Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fantastic Magic Witch Choir CDR
Steve Hauschildt The Summit CDR
Long Legged Woman Newtown Nights CDR
BabyGenius Night Night Classics CD
Fossils CDR
Monopoly Child Nightlife Band Pacific City Barbeque Pit Levitators Method (Levitators Anonymous) CDR

Funny about this Fantastic Magic disc. It came out last year on cassette, where it sounded like a murky and eerie dream. Now the same label Abandon Ship has reissued it for 2007 on CDR, and I am admittedly analog-biased but this sounds so bright and sunny it could practially be a Polyphonic Spree side project. I still think the first two songs offer some of the very best hook/vibe combos in the last 5 years of the much-maligned freak folk subgenre (you better believe it) but after that the disc loses me, where on tape it all just sounded pleasantly lost to begin with. There's a Tiny Tim vaudevillian undercurrent here that just didn't sound so obvious on the cassette, and I don't think I'm quite into it... But I can say that I still have no idea who Fantastic Magic is or where they came from and that's pretty cool.... Steve Hauschildt is a member of the Emeralds trio, and his solo disc The Summit is a revelation in that as a solo act he sounds a lot like a full-band Emeralds recording - while I listen I'm kinda forgetting what it is the other two guys might do. A somewhat long album, about 60 minutes of music, 9 tracks in the 5-7 minute range, with some of the deep and soft non-noise drone approaches that Emeralds perfects, but also with a lot of other progressive approaches - maybe like early Genesis instrumentals on 16RPM? And tracks like "Path Through A Bamboo Forest" and "Gumball Machine" make me think of Tod Dockstader and even Plux Quba by Nuno Canavarro. After Hauschildt the kids seemed to need something a little less 'internal landscape intensive' so I put on the BabyGenius classical CD, another one of those soccer-mom comps and actually one of the most crucial CDs of my last 5 years. The theme of this volume is baby bedtime and it's all soft gorgeous shit. I probably played it over 300 times in my son's first 18 months - we're talkin' ritualistic application of "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", "Moonlight Sonata", "Gymnopedie #1," and more, night after night. And with that (goodnight kids) now it's time to get back to the merch I picked up at the Skaters/Axolotl/Lambsbread/C. Spencer Yeh/Animal Law/Binges show - at the gig I asked Spencer the tall Skater what I should buy of his off the table if I was only gonna buy one, and he said, "Oh, that'd be Monopoly Child Nightlife Band." "Okay..........uh, could you point that one out to me?" I didn't even know exactly what he had said and I assumed it was another over-the-top Skaters album title, but as he talked I realized that Monopoly Child Nightlife Band was the name of his new solo thing, and by then he was on to an extended rap about the Chilean surrealist painter Roberto Matta, and how one of his recordings (not sure if it was the one he was recommending or something more recent) had been directly inspired by corresponding Matta paintings that were "totally fourth dimension." It was kinda awesome and frankly I didn't know if the disc would live up to that conversation, because the last 2 or 3 Skaters things I'd listened to sounded kinda, uh, stuck in place (the cat-in-heat yowls were getting predictable!), but no, Spencer was right, this thing is great. One 31-minute jam that actually edits a few separate jams (I think he said it was four) into a suite/medley, and I'd have to say that the drum-powered soul-psych zoneout he's doing here just might be the one-man heir apparent to a piece like "Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda," and not a single copulating cat to be heard!

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