Thursday, July 23, 2009
Midsummer palate cleanser
All right already. Summer hasn't been all ink, angst and entropy. The sounds of the season have been redolent of a certain atavistic abandon -- for me, anyway. Here's a sampling.
First, I'm grateful to the far-ranging vigilance of El Splatterson for turning me on to the spellbinding songs of The Handsome Family, a husband and wife team. As iTunes describes their music, it "teem[s] with an eerie old-time country & western sense of foreboding" -- that covers it pretty well for me. Their most recent album, Honey Moon, is a little cheerful for my taste; I prefer the spooky effulgence of the older albums, especially Twilight.
Do check out the website, via the above link, too; it's the most satisfying band blog I've seen since The Decemberist's (which band has a fabulicious new album out, by the way, The Hazards of Love).
Moroever. My obsession with Animal Collective has now led me to its earliest and perhaps most recklessly playful work. Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished has a fauvist, post-psychedelic folk thing going on that reminds me of my favorite band from the olden days, the peerless Incredible String Band.
Speaking of which. Cousin Tabitha gave me an extraordinary ISB tribute album a while back that has become this summer's soundtrack for me: Winged We Were, it's called, and it's a mind-blowing collection of radical reinterpretations of song that most people have never heard in the first place. One of them, Three Is a Green Crown, is so hypnotic that Tabita (NHRN) found she couldn't listen to it and keep driving; she actually had to pull over to the side of the road and hear the song out. You can listen to the original here, then hear an excerpt of its transfiguration here.
Outsider music freaks, get your geek on.