CD reviews for Jan. 20

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

"B.R.M.C"

Available at All That Jazz for $16.98

The first time I heard this group was on Paul Strong's iPod Nano. As I held the earpiece and heard the sound of this band rise above Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill's happy-hour crowd, I knew I had to hear more than one song.

"B.R.M.C." is an older release from this group that came out in 2000, which is another way of saying I'm a little behind the times.

Maybe I wasn't ready. Maybe in 2000, I wouldn't have appreciated this album as much as I do today. With its fuzzed guitar and vocal feel that has been compared more than once to Lou Reed, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club plays the kind of music you feel in your wrists and the back of your neck. It's dark pop. It's the kind of music that I imagine spends a lot of time performing on stage behind chicken wire.

Venue as genre judge: When they play in Denver, they book the Gothic Theatre, and they play the Exit/In in Nashville.

Rated: Apparently, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's newest album is a more acoustic/Americana take on things, but right now, I'm in the mood for some electric guitar.

Nick Cave

and The Bad Seeds

"B-Sides and Rarities"

Available at All That Jazz for $24.98

Packaged like a box set of vinyl complete with white CD sleeves, this three-disc set made me simultaneously nostalgic and suspicious.

I was forever put on alert by such releases as the Nirvana box set that was full of poorly recorded outtakes. Often, "previously unreleased material" is unreleased for a reason.

So it was a pleasant surprise to hear a clear acoustic recording of "Deanna" as the kickoff for this collection.

This three-discer is a toned-down exploration of this alterna-darling's 20-plus-year career with The Bad Seeds. It wanders through 56 tracks of the Nick Cave darkness and funhouse Ameri----cana that made him popular with the boys-in-eyeliner crowd.

If Nick Cave didn't totally creep you out with his '90s album all about murder, you might just appreciate this collection. Or if you were introduced to Cave's music by Johnny Cash's cover of his song "The Mercy Seat" on America III or the Cash/Cave duet of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," you'll be interested to learn something more about this musical character.

Rated: Think what the music would have sounded like if Elvis were a darker kind of weirdo?

The Best of Dire Straits

and Mark Knopfler

"Private Investigations"

On sale at All That Jazz for $21.98

I'm a firm, if foolish, believer in the generation gap. My father's music never can be my music. As a result of this belief, I have avoided bands such as The Doobie Brothers, The Traveling Wilburys and Dire Straits. Those are my dad's bands, and I must forge my own musical way.

I enjoy music from that generation -- The Who, early David Bowie and Bob Dylan -- as long as I didn't hear it as a child.

I know it's wrong. I know it requires some therapy, but that's the way it is. That's the way I am, and that's why there are two deep trenches dug by my heels from the CD bin to this moment with the Best of Dire Straits in my headphones.

Fortunately, I'm not a total idiot, and I can appreciate this showcase of Mark Knopfler, one of the best guitarists of my father's generation.

If I were not such a childish rebel, I would tell you that this is a great two-disc collection.

Rated: Did you know that the dinosaur "masiakasaurus knopfleri" was named after Mark Knopfler? Apparently, archeologists were listening to Dire Straits when they discovered it. No? Neither did I.

-- Autumn Phillips

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