1988 was a good year for music, especially of the modern rock contingent. I'll spare you my laundry list of stellar examples from that year, but as it turns out, the now legendary College Music Journal, in all their infinate wisdom patched together a compilation of the ten best unsigned picks they could find. Needless to say, Material Issue are the boys done good here, checking in with what would become one of their signature tunes, "Valerie Loves Me," (yes, it's the same version on International Pop Overthrow). As impressive now as it was then, maybe even more so. Side A kicks things off in fine three-chord fashion with Little Rock, AR's Gunbunnies, quickly followed up by equally capable basement rock of Boston's Titanics (who would soon garner a record deal with Taang!). Ten of a Kind actually features three more Massachusetts hopefuls, Lazy Susan, Circle Sky, and Kid Crash, the latter taking the cake as Ten of a Kind's fiercest participants with their AC/DC cum quasi-punk panache. LaBlanc's spit-shined power ballad "Turn to Me" would have more appropriate for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, and frankly, is something of a drag here. "King' and Queen's," courtesy of Raleigh, NC's Distance is effective but not quite modern guitar rock, while Paul K. & the Weathermen, who would go onto something resembling indie success in the mid-90s, deliver the rockabilly tinged "My Knife." And a good time was had by all...
01. Gunbunnies - The Emancipation of Helga (She's Not a Number)
02. Titanics - Clown Down
03. Lazy Susan - Faith Has No Other
04. Raging Fire - The Marrying Kind
05. Lablanc - Turn to Me
06. Kid Crash - Contact
07. Circle Sky - When the Life That I Lead Doesn't Lead Anywhere
08. Material Issue - Valerie Loves Me
09. The Distance - King's and Queen's
10. Paul K. & the Weathermen - My Knife
Holly Golightly "Up Against The Empire" 1998 - On this laid-back live outing, Holly Golightly sounds a little like a caffeinated Kendra Smith (Opal, Rainy Day). She eschews psych-rock in favor of folk, ...
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