired bands on here. Although many of the bands seem unoriginal, they all seem to have potential. In almost each song on this album, there will be an overplayed and annoying riff here or there that will ruin the entire song. There are a couple of songs on here that I really like, especially the Race Car Riot song which is an awesome instrumental. (Awesome Instrumental??!! Hmmm, I wonder if anyone can guess the age of this reviewer?) On an ironic note, the liner notes proclaim that they will "never attempt to define this style or set limitations on such an emotional combination of songwriting" when, in fact, the bands seem to be weighed down in an attempt to fit under the category known as "emo." But, maybe it is for you. I always think that compilations are worth listening to because they offer a large variety of bands. This one is worth listening to for the Race Car Riot song. I'll give this a 5. For more information, write Deep Elm Records at Post Box 1965, New York, NY 10156-1965.

-- Matt Kessler

Still They Die OF HEARTBREAK, Painted Thin (Endearing Records), 1997 -- 6 out of 10

Painted Thin has an enjoyable style which synthesizes the politics and jarring nature of riot grrrl with pop punk. The songs are about feminism, our patriarchal society, and lost loves. The music is fast. There are 7 tracks which total in at exactly 18 minutes, and by the end the lead singer's nasal voice grows to levels of annoyance unmatched since Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys. Although there are two or three songs on here which are quite nice, the album is not memorable by any means. Painted Thin makes the most out of their mediocre abilities and produce an album that is worth listening to and perhaps buying, but Painted Thin offers nothing unique enough to make this album worth seeking. Write the band c/o PO Box 69009 Winnepeg, Manitoba Canada R3P 2G9.

-- Matt Kessler

The New York Vocal Arts Ensemble, consisting of soprano Judith Pannill, Mezzo- Soprano Katherine Benfer, tenor Jonathan Goodman, baritone Carleton Chambers, and artistic director and pianist Raymond Beegle, will perform a concert on February 1 at 3 p.m. in Bernheim Hall of the Mobile Public Library. The musical program will include works by Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Brahms, and Johann Strauss, II. After an intermission, American Songs from Original Editions will be performed. Ph: 380-4690.

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