"Las Vegas Grind--Part 3"
Various Artists, 199?
Records (the ones responsible for the Las Vegas Grind series
as well as the
discs) have a real knack at find the most delightfully obscure records
from the 1950's and early 60's. These are the bands that inhabited basements
clubs, down-and-out roadside joints, and way-off-the-circuit Burlesque
houses. They played a strange hybrid of rock and roll exotica, squawking
sax R&B, gaudy grindhouse struts, and everything else in between. These
are the bands that have been lost to history...until now. These bands show,
more than anyone else, the uncomfortable transition from smoky-lounge cocktail
music to sock-hop rock and roll. You can feel the classic era of lounge
music slip away with every bawdy note on this disc. Just as Burlesque was
giving was to the down-and-dirty strip, so too was the purity of lounge
music losing out to the new generation of decadence. Popular music was
finding its soulful side (as in soul music) and that struck against everything
the lounge aesthetic stood for. It's the difference between a dry martini
poured out of a silver shaker and drinking cheap beer from a paper sack.
In other words, Lounge music was losing out because it couldn't go to the
same grimy roadhouses that spawned true rock and roll. Cocktail music was
to be trapped forever in its hi-fi world of penthouse apartments and tiki
clubs. But, as we've seen in recent years, there is no need to mourn the
fall of Lounge. Las Vegas Grind (part 3) is filled with 30
tracks of various styles and talent. You might not get it with on your
first listen, but give it time and it will grow on you--as long as you
can let yourself go and celebrate the days of lounge past and the future
of rock's reign.