August 14, 2005


I write reviews and interviews for and, well... here are two song reviews... the first from a few months back and the second off of Portastatic's upcoming release on Merge Records: Bright Ideas: August 23, 2005.


What if Hayden split in two? What if the two halves, that combine to make the somnolent smoky croak that curls from his larynx; what if they were singular and distinct? That is the image, the idea, that came to mind as I heard Ida's "Late Blues" for the first time. The singers do not combine to recreate Hayden, they recall him in the soft smoke of the man and woman singing together. And it doesn't hurt that this songs sure sounds like a Hayden song -- in it's late night slow ebb, it's slinky alt-countryish instrumentation -- like jazz played by drunken cowboys.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Mac McCaughan and band, Portastatic, kick out a 'made-for-bygone-radio' classic in "I Wanna Know Girls". The kind of song that would have roared from 'top down' cars twenty or more years ago, each and every radio tuned to the same station. That doesn't happen anymore, at least I don't think it does. This song has something for everyone, the simple pattern and great tone of the guitar line (air guitar), swooping back up vocals (sing along), and a big sound (woofer and tweeter nuts). Do you know The Wrens? It takes these guys awhile to get their sound sounding like they want. Not sure if they're slow or very picky. The band's sound 'sounds' heavy and thick... dense, without being so. Kinda like the weather lately, heavy, humid air that feels heavy, but isn't. Take some scissors and snip away at a Wrens song. The 3rd or 4th guitar... snip. The 4th or 5th vocal track... snip. Snip away at the dense aural weave of a Wrens song like "Per Second Second"... and you are still looking at brilliance. "I Wanna Know Girls" is brilliance, tight and concise. Like cruising in a convertible, top down, AC on.

+ I Wanna Know Girls
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>>IDA and PORTASTATIC albums can be downloaded from eMusic<<

No comments:

Post a Comment