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boothSOUNDTRACK: SOFA-New Era Building 7″ [CST001] (1997).

sofaSofa was a band that is notabkle for being the first band released on Constellation Records.  They had some releases before that but then guitarist Ian Ilavsky started Constealltion where they released their final 7″ and CD before disbanding.

This 7″ has two songs, “Canyon (Fade)” and “With It” which do not appear on their CD Grey.  if you know the band, these songs fit in perfectly with thie sound–low throbbing bass, noisy buzzy guitars and spoken/sung deep vocals.

“Canyon (Fade)” opens with tribal drum beats and a low rumbling bass (which reminds me a bit of early Cure and other goth bands), but with a bit of a heaver edge.  The singer has a deep speaking style of singing. I’m not really sure what he’s singing, but it adds a great tone to the song.  About midway through the song the guitar (which has been mostly scratchy and noisy) breaks out with some harsh feedback squalls that kind of overpower the song. But then the bass fights back.

Of the two songs, I prefer “With It.” The bass rumble is super cool, low and wicked sounding. And the drums a are bit more spare. The guitar is playing some occasional notes while the singer mumbles his way through whatever he’s talking about. It’s a totally atmospheric piece—you can just picture where this noir thing is happening.

Just before the chorus comes in, his voice gets louder, the guitars start squalling and feedbacking and a rather high pitched “withit” punctuates the noise, after which the deep voice seems to moan.  It’s pretty cool.

I really enjoyed how the bass doesn’t really change for the whole song except in a couple of places where it places a similar yet distinct bass line. It’s neat and changes the tone of the song briefly.  At 2 and a half minutes the song stops abruptly and then the guitar notes resume to get the song started again.  Groovy noise.

Shame the band disbanded.

[READ: February 6, 2015] Booth

Here’s another First Second book for February #10yearsof01.  And what better day to post a book about John Wilkes Booth?

I really didn’t know much about John Wilkes Booth except for the obvious–he shot Abraham Lincoln and shouted sic semper tyrannus.

Well, this book take a relatively sympathetic look at the life of the world’s most famous assassin.  This is not to say that the book endorses what Booth did or anything like that–no hate letters please.  It just looks at Booth as a human who had opinions and acted on them.

Thankfully, Colbert does not show Booth’s life in a vacuum so we get proper context for what he did and we also hear the opinions of the people who were also opposed to him.   But it is fascinating to see the things he believed and what forced him to act on his beliefs. (more…)

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