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Music Picks by Sullivan Bianco (SB) and Andrew Shriver (AS)

The Dustbowl Symphony

Nanci Griffith
The Dustbowl Symphony
Elektra

On her latest release, The Dustbowl Symphony, Nanci Griffith, songstress supreme, has done it again: called on a slew of old and new friends to deliver an album so beautifully crafted that by the third song all will be right with the world, if for only the ensuing 50 minutes. On this outing, old friends take the shape of classic songs, reworked and instilled with a minty breath of fresh air. New friends, the London Symphony Orchestra, add colors so perfectly blended, the soundscape spills over from one song to the next. "Love at the Five and Dime," a duet with Darius Rucker of Hootie fame, "Late Night Grande Hotel" and Buddy Holly's "Tell Me How," sung with Cricket alumnus Sonny Curtis, are but a few of the highlights. (AS)


Ad Finite

Genaside II
Ad Finite
Durban Poison

Part rock, goth, psychedelia, spoken word, opera, weirdness and a heap o' drum and bass, Genocide II have put together an album as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. This isn't your typical jungle fare. "The Genaside Will Not Be Televised" accosts the listener with an eerie post-apocalyptic diatribe backed by a killer gut-thumping beat. "The Heaviest," with its half-spoken, half-sung prose and dramatic use of time changes and synthesizers, brings to mind a love child conceived via a night of reckless abandon between Massive Attack and Pink Floyd. Sure, the synthesizers wear a bit thin and the band could tone down the seriousness that seems to blanket Ad Finite, but Genaside II have produced an album that is to the ears what pop rocks are to the mouth. (AS)


Eeviac

Man or Astroman?
Eeviac
Touch and Go

A few tours ago, Man or Astroman? shot Hostess snacks from a faux-bazooka at schlubs who came to see them live. No less assaultive and hostile is the use of static and computer flatulence on Eeviac. Subtitled an "operational index and reference guide," it sports samples that warn "never distrust a computer," a misleading tag. Far from attempting another cellophane symphony with a too-quirky and blippy production, Eeviac shows the band wide-eyeing stereo shifts, wows and flutters (but strangely, not feedback), a clattering of "treated" instruments that obscure already sparse lyrics. Far from watering down their spy-space-surf onslaught, they have attained grace by faking computers sounds and have not forsaken their weird humor. (SB)


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From the October 25, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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