Sunday, April 16, 2006

heep see

Virgin Insanity : Illusions of the Maintenance Man
Espers : II

Privately pressed Texas stoners should be a no-brainer, yet this thing thuds on the other meaning of the phrase, meaning it gets me over loner-stoner like a bale of Mexi-dirt. Had I been an initial explorer, it's easy to see how falling down such a jackalope hole in a record bin could be so coveted: kooky teens from suburban Dallas in a haze of wacky weed strumming as they attain the Godz within. As something tenable in the twenty-first though, the daylight dispels such doodled illusions.

Espers may dig such a platter. For their own Amon Drool sequeling, arcane vinyl fetishizing, and the sort of librarian listing of all the vintage gear they accrued (along with arsenic old-lace dresses), it might make for knee-jerk dismissal. Especially as we deal with the shriveled pedal fall-out from the year that freak-folk broke (1966 dude). Yet moonbaths in the milky Nightwood extract is redemptive for them and Greg Weeks and his Big Love-like Djunas are even prescient enough to hitch themselves to the year that Black Metal broke. Though they are far more crepuscular and subtle, aligning themselves to the rust that never sleeps but thrives on such a surface.

The Knife : Silent Shout
Fiery Furnaces : Bitter Tea
Weird boy-girl (Hansel und Gretel) dynamic dualities at play, though only one breadcrumb trail to Neverland is stomachable. Biblical bodily-harm band names, and oxymoronic album titles aside, the masking and layers that Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson project never feel clever and cloying, unlike the Friedbergers. Aside from myself, I can't think of anyone who would benefit more from an editor (or in this case, a producer) than Fiery Furnaces. Their dog-paddling through proper names, cut-ups, and quirkiness (not to mention lame presets) is maddening, nearly causing last night's Movie Night to divide against itself. Maybe it is a psylocybin-steeped brew (which I'd usually never turn down), but much like such trips, shit turns boring the back half, when you stop wanting profundity and just want simple pleasures. Even Fluxblog frets whether or not you're gonna fuck up "Police Sweater Blood Vow" in the studio.

The Knife have some cheesy presets, too, like to dash their pop much like the Fiery Furnaces do. It takes nearly three minutes just to get to the ludicrous drum fill and chorus of "Like A Pen." They claim to be from Sweden, which is more cred-worthy than admitting the truth of their Siberian origins and how they have weird Deliverance-type inbreeding out there. The blurring of identity and gender sounds crucial to the Knife's survival, their duality distorted by digital processing and meat-locker isolation chambers, the horrors of daily life on a spiritual tundra such that it can feel like 500 degrees. Jiff Skippy hears Scott inside 'em, which I hope implies he hears Brecht and the fact that Silent Shout is also Munch-rock.

Belle & Sebastian : The Life Pursuit
Sparks : Hello Young Lovers
If you'd told me that post-April Fool's Day I would have barely spun the new Theo Dini but gotten downright dizzy on the unspeakably irritating Belle & Sebastian, I would've made your breath smell like boot polish. But I'll be damned if a twee-pop record isn't stoving in my head even as I type this. And how to explain my lifelong disregard of Ric Ocasek's hiccup vocal delivery somehow getting co-opted by Stuart Murdoch to my boxer-knotting delight on "The Blues are Still Blue"?

Yes, Viagra has restored their vim and vigor and taken them back to their days of being underwear models. Lascivious, silver-tongued devils though they may be once more, dicking around and whatnot, now it's their hearing that becomes the stumbling block. Punchlines, rather than prattled off with such effortless glee by the Evelyn Waughs of Glam, are now repeating payoff lines for five minutes or more. Not that there are no new twists; "Perfume" sounds downright sincere, until you realize the boys have never been once been so sappy. Then the laundry list of lays and the ladies' corresponding scents scans instead as a sly "settling down" pick-up line. And so they continue to dick around.


Blogger theblognut said...

how big do jackelopes get?

8:31 PM  
Anonymous J T. Ramsay said...

When I finally get around to transcribing it, this interview I just did with Chris Smith and Meg Baird talks about the nature of evil, without getting all Richard Bernstein on its ass. With recent developments, we're all turning away from degrees, right?

10:48 AM  
Blogger beta said...

welp, i reckon jakelopes get 'bout right big as a white house cat.

7:56 PM  

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