As is the case with many film scores, once you've heard the main themes, be prepared to hear them again and again. At least the composer gives us three of them in this case. However, Badalamenti avoids repetitiousness by composing variations on his themes, and by placing them in front of different musical backgrounds as the dramatic situations dictate. Like the film, the music is very dark and a bit of a downer, but it's also restrained and delicate in a way that the film can't even begin to approach. Badalamenti, whose prior work includes the scores to several David Lynch productions, clearly responds to cinematic weirdness with music of unusual beauty and poignancy.

By Raymond Tuttle

The Pogues
Pogue Mahone
(Mesa)

A Pogues album without Shane MacGowan: the perfect gift for anyone who loved those Doors albums without Jim Morrison.

By Michael Roberts

Various Artists
A Slice of Lemon
(Lookout/Kill Rock Stars)

Option magazine once detailed the twin camps of indie labels Dischord and K and found faction where there was none to find. The same is true of this rattle-bash double-disc compilation, which pairs the stable of talent at the Berkeley-based punk label Lookout with the Seattle/Olympia collective at Kill Rock Stars. The set list includes cherubic pop-punk (Delightful Little Nothings, Red #9, Go Sailor, Cub), horn-heavy ska (Shaken 69), and back-in-the-day retreads (Chickenhead), as well as some skewed trajectories that seldom cut it (Men's Recovery Project, Lice, Worst Case Scenario).

Anyone familiar with nuevo punk will probably recognize Pansy Division as one-time openers for Green Day. Both bands can claim lineage in the Gilman Street scene, the all-ages Berkeley co-op and feeder stage for the fiercely independent Lookout label. Pansy Division's music is dubbed queercore, and they are one of a cabal of out-and-in-your-face bands such as San Francisco's Tribe 8 and Sub Pop's Team Dresch. "Ring of Joy," the Division's contribution here, is about exactly what you think it is, and sounds like a chiming, bawdy goof on the gay agenda. Among the other Lookout acts featured, the Mr. T Experience gives a nod to their School House Rock days with a cover of "Unpack Your Adjectives."

As for the Kill Rock Star roster, the Executioners amble in with "Court Food," a hooky love-and-regret slow-drive. Rose Melburg, ex-singer/guitarist with the now-defunct Tiger Trap, continues in the same dreamy vein as one-third of Go Sailor. The Frumpies, a side project for assorted members of Bikini Kill and Bratmobile, appear here with "Safety First," a clanging mess that sounds like a bunch of garbage cans rolling down a stairwell -- metal machine music without a purpose. Thankfully, Mary Lou Lord -- a street busker made good -- salves the Frumpies' abrasions with "Eternal Circle," a Baez-like strummer.

With a list price of about $16, A Slice of Lemon is a thrifty trove of cut-and-paste punk. Not exactly a call to arms, the collection is more like a hodgepodge tape from a friend. You forgive the lame tracks, hit fast forward, and pogo to your favorites.

By Jennifer Przybylski

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