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Golden Smog: Stay Golden, Smog: The Best of Golden Smog

Music Reviews Golden Smog
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Golden Smog: <em>Stay Golden, Smog: The Best of Golden Smog</em>

Minneapolis gang’s side projectstill breathes fresh air
Compare Golden Smog to Wilburys if you must, but this alleged supergroup (variously Uncle Tupelo/Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, the Jayhawks’ Gary Louris and Marc Perlman, Soul Asylum’s Dan Murphy, Run Westy Run’s Kraig Johnson, the Honeydogs’ Noah Levy, Big Star’s Jody Stephens and the Replacements’ Chris Mars), never suffered from overproduction—or even much collective fame. Named after Fred Flintstone’s “Golden Smog” parody of Mel Tormé’s “Velvet Fog” nickname, the Smog has, however, rolled out songs so full of multi-tiered harmonies, gorgeous 12-string Rickenbacker chords (is there a sweeter sound in rock ‘n’ roll?) and good-humored looseness, you’ll feel compelled to sing along. “Until You Came Along,” “V,” “Pecan Pie,” “Looking Forward to Seeing You,” “To Call My Own” (with its “tit-tit-tit” nod to the Beatles’ “Girl”)—why these cuts couldn’t work in the guys’ respective bands is unclear, but this best-of offering is the whipped cream on a Smog-lover’s piece of pecan pie.