Gary Young's Hospital

The sentence "Gary Young is one of the most important musicians working in California today" is unlikely to appear anywhere outside of the former Pavement drummer's dreams. The Grey Album is demonstrative of why; Young's El Dorko-dad voice isn't even karaoke-ready, and the simplistic, tossed-off songs he and guitarist Terry Blank play sound like it's still 1979.

Yet there's a wily, blithe charm to this collection of odds and ends. Songs like "Fred Named Friend," a silly, bouncy ditty one could imagine Lisa Kudrow playing on Friends, and the wind-up, early-Queers punk of "Vegetarians Are a Token" are the "happy pills" to scarf down before the album drifts off into more ethereal territory, like the Prozac'd, assembly-line keyboards of "Happy" and the deft Pink Floyd spoof "Am I Headless Even Now?" This Hospital isn't one you'd really want to go back to, but you might wanna steal some drugs. -- Ray Cummings


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