Saturday, September 23, 2006

Going nowhere, getting somewhere

Window - Richard Buckner

By popular request, a song that's a series of revs and false starts, barely getting off the blocks. Tight riffs and chugging drums that hit the wall and back up and try again, never reaching the chorus. Exhausted, collapsing midway, it yields to a pensive keyboard line. This isn't to say "Window," for all its frustrated energy, isn't a good song. It's a very good song. It is, in fact, the best on Buckner's latest, Meadow (Amazon: US, UK), an album with several inspired moments: among them the tender finger-picked, "The Tether and the Tie" and the kick-off "Town," a track that's expansive where so much of the record feels cramped and decision-stymied.

Go Slow - The Deaths

"Go Slow" isn't typical of The Deaths' hazy psychedelic garage rocker Choir Invisible (buy from Essay Records). If anything, it's an accident wherein the band has stumbled into an unbottomed pit of rhythmic freefall. Syncopated shuffle drums jitter and buck beneath Karl Qualey's brooding croon, and if the lyrics, lines like if you want to break her heart, go slow, enlist sentimental pop tropes, they're bluffs. The song breaks abruptly into an unrelated acoustic coda like a phone line that's been cut. It's menace.

I Wanna Be Adored - Stone Roses

This past week Indie Workshop counted down the Top 50 Album Openers, lead tracks that in their words "ease us in, blow us away." I was slightly indignant that they forgot the above. Granted, I can in no way be objective about this album (Amazon: US, UK). Too much history. But considering the way "I Wanna Be Adored" creeps in unobtrusive on little cat feet before pouncing on one of the most absurdly arrogant lines ever uttered: I don't have to sell my soul/He's already in me, then proceeds to sonically summarize the previous 30 years of rock and anticipate at least the next five. I mean, ??? Not to mention that it sets up a trio with few peers (She Bangs The Drum/Elephant Stone/Waterfall). I gotta be adored: It's an all-or-nothing-proposition that if it were slightly slant, or lent to less-deft hands would be a spectacular failure, but is instead a thing of brazen beauty.

Also: If I hadn't banned myself from eBay, I'd totally bid on the iPod Nano Jennings of Rbally is auctioning to benefit Rogue Wave's drummer Pat Spurgeon. If you haven't already heard, Spurgeon is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. More info here.


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