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Issue #56 November 2003

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The Art of Brian Ewing


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Jet By Day / The Maginot Line
The Wes Hollywood Show
Art Paul Schlosser
Jazzelicious Compilation

Jet By Day "Cheap Shots"
The Maginot Line "Theme Song"

Two Sheds Music
2 song, vinyl split single

This is what a split single should be. Two bands in their prime, with two songs that are perfectly matched for each other. So it goes with the Two Sheds single from Jet By Day and The Maginot Line. This is the prime example, the watershed to set the standard. Simply put, it doesn't get much better than this.

Jet By Day's Cheap Shots opens side one with a slow burn, a power pop tune which kicks off with catchy hooks and plenty of guitar. It doesn't take a lot of chances, but that's OK. What it lacks in audacity, it makes up with pure adrenaline and volume. It has just the right amount of modern rock mixed with a slight classic rock flair. It's the perfect set-up for the monster awaiting on the flip side.

What Jet By Day started, The Maginot Line simply tears apart. They rip into the caustic Theme Song without apology and simply shred the rest of the song into pieces. The vocals are taut and tense, the guitars pummel with offbeat punches, and the beat rambles along with sheer recklessness. This song is a wonderful mess, which culminates in the refrain of Keep your hands up and your head down, a reminder that, yes, rock can still be dangerous (even if pithy reviewers think otherwise). This is the anthem for anti-commercialism, and no, it will not be in rotation on your favorite rock radio station. Thank God.

MISH MASH Mandate: Danger, Danger, Danger!

Jet By Day Website
The Maginot Line Website

The Wes Hollywood Show

11 song CD

The Wes Hollywood Show is back, and they're better than ever. Where their previous album was loose but promising, this one is tight and delivers. Imagine if you will the nerdy cynicism of Elvis Costello mixed with the cool power pop of early Cheap Trick, and you'll have a good idea of where Moonraker will take you.

Brainchild Balthazar De Ley wastes no time getting right to the point; Oh 'Ello begins the disc with a guitar pop fervor which is simply impossible to resist. This continues into the Cars-inspired snyth lines of Instant Appeal, which in turn gives way to the teen angst of Louisville Slugger and the classic pop hooks of Dutch Coffee. Big guitars rule in Place In The Sun and (You're My) Chemical, while a pseudo-sensitive side shows in Lady Penelope.

These guys have definitely found their muse, and it works. Let's hope there are even bigger and better things to come.

MISH MASH Mandate: Hollywood

The Wes Hollywood Website

Art Paul Schlosser
Vote For Me/It's A Joke

Smile Productions
30 song CD

My oh my. Art Paul is one of my guilty pleasures. His songs and his jokes are so bad, so irritating, and so sophomoric that you can't help but laugh in spite of yourself. For those of you not in the know, Art Paul sings silly songs in a nervous timbre while strumming along half-heartedly on the acoustic guitar. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it is awful---but either way you find yourself cracking up in disbelief.

Vote For Me/It's A Joke is basically dedicated to Art's pretend campaign for the Presidency of the USA. The real joke is that most of the songs have NOTHING to do with his would-be campaign---most of the time he just randomly throws in a plug which has nothing to do with the song at hand. Most of the songs are juvenile in subject matter, from T-Rex's swimming in the pool, rancid pies or an irritating poetry reading about echoes, in which Art simply repeats the words to every line until you're ready to throw the CD player out the window.

Honestly, with 30 songs represented, there is a lot of obvious filler going on. Culling down to the best and most creative tunes, you'll find the humorous love song Boyfriend's Mean, where Art laments that the girl he's in love with has a mean boyfriend that he's afraid of, or the whacked-out Christmas song Venison Christmas, where Rudolph is sacrificed to the grill for a holiday meal. Another gem is the apocalyptic warning song called It's Hell!, with it's matter-of-fact refrain: "Do you really want to go there? It's Hell!." After this, Art apologizes for scaring us and honestly pontificates on the saving graces of Jesus Christ. It's a touching gesture, which gives us a different side to the goofy songster.

Also available from Art Paul Schlosser is a best-of collection which brings together some of the more memorable tunes from his previous albums, like I Ate The Poppin' Fresh Dough Boy, I Like My Mother, The Shortest Song I Ever Wrote and This One's Even Shorter. It's more fun than you can imagine, and a great way to get introduced to the anti-genius that is Art Paul Schlosser.

MISH MASH Mandate: I May Be Stupid, But I Ain't Dumb

Art Paul Schlosser Website
Art Paul CDs at CDBaby
Art Paul CDs at GEMM

Various Artists
Jazzelicious Presents

12 song CD

This one gets the stamp of approval from my 4 year-old daughter, and that says a lot. I was listening to it in my car one day recently, and now when she gets in she asks to hear the "cool" CD. Cool is an understatement. Jazzelicious Presents is an ultra-grooved out collection of acid jazz tunes which bumps and beats right into your psyche and doesn't let go until it's done. Of course, if you're riding in the car with my daughter, you'll have to hit play all over again.

Highlights on the disc include the jumping take on Bossa Nova 5 by RioListic, the samba flavored 97 Ways by Groove Matter, and the super laid-out futuristic bebop sounds of Don't Break It by Jazzelicious. My personal favorite is the catchy groove of Cali4nia, which jumps along in a happy bounce which is simply unmistakeable and unstoppable.

MISH MASH Mandate: Acid Trip

Kriztal Website

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