In the blurb about The Solar Motel band, Lars Gotrich says that Chris Forsyth’s group usually plays high energy and maximum volume. But here, they have picked some of their more mellow pieces. And I frankly think they are all fantastic (I actually don’t even want to hear their louder stuff).
“Harmonious Dance” opens with four single repeated notes before the slow echoed chords fill the room. The drummer is playing with brushes and dangling some bells (which he eventually holds in his mouth while playing with both hands). There’s a feeling of Explosions in the Sky on this song–but without as much drama. Rather, the mid section turns away from the vibrato to a more structured picked section which allows room for a guitar solo. The blurb says the song “meditates on a gently unfolding melody shared between Forsyth and guitarist Nick Millevoi.”
Speaking of the drummer, the blurb tells us that “due to touring conflicts, The Solar Motel Band’s rhythm section is different here than on record, but bassist Matt Stein provides a grounding force, as drummer Ryan Jewell … loosens the very ground beneath it all.”
Forsyth introduces the second song with the strange comment: “It gives me great pleasure to say the title of this next song: ‘The First Ten Minutes Of Cocksucker Blues.'” Why great pleasure? Anyhow, the title refers to the unreleased Rolling Stones documentary directed by Robert Frank. There’s a kind of funky, rougher edge to this song that has Forsyth playing some simple chords while Millevoi plays some wailing classic-rock-style solos. In fact, the whole thing has a classic rock feel, except with a more contemporary jamming feel.
A buzzing drone segues into “Boston Street Lullaby.” Unlike the other two songs this one is very mellow and kind of trippy. At times (especially the way that Millevoi bends some of his guitar licks it feels distinctly like Pink Floyd’s “Echoes.” The end has some cool jangly spacey guitar and Jewell is doing all sorts of interesting things to the kit, including changing the sound of his snare by pressing on it at different spots.
I am curious to hear what other kinds of stuff they play.
I am bummed to read that they opened for Super Furry Animals this summer. I really wanted to get to that show, but I was out of town. That would have been a great double bill.
[READ: November 14, 2016] The Moors
Back in 2014, I ordered all 16 books from Madras Press. Unfortunately, after publishing the 16 books they seem to have gone out of business (actually they are switching to non-fiction, it seems). They still have a web presence where you can buy remaining copies of books. But what a great business idea this is/was
Madras Press publishes limited-edition short stories and novella-length booklets and distributes the proceeds to a growing list of non-profit organizations chosen by our authors. The format of our books provides readers with the opportunity to experience stories on their own, with no advertisements or miscellaneous stuff surrounding them.
The format is a 5″ x 5″ square books that easily fit into a pocket.
Proceeds from Marcus’ book go to the Friend Memorial Public Library in Maine.
This is a story that is set in the time it takes for a woman to fill up her mug of coffee.
It begins with the amusing concept that our protagonist Thomas saying that he felt bad about speaking in baby talk to a colleague. And then it pulls back so we can see just what is happening.
Thomas has incredibly low self esteem. He immediately takes a dislike to this colleague who is so composed and together. He wonders if there’s a word for the contempt that he imagines she feels for everyone around her (based on the way she walks and is dressed).
And then over what seemed like three dozen too many pages, we learn the extent of his insecurities. He is too fat, he might have erectile disfucntion, he believes that they are throwing pigeons at the windows every hour to mark time.
He is so insecure and his lashing out is just so unpleasant that I really didn’t want to read about why he acts this way (which we do sort of learn at he end).
Essentially this is man at a loss. The way his home life has been going has certainly compounded his loss. But the road to get there felt too long and either too misogynistic or self-pitying most of the time.
If this had been half as long I would have liked it much better. Although I really don’t think I could ever actually enjoy reading about this character–baby talk or not.