Browsing All posts tagged under »new weird America«

Olds Sleeper – New Year’s Poem (avant-country/ noise-folk)

February 18, 2012

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This is a recording with a self-consciously ‘lo-fi’ sound, but there’s a whole sonic ideology wrapped up in an idea like ‘lo-fi’. What does it even mean? Low fidelity; and fidelity means truth. I would guess though, that it’s a primary concern of Olds Sleeper’s to get the truth quotient of his music right up there near the top of the dial. The whole duality of high- and low-fidelity has its roots in the early days of recording, a time when verisimilitude, a resemblance to actuality, was a technical challenge to be met, like pulling focus on a cine camera.

Various Artists – Album Roundup

January 24, 2012

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There’s more than a nod to dreampop and shoegaze in this music, but Lisa Masia and Marina Cristofalo are clearly too in love with the raw and ragged sound of a distorted electric guitar to tame it to the extent that might imply. Some of Wish You Were A Pony is downright heavy! This is pop music, but not lowest-common-denominator, mass-market pop; it’s pop because it’s all about simple, accessible melodies, infectious, danceable rhythms, lush, inviting soundscapes, and, well… fun.

Creature Breath – I Am Creature Breath (avant-folk)

January 10, 2012

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There’s a simple poetry to this album, an economy of orchestration, of ornament and of lyrical statement. Given that the lyrical themes are of an overtly devotional nature, expressing a sense of rootedness and connection to the ‘Mother’, to the natural world conceived as a person, I find that economy something of a relief. Not that there is any particular reason why Shawn Marie Westendorf, sole author of I Am Creature Breath, should conform to my prejudices on this, but my experience of ‘neo-pagan’ art is that it tends toward the trite and sentimental, the uncritical valorization of the ‘old’, ‘natural’ and ‘traditional’, and in song lyrics towards the obvious and redundant. Fortunately, Westendorf’s writing is neither sentimental nor obvious.

olds sleeper – plainspoken (folk/ Americana)

October 13, 2011

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I get a lot of visual clichés when I listen to this album. I get sunset, Mr. sleeper’s weatherbeaten face, eyes hidden by the brim of his hat, battered boots on the rail of the porch as he plays, wonky rows of telegraph poles marching off across a flat, parched landscape. I get dust: dust in the air; dust on the pots; dust on the needle. It’s all rubbish. The Pennsylvania landscape of olds sleeper’s patrimony is probably pretty similar to the green, rolling Suffolk I walk the dog in every day.