Quick Scans


That Was My Veil EP
Island UK

L'IL POLLY JEAN retreated from the near-religious intensity of To Bring You My Love and, with collaborator John Parish, recorded a spookily eccentric follow-up, Dance Hall At Louse Point. That's essential listening for P.J. Harvey fans, but this four-song EP will hold additional resonance for Tucsonans. Following the title cut, which appears on the full-length as well, comes "Losing Ground," a dark, cranky, mutant blues full of odd instrumental noises and dripping with blood thanks to Harvey's malevolent vocal. If you recognize that title as originating from the writer's pen of our own Rainer Ptacek (his original version is on Worried Spirits), go to the head of the levee. Harvey's a rare, unclassifiable talent; the fact that she chose another rare, unclassifiable talent to cover approaches iconoclasm. Included as well is an alternate demo take of "Civil War Correspondent" and a tingling, almost torch-like ballad, "Who Will Love Me Now," that only adds to the desirability of this import-only record.

--Fred Mills


2 13 61 Records

THE BUSH TETRAS (along with Hoboken's Bongos) were the best punk-wave pop band in New York City during the early '80s. Unlike the Bongo's, who played lust-driven, three-chord power pop, the Tetras were deeper and more complex, musically, lyrically and spiritually. The Tetras smorgasbord of funky tribal rhythms and danceable punk-pop sensibilities collided head-on with the splintered melodies and noisy aural sculpture of the short-lived, dissonant No Wave movement. On Tetrafied, a collection of rare, live and unreleased songs, skronk guitarist Pat Place habitually scrapes her distortion-ravaged ax as if she's picking a scab on a junkie's track-marked arm--unconscious of the action yet totally possessed. Underneath these six-string fragments, two-fisted drummer Dee Pop bashes out a hypnotic beat and Laura Kennedy pumps out African bass patterns like the bastard offspring of a carnal union between Jaco Pastorious and Tina Weymouth. The epitome of No Wave's self-immolation, vocalist Cynthia Sley's magnetic yelp and pugnacious demeanor scream, "Get Loose. Have fun. But fuck off!"

--Ron Bally


Live Around The World
Warner Bros.

THESE DAVIS PERFORMANCES are culled from concerts covering 1988 to 1990, probably the least favorite period in Davis' career apart from when he invented hard-core electrofunk jazz in the early '70s--and even that has recently been reevaluated as better than first thought. Not likely that this period of his career will someday be revisited as positively, given that for once no new ground was being covered by the former jazz giant. A fair amount still stands up, though: "Mr. Pastorius" is a somber ode to Jaco, and, though not written by Davis, is carried by the lonely feel of his trumpet. "Hannibal" is a nice bit of macho jazz that balances out with the more delicate "Time After Time." Not bad, but not essential, unlike most of Davis' catalog.

--Dave McElfresh

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