Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Microphones

Song Island
This is a collection of singles, out takes and alternate versions of Microphones songs. Phil Elvrum is the master mind behind the Microphones. His album “The Glow, Part 2” is a masterwork of pure genius. There is an alternate version of “Moon.” It is hard to believe that Phil could improve on the original, but he does. “(Version)” which follows “Moon” is an instrumental extension of that song. I think my favorite song on the disc is “I can’t believe you actually died.” The song opens with laughter and thudding mic stands. I love how Phil leaves these artifacts in the final product. The song also features a camp fire sing along chorus that consists of people Phil seems to have drug off the street.

Sometimes people object to the term low-fi. I use the term as a compliment, not as a derogatory term. These recordings show how beautiful recordings produced with less technical and material intervention can really shine. If you are not familiar with The Microphones, Song Island is a good place to start. This disc has everything from the acoustic strum of “Phil Elvrums Will,” to the full out noise attack of “Heavy Eyes,” to the wrecked beats of “Lanterns.”
(K Records) (Dan Cohoon)