Monday, October 17, 2005

W, II (MN:10)

White Magic- Through The Sun Door

Plenty of credible source raves about this one. It’s a frustrating record to listen to because I know the band has a lot of potential- they did a giveaway split with American Analog Set that contains some of the craziest bad trip distorto drone I’ve ever heard, completely visceral stuff. This EP, though, consists of a few songs that feature piano in a prominent way, which, like it or not, makes me think of Tori Amos, which in turn makes me think of Tori Amos’s fans, which makes me wanna, in no particular order, smoke crack, shoot myself in the face, eat a giant steak, and break the record into tiny little pieces.

The non-piano stuff is okay, if a little drab: subdued psych that reminds me of Jefferson Airplane. Jesus, the piano in tandem with the vocals just kills it for me. Can’t, won’t get around or past it.

But the split rules.

Who- My Generation

I’ve never known the Who as an album band. I grew up in New Hampshire, after all, where classic rock reigned supreme. The Who were one of those staples, an act that no clique or social circle ever talked shit about. Hell, even the punks liked ‘em.

The reason that I mention the Who’s proper albums in this review is because of two things. On Friendster or Myspace, can’t remember which, someone passed along a questionnaire asking, among other silly questions, whether Led Zeppelin or the Who was better. No question, I thought, but a bunch of people I know were totally waffling on their answers, going back and forth. I’m coming from a place where, as I mentioned, I’ve listened to the Who’s singles zillions of times, but have listened to full lengths a handful of times at best.

My Who ignorance resurfaced again when I picked up Petra Haden’s a capella rendition of “The Who Sell Out”. It sounds great, but I don’t really get the joke (kinda like when I got the Dangermouse Grey Album and wasn’t particularly well-versed in either the Beatles OR Jay-Z). This project has served as a chance to challenge conceptions that I have sometimes baselessly held for long periods of time- you know, the one review a week which was me making amends for being needlessly standoffish for the sake of it- and served to illustrate some gaps in my listening that need to be filled if I’m going to continue being any kind of decent rock critic. Sure, my encyclopedic knowledge of obscure Midwest nineties emo is great and all, but sometimes my foundation is a little wobbly. But you knew that.

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