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Arts & Culture Entertainment

Eye discs: September 20, 1995


Thurston Moore


Rating: Four eyes

This album is what you should expect from the creative force behind Sonic Youth. A moody, atmospheric trip filled with wildly distorted guitars tamed by the master of noise. The album is complete. Psychic is an album not meant for the CD age, but to be played from start to finish.

Moore picks up where the last Sonic Youth album left off: songs that look at people and life upside-down directly. It includes a song about the “queen of noise” – Yoko Ono and a track entitled “Elegy” for all the dead rock stars – a 15 minute musical poem. Psychic doesn’t have a hit single like “Bull in the Heather” but what it does have is some terrific songs by a guy who helped define the music of today. For those of us who love the Sonic symphonies.

Mike Coleman


Banco de Gaia


Rating: Two eyes

Sit me on the jungle floor. This is for those techno and ambient children in “Eyeland.”

Just released, Maya digs back into time and creates a concept true to its name. Exotic, ancient and downright mysterious like a temple ruin, or something like that. You’ll find eight instrumentals that mix dance percussion with just the right amount of sampling and synthesis.

It’s hard to say in our time and age whether this is good or bad. Taste and talent are, after all, too subjective and varied to set reliable standards. That’s why we editorialize. Maya sits in that obscure and tough-to-measure no-man’s land of music making. I like it, but who cares?

Stop adn think about it, and ask yourself, why not?

Jonathan Blackburn

Where’s the Bone

Pursuit of Happiness


Rating: Four eyes

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the new Pursuit of Happiness record boasts a very hip, musical prowess to complement the acerbic wit that has been the group’s trademark.

Dave Gilby’s solid percussion is the perfect foil for singer/songwriter/guitarist Moe Berg, whose serious lyrical undertone raises a song’s credibility rather than suffocating its humor.

Unafraid to be outspoken in their music, TPOH discuss such issues as racism in “White Man” “Bamboo” – and suicide in “The Glamorous Death” on Where’s…. All this and the potential successor to Canada’s current national anthem: “Gretzky Rocks”

All this and an out of focus, barely comprehensible album cover – what more can Canadian music fans ask for?

Guy Leshinski


Lenny Kravitz


Rating: Three eyes

Both Lenny’s musicianship and songwriting have matured enormously since his 1989-debut Let Love Rule. But Lenny Kravitz is still about Beatles-inspired funk. His fourth album Circus finds him more spiritual and contemplative than in the past. The lead-off single “Rock and Roll is Dead” declares: “But all the money in the world, can’t buy you from the place you’re going to.” This sets the album’s tone: one heavy with references to religion and mortality juxtaposed with rocking riffs. Still preferring to play most of the instruments himself, Kravitz here grooves better than ever. In particular, his drumming stands out on tracks like “Thin Ice” where his great sense of rhythm is displayed. Though it’s not quite revolutionary, Circus is certainly more than trite pop. It falls into that grey area of above average party music that won’t hurt your CD collection, but you won’t notice if it’s missing either. 

Guy Leshinski


Jonatha Brooke & the Story


Rating: Two eyes

Jonatha Brooke & Co. do their darndest to avoid picking their genre, which consequently results in the most soporific ear candy I’ve heard since the Nana Mouskouri Greatest Hits compilation album my grade three teacher would play in a vain attempt to keep us from stabbing each other with Crayola safety scissors. 

To be fair, MCA was justified in signing the Cleveland quintet; there is some talent here. Jonatha has a marvelous range, despite the fact that she sounds like Iann Arden at best and Bonnie Raitt at worst. And the Story has musical merit, although they would probably do a better job performing as a quarter in a Mexican restaurant. 

Fortunately or unfortunately, I couldn’t find out much about this band—they don’t even have slots in any of the four record stores I visited. 

Trista Vincent

You People Are Sick



Are the members of Basketcase a bunch of marketing geniuses, or are they just insane? Want to hear a band play pseudo-Polka-Corky-and-the-Juice-Pigs-Henry-Rollins-Band on speed? Well, that’s Basketcase. The lyrics are a play on the whimsical thoughts of the past; if you’re a four-year-old, that is. Add an interesting cover of “Johnny Angel” (yes, that feel good ‘60s tune) and you know Basketcase has a problem with the concept of theme. Listen to You People Are Sick if you’re in a hurry to visit the loonie bin. The band is probably waiting for you there.

Kenny Yum

This week: bad-ass Hollywood actors
Five eyes = Mickey Rourke
Four eyes = Rob Lowe
Three eyes = Christian Slater
Two eyes = Bruce Willis
One eye = Johnny Depp

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