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SWEET KNIEVEL/Collapsible: The side project that became a jam band in it's own right, SK captures the jam band ethos and sound, putting it squarely in the pocket, and crafts a real treat for eclectic tastes who really believe there are only two kinds of music, good and bad. Fun stuff that was clearly designed for the ride home.

TOM DEMPSEY/TIM FERGUSON QUARTET/Beautiful Friendship: Mainstream quartet jazz with an edge in which Joel Frahm figurres as prominently as the named principals. Tasty session that doesn't break down any walls but is a treat to hear as it works it's way through an interesting selection of covers and originals. The bass-guitar interplay that leads the way is in fine form and a good time is assured. Check it out.

PATRICK McDONNELL/Bonk! A Mutts Treasury: Yesh, Earl and Mooch are back with their 16th collection of some of the most charming, disarming stuff to hit the funny papers. With a special innocence given from the point of view of the lead animals and their frequent co-stars, McDonnell voices all those things you think go through the animals heads as you watch them in the park or the zoo. Gently funny stuff that summons up belly laughs, the cat, the dog, the birds, the nutty squirrels and the occasional people intertwine into a universe of laughs from a well that just doesn't seem to run dry. They got through another year, complete with half baked ideas leading the way and all we can do is laugh and wonder how they are going to do it again. The last year on display here with these two was simply a treat.

HARD ROMANTICKER: In which we find the new distro company trying to out Tarrantino at his own game. An ultra violent Japanese gangster tale that has enough chop socky to satisfy young Joe Bob Briggs, this pic really delivers on what it means to have a really bad day. Loaded with the kind of subtle, contemporary touches that leaves no mistake that this picture is as now as it can get, this is a first class wild ride to a flashpoint. All you can eat violence, ala carte, served well done.

Volume 36/Number 66
January 6, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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