"Vic's Reviews"

by Vic Gemmingen
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Green Scene • don’t 4 get 2 get down

Boyden Mgmt., P.O. Box 100, Eagle, WI 53119
Out of Milwaukee. Space-rocky experimentalism in the arena of Phish and other weed bands, Jamouraqui (vocally)... kind of like the Chili Peppers mixed with BeBop. (Likely consciously) deftly defying just one category, this CD is like a great trippy outdoor live show. Green Scene is touring this summer, and showcasing in Vegas -- go see Green Scene if you have a chance, and pick up this CD if you can’t.

Sianna Lyons • Songland

Scimitar Records, 45 Morton St. #3, NY, NY 10014
In NYC, transplanted Bostonian Sianna Lyons has released a great trip-hop CD, her ethereal debut. Hers is a five-octave voice layered impressively from track to track ("11th Hour," the title track). The songs are very good, too -- I’ve hummed "Lover" for days, and the best track is "Susan." But I go back to Sianna’s voice, the real star here, unadorned by studio tricks and deserving of attention -- she takes Pearl Jam’s "Black" and makes it more than her own.

Blackbird Abbey

Raven Music, Inc., 9803 3rd Ave., Orlando, FL 32824
>From Central Florida comes Blackbird Abbey (formerly The Ravens on the Not Lame label). Nice guitar work and harmonies on "See a Little Sunshine"; another great song on this disc is "Good Friend"; the best may be the ballad "Solitary Romance." Reminiscent of the Smithereens, Gin Blossoms, and others influenced by the bright side of ’60s pop  -- especially Peter Case/Plimsouls. Fans of good pop will love this disc.

Friendly Fire • America’s Love

Convergence Rec., P.O. Box 2922, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077
As the name suggests, Friendly Fire has a political statement or two to make on America’s Love. It’s somewhat ironic, and often catchy, relevant modern protest music from New Jersey. A power trio led by Michelle Borealino whose voice is very strong, these tracks have a punky pop edge -- think early R.E.M. fronted by Melissa Etheridge (especially "Still Waiting" recalling Reckoning’s "Harbour Coat").

Michael Nitro • Counting the Days

P.O. Box 14831, Scottsdale, AZ 85267
A real guitar player who can really play guitar, really sing, and really write great songs -- this is a rare combination, and that is Michael Nitro.  Apparently everyone in Phoenix knows who he is and hopefully soon everyone else will too. Great FM radio rock and roll (with nice touches of horns throughout the disc), blowing away your "teenage blues guitar gods" with real musicianship and (yep) soul. I could mention individual songs, but the whole disc is great. Check it out.

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