Earful

Skeletons in the jukebox

“Skeletons” provides a forum for local musicians, artists, record-store owners, etc., to erase cool points by expressing their unseemly affection for an unhip album from their past.

“Come On Eileen,” by Martin Anderson, Music Director of WNCW

“‘Come On Eileen,’ from Dexy’s Midnight Runners in 1982, was my first favorite song. The Top 40 station had listeners vote their favorite for the nightly Top 5, and I remember calling about a dozen times for ‘Eileen’ one night when I was 12.

“I tried to disguise my voice with each call, and was psyched when it got to #5 that night, and then #1 over the next week! I was not so psyched when I listened to the whole album, Too-Rye-Ay, and learned they were just a one-hit-wonder band.

“Oh, well; ‘Eileen’ was still cool. Little did I know that fateful night that I would one day [be] that DJ who took my dozen or so calls!”

CD review

Rating system
1 star: Excellent beer coaster
2 stars: Scant moments of grace
3 stars: Flawed excellence
4 stars: Rotation monopolizer
5 stars: Gun it past the soccer moms and get to the record store

Peggy Ratusz, It Takes a Lot of Faith: Two Stars

Genre(s): Soft rock

You’ll like it if: You feel a warm glow when “Adult Contemporary” is mentioned.

Defining song: “Foreplay”

Tender flutes coupled with come-hither metaphors will induce either yearning for a night of debauchery, or else laughter. Local musician Peggy Ratusz owns a comfortable niche: Her safely sexy rock is always a welcome addition at places like Tressa’s or Magnolia’s, her band has the skills to honor any cover requests, and her originals are well suited for a discerning bar crowd. However, the studio setting is a different beast altogether, and It Takes a Lot of Faith doesn’t translate well from her live outings. Songs like “Sexual High” may work wonders in a loud room, but home alone it comes off banal — not exactly living up to its title. At least she relies on all originals (most of the music and lyrics are written by Ratusz) instead of band-aiding with numerous covers.

Show review

Rating system
1 star: I want my three hours back
2 stars: Great background music
3 stars: Warrants partial attention
4 stars: Only leave for bathroom breaks
5 stars: Become a groupie on the spot

Jordan Bates at Bo Bo Gallery; Wednesday, July 13 (and every Wednesday): Three Stars

Genre(s): DJ lounge

Be glad you stayed home if: Burt Bacharach meshing with house beats elicits confusion.

Defining moment: Bates’ sliding into ELO’s “Strange Magic” produced an unlikely union of tacky nostalgia and cutting edge.

The beauty of Bo Bo is its anti-bar climate. Cocktails run second fiddle to the lush paintings that adorn the tiny two-room gallery. Up from the lounge is a second circular bar that encases the DJ of the evening. Around it, several drum stools await folks who like to see the wax up close. I bellied up within inches of the turntables to absorb the work of Jordan Bates as he seamed together music usually not meant for cohabitation, like the Casino Royale soundtrack next to Sage Francis with Will Oldham. He also created insightful audio decor, adapting to the various personalities (breakdancing troupe Hunab Krew & Fresh Tricks being the highlight) that stroll through Bo Bo.

[When he’s not bending readers to his will, Hunter Pope cooks, gardens, hikes and spends his mortgage money on CDs he’s never heard.]

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