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PCR #115 (Vol. 3, No. 23). This edition is for the week of June 3--9, 2002.

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MUSIC NEWS
by Terence Nuzum
CONCERT REVIEW    by Michael A. Smith
The Digital Divide is short on news this week but we do have two record updates.
Beck
The "proclaimed" Dylan of our times, Beck, has not one album in the works but two! One was metioned here last week. It is still untitled but has a release date of September 24. Its track listing is as follows:

1. The Golden Age
2. All In Your Mind
3. Paper Tiger
4. Guess Im Doing Fine
5. Already Dead
6. Round The Bend
7. Side of the Road
8. Lonsome Tigers
9. Little One
10. Nothing I Haven't Seen
11. Lost Cause
12. Sunday Sun
13. Ship in a Bottle

Beck's second album is the one that he has been rambling on about since last year and it is purported to be a guitar rock record closer to Odelay than 1999's Midnite Vultures. The second album has no release date as of yet.


Frank BlackFrank Black and The Catholics, as earlier reported had a double album in the works but it appears that now they have separated the two. They will both be released separately on August 20. Both records were recorded using Black's favorite live-to-two-track process. The first album Black Letter Day has a total of 18 tracks, two of which are readings of Tom Waits' "The Black Rider".

The second album, Devil's Workshop, is a tightly-paced 33-minute epic. On Devil's Workshop, Black has raided his old Pixie days vaults and decided to re-record a new version of the b-side "Velvety Instrumental", but this time with vocals.


.38 Special
Kansas City, MO
June 2, 2002

Way back at the end of 2000, Matt issued his "Top 10 Guitarists" challenge. Of course, everyone had more then 10, so we did two lists. Tied at #11 on my list were Don Barnes and Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special. As I write this, about one hour after attending their latest concert, they just may move up the list! (Don't worry, boss........you were #9, so they didn't bump you!) .38 Special has always been one of my favorite bands. I remember working three weeks straight teaching myself the chords to "Hold On Loosely."

The band played the annual Spiritfest held at the Liberty Memorial in downtown Kansas City. The concert began at approximately 10:00 p.m. and the band opened, appropriately enough, with "Rockin' Into the Night!" Diminutive front man Donnie Van Zandt, who handles a microphone stand better then anyone this side of Steven Tyler, kept the audience in the show with his antics. The band played many of their hits and even did a great medley of songs they wrote for movies (among them "Paradise" from Revenge of the Nerds II and "Teacher, Teacher" from Teachers). A top moment was Donnie's song, "Rebel to Rebel," a touching tribute to his late brother, Lynyrd Skynyrd leader Ronnie. There must have been some major jam sessions in Jacksonville when the Van Zandt brothers were growing up. The whole damn family has talent. Younger brother Johnnie now fronts Skynyrd and does an admirable job.

With the crowd singing along and dancing to every tune, it was obvious the band was having as much fun as the fans. They closed with an extended version of "Caught Up in You," with Barnes' guitar solo so intense my son just beamed at me and said, a la Adam Sandler, "He's good!" As in previous tours, the band encored with one of my son's favorite songs, "Hold on Loosely." They followed it up with a two-song medley consisting of "Living in the USA" and "Traveling Man." To top off the evening, I got guitar picks from both Barnes and Carlisi. I'm hoping if I put them under my pillow and pray enough I'll be able to channel their power! The band is on an extensive tour this summer. If you've seen them before, see them again. If you haven't..........what in the hell are you waiting for?

CD REVIEW   by Terence Nuzum

Imperial TeenImperial Teen: On

Right off the bat, Imperial Teen's latest doesn't exactly give the impression that they are expanding their sound. Instead, they are breaking down their sound even more. Their early albums were indie-pop gems that had a 3-minute pop asthetic, but were highlighted by extended guitar atmospherics. Their surf twang and 60s-by-way-of-the 80s sound is intact, but it seems that their plan all along was to devolve completely into a retro band. Yeah, what I'm getting at is they sound way too much like The Kinks. The first couple of tracks, "Ivanka", "Baby", "Sugar", "Million $ Man", and "Captain", all live up to the retro title but by "Mr & Mrs" they sound like a Belle & Sebastian clone (that's not a good thing, by the way). Guitarists Roddy and Will share vocals on this one, which, of course, doesn't really gel. Sure, Roddy has a whiny Corgan/Marc Bolan voice, but Will Schartz sounds like Staurt Murdoch on sedatives. But all in all, it is a decent listen, for a couple of days anyway. An OK album with way too much filler. It will be good for parties, the car, and impressing the indie-chick who works at your local record store, but that's about all it's good for in a nutshell. It's a shame that Imperial Teen has become a cheesy pick-up line.

This issue's Digital Divide music news and CD review is ©2002 by Terence B. Nuzum. This issue's Digital Divide concert review of .38 Special is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith.  Webpage design and all graphics herein, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova.
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