Monday, December 13, 2010

Sic Alps

Napa Asylum
This has been frying my car stereo for the last month or so. In that time, I have filled up three 20 yard dumpsters with thirty years of crap and bad memories from my childhood home. The fractured space that I have been inhabiting fits in well with the broken fried blues, feedback folk, sloppy rolling stone-ish, multitudinous muzz. Some songs are fairly brashly baked, while others have a sweet tinge of psych-folk, with a little New England early sixties boarding school garage thrown on top. This record is anarchistic & anachronistic. If one was forced to guess when this was recorded, it certainly would be in the last century. This music is old and creaky, but one is not sure where to place it. It could have been produced in the Lo-Fi 1990s or the Garage-y 1960s? It could be some cooked-acid-burnout country from the 1970s or coarse proto-punk rawk.

The words to the songs are wonderfully all over the map--did he just say Jackson 5 (and why am I okay with that)? These songs are almost as schizophrenic lyrically as they are their in their sonics. Each of the 22 tracks tumble and bump into one another like bubbles in a water pipe. This was a good record to listen to while my childhood was slowly emptied out by the car full & dumpster full. It is melancholy and wistful, and simultaneously weightless and full of relief. There is something oddly catchy about these songs, in a strangely discordant way. If one had to throw out all of college freshman year physiologically defying terrible life drawing studies and middle school art work (painting of the Traveling Wilburys, and a drawing of Matt Hoffman), this would be the album one should listen to. It is sad and sweet, a shamble, and a wonderful lo-fi mess. (Drag City) (Dan Cohoon)