SOUNDTRACK: CUPPA JOE-Nurture (1995).
Fuzzy guitars, distortion, rocking noise and…that delicate voice. cuppa joe breaks out their harder side with this album. What’s nice about this full length is the way the band really pushes the boundaries of its indie pop sound. They explore different styles but never go so far as to lose their identity. It’s most notable in the bass, which sounds so different on different songs, quick and jazzy on “Swinging on your Gate” full of high notes and full on “Broken Arms.”
And, of course, “Bottlerocket” is back for another go. This sounds like a re-recorded version than the EP, louder and fuller. And frankly, after writing a song like this how do you compare?
But just showing some of the diversity on the disc, “Sitting Limit” has some major distortion on the guitars. It’s funny how almost deadpan the vocals are in comparison. I’ve finally concluded that the vocals sound kind of like the alternate leads singer from The Dead Milkmen (Joe Jack Talcum, the one who sang “Punk Rock Girl”). In fact, a few of their slower songs sound like Talcum’s ballads.
“Decline” offers some vocal harmonies which bring an interesting depth to the song (which in this case is much lighter in the jangly guitars) and almost sounds like a demo.
“Poster” stands out for its deep almost punk bassline and aggressive (relatively) vocals (and fr the fact that it’s under 2 minutes long). It’s funny how much more intense the vocals can sound on these tracks. And just when you think you have them figured out as a pop band with punk leanings, they throw in a song like “long Walk” with some wild music lines and an almost world music influence.
Even as the disc comes to a close, “Beauty of of an Unshared Thing” is like a long lost 90’s college radio gem. It’s got the wash of guitars, the great bassline and a propulsive beat.
Listening carefully to the lyrics, the word that comes to mind most is earnest. A song like “Self Confidence” is a mellow song about empowerment. Or “Medium Well” with the line “A kiss means so much more when it doesn’t taste like alcohol.”
The bonus track on the disc is a cover of an old Irish song by the band Bagatelle. The song “Second Violin” is astonishingly catchy. Given my proclivities, I prefer the harder rocking stuff on the disc, and there is certainly plenty of that.
It’s going to be re-released from Dromedary, with extra bonus tracks!
[READ: February 17, 2010] “Luz Mendiluce Thompson”
This story is taken from Nazi Literature in the America. It’s translated by Chris Andrews.
The book is evidently a collection of fictional biographies of Nazi writers who live in the Americas. The contents is simply a list of names (and this is the only one I have read, so I can’t confirm that the rest of the collection is like this).
But, lo, that summary is true of this piece. Luz Mendiluce, born in Berlin 1928, died in Buenos Aires in 1976. Her proudest memory and most sacred possession is of her being dandled on Hitler’s lap. This is the photo she would rescue if her house was on fire.
And this story, which is quite easily my favorite short fiction by Bolaño thus far is a fast paced, exciting and strangely moving portrait of this fascist poet.
As her life goes from bad to worse, and she desperately tries to fall in love, her poetry grows longer and longer, gaining occasional admirers in her adopted land of Argentina.
Based on this work alone, I am fairly confident that I would enjoy the rest of this book, and I’ll certainly add it to my to read list.
For ease of searching I include: Bolano