Wednesday, February 02, 2005

B, Penultimate

Brandon L. Butler- Killer On The Road

Circa Antartica/Aphex Twin, I wondered aloud whether I’d be reviewing double albums back-to-back at any other point during the alphabetical music marathon (the answer is yes- a perusal has shown that sometime in late spring I’ll be listening to two doubles by the same band, then, later, two triple live albums back-to-back, I shit you not. Guesses?) I’m reasonably certain that the Brodsky/Butler back-to-back will be the only time that I listen to successive solo albums (but what do I know.)
Butler’s got the country-ish tinge that is evident in the records by Canyon, but it’s more stripped-down. There’s some solid songwriting and wistful longing, traditional components done well. I’ve only listened to this one a few times since I picked it up in NYC a few weeks back, but it’s in my rotation (as much as anything is these days, anyway.)

Burning Airlines- Mission:Control!

Gotta love a good colon in a record title.
What a revelation this record was when it came out. I’d bought the Carnival/Scissoring single, and crammed into an over capacity Middle East to see the band on their first trip through town. Still, though, despite the single and the live show, I had no idea. So many directions on the record, but it still manages to hang together as cohesive. ‘Wheaton Calling’ and ‘Pacific 231’ make perfect sense- stripped down pop that’s clearly been informed by post/punk but is hooky enough to be played on radio (as far as the post/punk thing goes, the band’s influences aren’t hidden, by any means. The opening bit of ‘Crowned’ features Pete Moffett totally swiping the drumbeat from ‘Whip It.’) There’s some Jawboxian burners to be found, as in ‘Sweet Deals On Surgery’ and ‘I Sold Myself In,’ and moody ruminations- ‘3 Sisters’ and ‘Flood Of Forigen Capitol’ (a song, it must be said, that lifts from ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart.’ Also a song which Uncle Jay made me listen to like a hundred times in trying to figure out whether this one drum bit was being played or was punched in- the live show confirmed it was the latter. Moffett’s a great drummer if he can make Jay think something like that is possible.)

MIX TAPE: Pacific 231


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