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Salt Lake City Weekly Celebrity Rate-a-Record

Salt Lake City nightlife columnists Jessica Christiansen and Lucy Campbell pick the hits.

By Bill Frost

JUNE 1, 1998:  As faithful Deseret News readers know, Jessica Christiansen and Lucy Campbell write a weekly Friday column called "Out & About." Their concept—a nightlife column for 20-somethings actually written by 20-somethings—was turned down flat by The Salt Lake Tribune, who instead went with a similarly-titled debutante column about exclusive parties you will never be invited to. Since the entertainment department is, believe it or not, less uptight and more open-minded at the D-News, Jessica & Lucy—neither a Mormon, a common misconception—found a home there.

After knocking back a couple of beers at Port O' Call, Jessica & Lucy made their way into the evil City Weekly offices to rate a pile of new music from Utah and abroad:

"Lick It Up," Casa Diablo, from The Continuing Mission to Destroy Rock & Roll (S.I.S., local).
Jessica: This, like, reminds me of making little devil horns with your fingers and a long tongue coming out of black lips.
Lucy: I don't know what to think—I'm rockin'! It's like the Muppets gone bad. My final opinion? Turn it off! Make it go away!

"I Think I Love You," David Cassidy, from Old Trick New Dog (Slamajama).
J: Oh, no—Puff Daddy didn't do this, did he? This really sucks. [Jess & Lucy have been admonished by D-News editors to not use the word "sucks" in their column.] It should be on the credits for Beverly Hills 90210—there is something seriously wrong with him.
L: This is not working for me—the Levi's commercial was way better.

"Deeper Underground," Jamiroquai, from Godzilla: The Album (Epic).

Sonic Youth = bad sex. Garbage = moody - schmarm; Jessica Christiansen and Lucy Campbell of the Deseret News out and about at D.B. Cooper's.
photo: Fred Hayes
J:I've heard that the new monster looks nothing like the real Godzilla—not that there's actually a real Godzilla [laughing]. This is heavy for Jamiroquai, like they're trying to sound like badasses because they're in a monster movie. I can see the singer dancing around the room with the Taco Bell dog in the corner.
L:If we were Siskel & Ebert, this CD would get a mixed review: no thumbs up or down, just a sprained thumb.

"The Next Big Thing," Jesus Jones, from Already (Combustion).
L:Wait—it's Dances With Wolves. No, it's worse—it's John Tesh! The other stuff on here is good, though. I would buy it.
J:I hate the cover art: If you see this CD, it's first-grade art, for reals. [Yes, she actually said "for reals."]

"Was It Good," Sunfall Festival, from Absolutely Splendid (Sunfall Festival, local).
J:I've seen them live; the singer's OK, but she has no stage presence whatsoever. She just stands there, but every once in a while she'll put her arm up like Vanna White turning a letter. Let's change the channel, please.
L:Yeah, OK, that was great—buh-bye.

"Ain't It a Bitch," Izzy Stradlin, from 117 Degrees (Geffen).
L:I thought the title was "Ain't Got a Bitch"—that would be a way better name for the song [laughing]. This is actually pretty good.
J:It reminds me of driving around in a Jeep in the summer with a bunch of high-school boys—not a bad thing, by the way. Now we just have to wait for Axl Rose's next album [imitates Axl squeal]. It's country gone grunge. This is good—it's nice to see someone from Guns N' Roses making music anymore. How did Axl get models to date him, anyway? Do they go for scummy guys?
L:It was the pants, Jess.

"World's On Heroin," All, from Mass Nerder (Epitaph).
J:My like or dislike for punk depends on my mood, and right now my mood is ehng. If this were a wine, I'd say it's heady with a good nose, but it's legs are a little chunky [laughs].
L:What the hell does that mean? I don't think it's wine—it's Pabst Blue Ribbon, man! [Jess launches into her Dennis Hopper impersonation from Blue Velvet.] Or maybe just wine in a box that you write your name on at a frat party.

"ELO Kiddies," Cheap Trick, from At Budokan: The Complete Concert (Epic/Legacy).
J:This is the classic rock version of Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People" ["ELO Kiddies" was originally released on Cheap Trick's debut in 1977], it makes me want to march. What was their popular song? "I Want You to Want Me"? I love that song. I worked at the Gap when I was 18, and they would play these looped tapes in the store. They changed the tape every month, but I swear that "I Want You to Want Me" was on every tape.

"The Munsters Theme," Insatiable, from Cover It Up: The Ska Covers (Beloved).
L:I've heard this, it's great. I'm biased toward Insatiable, because they were the first band we ever interviewed—they were so nice!
J:Unlike the guy from that one band. After I wrote a negative review of them, the bass player came up to me all drunk in a club and tried to hit me. He shoved me around and called me a bitch—all because of a bad review. There's no call for that.
L:Let's just say he's psycho. We love Insatiable, however.

"Temptation Waits," Garbage, from Version 2.0 (Almo Sounds/Interscope).
J:The singer looks like Kate Moss—only healthy. What I like about Garbage is how they mix dance stuff with the more moody, alternative grunge stuff; it's just a really cool sound. Shirley Manson's voice has meat to it.
L:It's moody without being schmarmy—that's S-C-H-M-A-R-M-Y, Bill [laughs]. The middle section reminds me of the Vortex, even though cage-dancing is not my thing. Love the Garbage

"Contre Le Sexime/Sunday," Sonic Youth, from A Thousand Leaves (DGC).
J:They are, like, so old—why don't they give it up? This sucks [there's that forbidden word again]; noise works when it's minimal, not in every single song. The intro is way too long, then when you finally get the song you say, "Is that all?"
J & L (in unison): Just like bad sex! [five solid minutes of laughter.]

"Please Don't Talk About Me," Ms. Peggy Rose & the Unlimited Trio, from Live From the Cabana Club (Peggy Rose, local).
L:I love this lady! She's about 90 and she just lets it rip. Sorry, she's actually 72—we're just grateful that she's alive [laughs]. Sorry again—I really do love her.
J:My high school music teacher, Ken Green, plays piano in her band—yaay Ken! We like her, just don't put in the stuff we said about her being old, OK? We'll look like brats.

"Hot Rod Mercury," Don Walser, from Down At the Sky-Vue Drive-In (Sire/Watermelon).
J:This is good, I like this. It's swing country, not two-step country—we're now big fans of Don. My dad ordered The Greatest Hits of Country or something from a late-night TV commercial and that's all he listens to; this sounds just like it.
L:I love this kind of country, it's very clean and real.

"Fire In the Hole," Van Halen, from Van Halen 3 (Warner Bros.)
J:First of all, I saw this new singer live with Van Halen on MTV—those little, tight pants were made for me, not a guy, but me, OK? Second, he can't sing David Lee Roth's stuff worth squat. He does a good Sammy Hagar, but the Dave-era Van Halen was better by far, anyway.
L:If they really wanted something different, they should have hired a girl singer—this is nothing new.

"Down Again," The Superjesus, from Sumo (Warner Bros.).
L:Jesus is very popular with the band names. This was produced by the same guy who's done Smashing Pumpkins and Collective Soul, and you can tell. Very cool—this is how women fronting heavy rock bands should do it.
J:Wasn't Superjesus a guy on South Park?

"Your Biscuits Are Big Enough For Me," Catfish Keith, from Twist It, Babe! (Fish Tail).
J:I totally dig this—the title makes me like it even more.
L:It reminds me being in California and seeing the House of Blues every day. Two emphatic thumbs up! Make that four!
J:And a couple of toes.

"Letting Me Die," DollsHead, from Frozen Charlotte (Refuge/MCA).
L:Ugh, I feel like I'm trapped in Confetti's. This is Confetti's music, only 10 times worse. Confetti's is an awful, awful, hateful place.
J:I've never been there.
L:Don't go.

"Big Black Bitch," Lugnut, from Kung Fu Grip (Lugnut, local).
J:Um, could we not listen to this, please? It's bad enough to be subjected to this in a bar, where you'd have to drink twice as much to attempt to enjoy it. You can just tell that the guitar player is a metalhead who listened to Judas Priest and Slayer in the '80s.
L:I like Tool ... I don't like this. [Jess & Lucy exercise their option to use the forbidden "sucks" one last time before reporting back to the D-News tower.]

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