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    Upstairs at Larry's: Lawrence Welk Uncorked

    Fri, 06 Aug 2004 16:46:19

    Album Reviews: Upstairs at Larry's: Lawrence Welk Uncorked

    It sounds like something done on a dare: an entire album of remixes of tunes from The Lawrence Welk Show, possibly the squarest television show of all time, from some of today's hottest and hippest dance music producers. Can anyone actually make "Bubbles in the Wine" funky? Apparently, the answer is yes.

    Welk fans will be disappointed by the collection's lack of polkas...wait, what am I saying? Welk fans will probably hate this stuff. For the rest of us, it's a total romp, a sly-yet-respectful reworking of some great big band chestnuts of yesteryear, including "Caravan," "String of Pearls," "Blue Velvet," and not one, but two versions of Henry Mancini's immortal "Baby Elephant Walk." Club DJs with a healthy sense of humor should devour them both.

    House music fans will recognize many of the names behind the remixes: Groove Junkies, Kaskade, Q-Burns Abstract Message, Greens Keepers, Monkey Bars. All make great contributions, but two relative unknowns steal the show. Rithma takes one of Welk's best-loved tracks, "Champagne Time," and twists it into a big beat anthem worthy of Fatboy Slim, while JOY & the Spider Club pull off the improbable task of turning "You Are My Sunshine" into a funky rump-shaker. If this collection doesn't make you want to break out the bubbly and dance, maybe you're the hopelessly square one. - Andy Hermann

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