Nick Buzz’ first album came out in 1996 (during a time when the Rheos had just wrapped up their album The Blue Hysteria) and was ignored. It was reissued in 2002 to a bit more fanfare. I reviewed it once before and while I thought I was more dismissive of it then, it turns out that I wasn’t. That I enjoyed it and felt mostly the same as I do now.
“Spilling The Wonderful” starting out with a mellow piano intro, the song jars into a noisy/drunken waltz melody and a violin solo before returning to the cabaret/waltz style that opened the song. It is deliriously catchy. The song ends with some tape manipulation before seguing into “That’s What You Get For Having Fun.” This song opens with some slapped and scratchy guitar sounds with a refrain of “there’s a monkey in my underwear.” There’s a super catchy guitar riff that is sung along to—this song really shines live.
“Just Because” mellows things down a lot, with a jazzy sounding guitar and Martin’s delicate vocals. The music for his one was written by pianist Jon Goldsmith which might explain the mellowness. It’s a sweet ballad. Although the segue after this song is some clips from the radio (possibly sung by Tielli?) which are distant and crackling. There’s a saxophone playing as well. This merges into an announcer introducing the band for their (live) cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River.” It’s a beautiful, delicate version with Hugh Marsh’s electric violin solo swirling around.
Some dissonant sax segues into Sane So Sane which is actually a pretty gentle piano song. They play with the recording sound as the drums get muffled and dense and there’s more backing vocals thrown over the top. But it remains largely conventional. “Hymn to the Situation” is a creaky somewhat creepy song that Martin described as being about a self-centered jerk. who says things like “I’d suicide for you.” There’s a canned crowd cheering at a particularly funny line and even a cow mooing as the song ends
“Fornica Tango” is a wild weird song. It is tango (Tielli speaks Italian), but the rhythm is kept by a squeaky sound (which is likely Marsh’s violin). The song is interrupted throughout by a crying baby or, even stranger, a screeching chimpanzee (fornica translates as ant). The song ends with some crazy sounds from Marsh’s electronic violin. The highlight of the record is “Love Streams’ a beautiful ballad based largely around a piano melody and Marsh’ keening violin. It’s followed by “Aliens break a heat” which is more tape manipulation and all kinds of weird effects (backward vocals I believe) for 2 minutes. Until it’s replaced by sounds of traffic (European) and horns honking.
The final song is the amusing “The Italian Singer/Just Because I’m Nick The Buzz” It starts slowly with some plucked strings and Tielli’s voice. There’s some spoken sections and lots of staccato music until the gentle ending which resumes the melody from “Just Because.”
It’s a peculiar album but one that gets better with each listen (and hearing him play some of these songs live has really introduced new aspects of them to me.
[READ: October 10, 2015] The Circle
I put this book off for a while but with no real reason for doing so. And I’m sorry I waited so long because the book is really good–it’s thought-provoking and questions a lot of established ideas but is also really kind of fun and utopian.
What’s most impressive to me about the way the book is written is that the story itself is really quite simple. It is a gradual building up of intensity. At the end of which the main character has to make a decision which proves to be very important both for her and everyone else.
The story is about Mae. Mae had been working at a dull and dispiriting job in civil service at her home town. The job was dull, the people were dull, there was zero energy in the place and even her boss was depressing. It sucked. She had been there for 18 months and when her boss joked about her getting a promotion, she’d about had it.
She contacted her friend Annie. Annie was her college roommate and boon companion for a few years. And Annie worked at The Circle, the coolest most awesome place in the country to work at–think google, but better). Was there any way that Annie could help out Mae? Indeed there was. Annie got Mae a job at The Circle, just like that. Annie was one of the Top 40, the influential crowd at The Circle and Mae was in (her first day is hilarious, because Annie plays a wonderful prank on her). (more…)