Wednesday, January 26, 2005

B, VIII

Blacktop Cadence- ‘Chemistry For Changing Times’

A fantastic record by a completely marginal band. Blacktop Cadence was a side project that some guys from Hot Water Music were involved in- for whatever reason I wound up buying the Blacktop album even though I saw HWM like six or seven times and was never really blown away…they were the kind of band, I thought, that probably sells more t-shirts than albums, the kind I wanted to like more than I actually did.
Anyway. Blacktop Cadence is totally an emo record- the name, the song titles, songs themselves, everything about the band makes me wonder if perhaps I’m being duped. All of the signifiers are fully in place- minor keys, dual vocals (hoarsely shouted, at that,) changing time signatures, soft/loud dynamism, the whole ball of wax. A little too perfect, to be honest, to the point that I’m paranoid about it. Whatever. I wandered around a very misty Amsterdam the Halloween before last, listening to this record as I checked out all the canals and (surprise!) got myself lost. Perfect, just perfect.

MIX TAPE: Are You An Angel?

Dan Blakeslee- Of Silver And Rust

Dan was the guy that everyone at UNH knew- playing some club or other every night on the Seacoast (for whatever it’s worth, he played the show I set up with the Quaker Cannons, the other Nerfherder and ExVegas, AND he did the cover for the second issue of Adhesive X.) I haven’t seen him since he showed up at the Aldie Street Halloween party dressed as Elvis. Anyway, as far as I know, he’s still sloggin’ around in the Seacoast, drawing fliers for his own shows and playing his credible acoustic Chris Issak-soundin’ stuff.

Bluetip- Join Us

I listened to this record a lot the last winter I was in New Hampshire, a time where I was trying to finish school, always feeling vaguely like maybe I was missing something going on in Boston as I spent my Dover evenings feverishly scrawling tepid emails and smoking cigarettes in front of the VCR. Jason Farrell is a hell of a lyricist, and hit me where it hurt: “A limited vocabulary to fabricate robotic sentences, emulation of a human emotion……stamps make shitty band aids. Letters come back stamped with “Fuck the sender.”’ Then, as now, the ones that expressed what I was feeling were the ones that stuck, driven by propulsive, distinctive guitarwork that was poppy enough to appeal to non-hipsters but serrated enough to still fit under the D.C. umbrella. Thing is that the band doesn’t have many tricks, and you hear ‘em all within the first couple of songs. Monochromatic, you know? Still, though, the hits still hit. The advent of iPod shuffle is a boon- a lot of these songs, outside of the similar confines of the rest of the album, probably shine.

MIX TAPE: Cheap Rip

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