Thursday, December 13, 2012

fFolKk Art SsOongG




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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Snackcar has been reloaded and is back in business. We've got a snackcart out on twitter. It's named for a friend of mine. A good enough chap, I guess. Here is where I will react to his tweets, when I deem them worthy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Directions To See A Ghost
The Black Angels

The name Black Angels taken as it was from the Velvet Underground conjures a certain kind of negation of spirituality. They are not a band you dance to or clean up after your cat to or make love to your significant other to. We’re given directions to see a ghost and they lead us down a cavernous labyrinth of blind alleys across whose twists and turns we’re reminded of how fuzzy guitars and authoritative beats spell doom for other sounds. You listen to the Black Angels with the same attentive dread as you do a tin cup preacher, the difference is one’s noise warns of the apocalypse while the other refreshes us with the promise of change. GRADE: A-

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

A rémoulade of blues funk power pop cooked down to a sludgy ooze. BRMC proves to be as essential as the primordial slime from which all music and life springs and no less organic. Listen to it at maximum volume to scare kids and old people alike. GRADE: B+

This is Happening

LCD Soundsystem

Sometimes music will come along and so perfectly speak to us that it is difficult to express properly exactly how it makes us feel. Is it enough to say that one finds in the music a kind of metronome for the soul? Maybe. Maybe not. The highest compliment I can think to give that which those who are unimaginative enough to be paid to label things call 'dance music' makes us want to move for the most obvious and sublime of reasons. Though our feet move long in advance of us understanding why. This is Happening is full of reasons to dance and the simple edict as if echoing in the beat belies a fantastic complexity that makes one want to listen to it again and again. Just ask my downstairs neighbors. I have heavy feet. GRADE:A

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Nobody Said It Was Easy
The Four Horsemen

Just listened to this one for the first time in more than a decade. I remembered thinking only the first two songs were good. Now I see I was wrong. GRADE:D

The Bachelor
Patrick Wolf

Garage chamber music from outer space? Pacha's last cowboy DJ on mescaline? I'm not sure how to describe Patrick Wolfe, except to say his music takes you on a tour of a world that would be better never to exist but only because flesh is weak and we are all the heroes if only in his dreams. Easily one of '09's best records (I know it was a pretty dire year). GRADE: A

Iggy Pop

Actually, I found this strange piece of work, combining as it does two of my favorite humans (the Ig and Houellebecq) an irresistible curiosity at first. On subsequent listens, I've been enchanted by its subtle beats as well as Iggy's well rehearsed French phrasing. The songs melt together into a jazzy river of unfilled dreams. The album somehow manages to capture the ennui of the expat American arriving in the left bank only to realize he is decades too late and that Paris is gone.

It doesn't compare with the stooges but stands alone. Fish Tank, if that is his real name, owes me a pint in Boston. GRADE:B


Moving from 60's psychedelic pop to 70's psychedelic funk, Caribou has made yet another album that I will listen to again and again. I suspect it will not fail to improve my mood each time I do so. There is something in this approach to music that calls to my soul. Sure, much of it is electronic but it manages to sound more organic
by way of the ENIAC as designed by Leonardo's dreams. Dance the dance of the cosmos to this one, it is the soundtrack we'd all like our lives to live up to. GRADE:A

Monday, May 10, 2010


Straight To Video
Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments

Lighter than punk, heavier than garage the unfortunately (or perhaps inspirationally) named Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments offer the kind of full frontal straight ahead rock that sounds more melodic and controlled than it has any right to be. The guitars often sound as though they are being played by a cheese grater rather than a pick. There is as much steel as skin in the percussion and the bass spends most of its time trying to keep up. The lyrics (as embodied by "Outside My Scene") both celebrate and lament the life of the drunken bar band. Straight to Video represents a kind of joyous bacchanal held during the dark night of a lost soul where anything is possible but we’re not disappointed when only rock happens. GRADE: B+

This Nation's Saving Grace
The Fall

I always loved stretching out in my parent's basement and so apparently does Mark E. Though the basement where he recorded This Nation's Saving Grace sounds as though it is located beneath Vivian Westwood's OBGYN practice and above a 18th century smithy's hut. Punk doesn't disappear on this album so much as grow from the angry growl of the band's 70's work to a more impressionistic growl that portends the electronics and sonic layering they would increasingly adopt to redoubtable ends in the coming years. . GRADE: A-

Through The Windowpane

Plays great on a ride through the heart of Manhattan. As I learned when my now wife, then girlfriend took our first trip together. I was amazed at her boldness, demanding that we drive all the way to our midtown hotel. So this review will be colored in the best way, as all music we share with lovers is, unless of course they leave us.
Avant-pop seems like a fair label if only because back in the day in a church somewhere near, say Cologne someone said the same thing about Bach. That's right I'm comparing this to Bach.
"Redwings" is the highlight here, balancing as it does harmony and emotion; those exquisite layers of gossamer. GRADE: A-

They Live On The Sun
Cloud Cult

These clouds float by looking all too familiar. Fuzz, beeps, blips and whole lotta meh. Listeners are better advised to listen to the Clouds Taste Metallic by The Flaming Lips. GRADE: D+