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  Velvet Blue Music: Past & Present
Artist: Various 
Label: Velvet Blue Music 
Length: 30 Tracks (two cds) 

Jeff Cloud's Velvet Blue Music has put together one heck of a compilation disc.  The two-cd set is not just a greatest hits package.  In addition to some favorites there are also a number of rare and out-of-print tracks, as well as quite a few previously unreleased tunes.  In the category of out-of-print tunes are songs from Jetenderpaul, Fine China, The Huntingtons, Bon Voyage, and a live track from Starflyer 59, many of which were available previously only on 7" vinyl.  The new, unreleased tunes represent some of the cooler bands and artists on the scene now including Frank Lenz, Richard Swift, Map, The Party People (yet another Cloud project), Leonine, and Eric Hause (where'd this guy come from? What a sound!)

The range of music on these two discs hits everything from indie-pop to shoegazer dream-pop, to a few harder and punkier things.  And then of course there are just a few "odder" sounding tunes thrown in for good measure.  

And since we've been naming names, in addition to the above mentioned artists there are also tracks from Reverse, Fold Zandura, ln, Pony Express, Stavesacre, Battered Fish, Francis, Kat Jones, Charity Empressa, Other Desert Cities, John Wilkes Kissing Booth, Menomena, Denison Marrs, and Suffering & the Hideous Thieves.  

Wow.  What a lot of great music.  And if you like good music (and who doesn't?) and you've never heard of most of these artists, this is a good introduction to one of the hippest segments of the "underground" scene.

Ken Mueller 3/15/03



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