Wednesday, December 24, 2003  
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All those fans and critics who preach the absolute separation of pop and politics: screw you. At least that would seem to be the message of the sixth album put together by the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Sam Coomes and his ex-wife and loyal drummer, Janet Weiss. Concocting a grooving, earthy pop rock that plays with complex changes worthy of fellow Portland resident Stephen Malkmus and combining it with the passionate, topical politicking of Weissís other local band, Sleater-Kinney, the pair prove themselves the perfect musical couple for their progressive city.

Their passion is, of course, fueled by the impotent rage that rises from their conviction that none of this will matter a whit outside the tidy limits of their little urban paradise (and all those other bohemian pockets around the country that might listen to their preaching). Which might be why the brickbats Coomes tosses at George, Jeb, and "all the Bushes" are so placid. But he still canít help being pissed about the "Master & Dog" relations of the world, and it burns into his virtuoso blues riffs and Monkish jazz breaks as well as his compassion for losers of all stripes, even self-pitying burned-out indie-rockers shedding "Drunken Tears."

BY FRANKLIN SOULTS


Issue Date: November 14 - 20, 2003
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