I love this Constellation release. It is one of my favorite releases of theirs in a long time. This album sounds like a kind of TV on the Radio demo/tribute. I don’t mean that in a knock-off way, but there are many elements about TV on the Radio that I recognize here (voice and musical style). But the fact that a) Jordache plays all of the instruments himself and b) he keeps things simple, makes this an impressive release.
It opens with “Radio Generation,” which has a really cool bouncy guitar riff and bassline. It doesn’t quite display the signature sound that I think of this album as having but it certainly points to it. “Get It (I Know You’re Going To) is where I hear the first signs of TV on the Radio. Jordache sings with two voices at the same time–with his deep voice underpinning his higher voice. It’s a great effect. And the fiddly guitar bits are really interesting.
“Salt on the Fields” opens with some “wee ooh” vocals in a fairly high register but when the main vocals come in, they are processed and sound not unlike an old radio (and a singer who I can hear but whose name I can’t place) and then midway through, the song introduces a great guitar riff. “Phantom Limb” features drums and looping from Merrill Garbus who I didn’t know when I first heard this album but who I now know is tUnEyArDs. And, heh, a little browsing tells me that they are in a band together called Sister Suvi.
“Gold Bound” feels more like a demo than the other tracks, it’s a very simple guitar melody with some echoed vocals. It’s also the shortest song on here and it’s a nice change of pace. It also ends with a strange excerpt from something else, a vulgar, rocking little piece advising you to run mother fucker.
“Song for Arthur” returns to that cool high-pitched ooo-ooing. But “The 2-Step” changes things quite a bit. An interesting processed guitar and loud echoey drums, but that voice is recognizably his. There’s also more guitars than on other songs which brings a new texture to this album.
The final song “ukUUU” is a slow meandering piece. There’s some interesting sounds going on (reverse vocals and such) and a lengthy spoken piece about love, but it lacks the punch of the rest of the disc.
Nevertheless, this album is interesting, intriguing and a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to more from him.
[READ: February 12, 2012] “Liability”
I recently saw that Narrative magazine picked three “30 Below” winners for 2011. So I thought I’d see just what kind of short stories win their prizes. This is the third place finisher.
I admit I was a little less than excited when I started reading the story. It was written in second person, which I liked, but it seemed like a pedestrian story about “you ” and your wife. How she is so beautiful and you feel you have let her down. But my misgivings soon gave way. And I think it was with this little section that won me over:
You crave energy and excitement, and to this end you have bought a beautiful condo downtown in the “bohemian quarter,” as the realtor pitched it, which means that it’s cheap enough for artists and poor black people. That’s okay. You love art and hate racism.”
By the middle of the next page, after the explanation of your wife’s job (guidance counselor in a poor school) we get to what turns out to really propel the story: “Although, to be honest, she has a small drinking problem.” He diffuses this bold statement with a qualifier in the next paragraph: “But the drinking problem is only a problem sometimes, and the drinking problem is not a problem tonight.” (more…)