Wednesday, August 10, 2005

S, III

Six Organs Of Admittance- School Of The Flower

I admit it: I bought this CD because rumor has it that Six Organs Of Admittance were the one band that Jandek watched when he made his live debut in Glasgow last year.

Singer/songwriter playing these hushed, spare acoustic numbers in the mold of like Nick Drake and/or Elliott Smith, similarly understated. Except, of course, neither Mr. Smith nor Drake was ever playing tunes that speak directly to the whales/underwater aliens. We don’t need Spock to let us know that the motherships are coming down from the skies, because we can hear the alien language droning on underneath the pretty ditties. We can hear the spacecraft landing as the acoustics repeat hypnotizing patterns to ease the discomfort of re-entry. I just hope they’re friendly.

Sleater-Kinney- The Hot Rock

Floss: It was Ladies’ Night the one time I went to Gilman. Spitboy were the headliners that evening, a band that was pretty silly but nonetheless managed to put out some good stuff (their side of the split 12” with Crudos is saved by the Albini production, admit it). Opening were two Washington State Riot Grrrl bands, Heavens to Betsey and Excuse 17. Years later the principals from both acts got together and formed Sleater-Kinney, who are like light years better than either of the aforementioned two groups.

S-K’s sound is immediately distinctive- Corin Tucker’s voice tops out often on a warbling tremolo while Carrie Brownstein kinda solemnly intones her bits underneath, often at the same time. The dual guitar lines the band provide sound really raw, almost rudimentary, until you realize that they’re not really playing together, just at the same time, anchored by Janet Weiss’s drums, no bass. So, even though the whole thing occasionally sounds remedial, like a train wreck, the whole shambling package holds together and produces these moments that don’t sound like anything else.

‘The Hot Rock’ is the follow-up to ‘Dig Me Out’, the record that shot the act into the upper echelons of indie rock. There’s no experimenting going on, no sharp turns or deviations, just the kinetic sound of disparity fused together by common cause.

The Sleepwalkers- s/t

The second of the two Austin CD’s Kathy Panak mailed to me.

The Sleepwalkers reminded me a lot of the literate, well-crafted twee-ish pop of the Long Winters. So much, in fact, that I busted out the Winters’ disc to see if any members had been in the Sleepwalkers first (nope).

Unlike the Winters, though, the Sleepwalkers do not feature lyrics that double as poetry- nowhere near as much verbal charisma to be found. And the craft isn’t as finely honed- everything just sounds okay.

2 Comments:

Blogger Andrew said...

Glad to see Sleater-Kinney on your list. What do you think of their new album, "The Woods"?

BTW, your presence is requested here. Read today's post and you'll understand.

AC

8:47 AM  
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