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Laurie Geltman
No Power Steering
Eastern Front Records

Rugged singer-songwriter Laurie Geltman has become a staple of Boston's music scene. In 10 years, she's earned a great deal of recognition, including a local spot on the 1998 Lilith Fair tour. A self-proclaimed guitar junkie, Geltman rocks harder than most Lilith participants, and her raspy voice is more Joan Jett than Lisa Loeb. Her powerful guitar work is complemented by her band, which includes former Letters to Cleo bassist Brian Karp, former Del Fuegos drummer Woody Giessmann and violinist Daniel Kellar. Geltman's impassioned rootsy rock works well with her insightful lyrics, which deftly spin the tales of real-world characters. On "Growing Down" she asks, "Are you growing down/Wasting time like paper/'Cause there's always more?" She also bares a punk side on the bonus track "I Got Somethin' on You." (Sarah Quelland)

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Friends of Dean Martinez
Knitting Factory Records

The latest offering from Friends of Dean Martinez serves up music that is by turns loungey, bluesy and Western but always strongly guitar-driven. Bill Elm, the genius behind the moody, haunting sounds, once again provides listeners with his signature mellow, atmospheric songs that are perfect for making out. "Otra Vez" recalls a Joao Gilberto-style guitar over a sweet bossa-nova beat that proves instantly relaxing. Likewise, the Mexican-flavored "Atardecer" combines hints of Santana with steady bongos and a sad melody to tremendous effect. (Christine Brenneman)

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Ian Moore
Ian Moore's Got the Green Grass
Hablador Records

This singer/songwriter/guitarist from Austin incorporates violin, sitar, accordion, organ, didgeridoo and other unusual instruments into his appealingly eclectic brand of folk rock. Moore's poetic lyrics combine with his rugged voice to give his songs an earthy edge. Though he covers songs by the Beatles ("Hey, Bulldog"), Terry Allen ("Border Palace") and Jimmy Cliff ("Many Rivers to Cross"), his own compositions are the most striking. In particular "Airplane," "Pennyroyal Tea" and "Us/Them," a song about fame: "My friends talk about you/They act like they know you/They say it's so cool to be up with the stars/...You're shining/You're one of the beautiful people/I see your face everywhere/And everyone noticed your name in the lights/I guess you were right." (SQ)

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From the April 15-21, 1999 issue of Metro.

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