Tuesday, February 01, 2005

B, XI

Braid- Movie Music Vol. I

I like Braid well enough- they’ve done some pretty cool stuff. I’m not going to lie to you, though- this odds n’ ends collection has been reduced, boiled down to a joke since the last time I listened to it. Whenever I put on Braid, I’m just waiting for the sixteenth of a second where the band pauses so that Chris Broach can go ‘YEAH!’ There are the odd numbers where he sings for longer but, for the most part, he just does what he does best. (the most hilarious example of his vocals are on that one on ‘Frame and Canvas’ where he does all the verses- ‘You can’t separate your. SELF! From anybody. ELSE!’ – and then Bob Nanna comes in to sing the chorus as Broach (in)explicably reverts to being in the back, punctuating with the YEAH!). Braid remind me of this old Saturday Night Live skit about a Simon and Garfunkel-ish folk duo where one guy sings and plays guitar while the other guy claps in time. In the skit, they release solo records- one of singing and guitar, the other, obviously, of clapping. When Braid broke up, they became Hey Mercedes (who sound like Braid minus the crucial Broach) and the Firebird Band (Broach’s solo album in which he does not go YEAH even once.) You wouldn’t think the missing YEAH would be so obvious, but it is. It totally is.

Breaking Pangea- Take Apart The Words

Sometimes I don’t get it. I saw these guys play in an art school classroom some years back opening for a bunch of punk bands. That day, they fit right into the program- lots of fuzzed-out bass and shouting, very raw. I picked up their CD much later, remembering how they had been pretty good. When I got the CD home, I found that it sounded pretty antiseptic. Why do bands make records that don’t sound like their live show?

Stephen Brodsky- Expose Your Overdubs

You shoulda heard the stories at the height of Cave In’s trajectory, the moments after ‘Jupiter’ when the band signed to a major but hadn’t released anything yet. All rumors and allegations, I’m sure, but wildly entertaining: Stephen Brodsky became Boston’s Robert Pollard, if you believed the hype- stayed in his room and played guitar for eight hours a day, had a big box full of unreleased stuff, etc. This album of pleasant little acoustic ditties has occasional tinges of Guided by Voices, anyway.

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