Friday, October 29, 2004

At one point during the eclipse Wednesday night the moon actually resembled a glowing pumpkin, slowly reaching a darker shade of blood red. I watched it from the parking lot of a rundown apartment building on the edge of downtown. Despite the seemingly mundane surroundings, it was dark enough, and there was just enough space between leaves of the surrounding wall of trees to see it fine. At one point I actually thought I could see a sliver of a beam of the sun skirting the top edge of the moon, but it was probably just the blur of slight cloud cover. I was enjoying the near silence, but it would've been nice to have Simon Finn's "Silent City Creep" (Durtro) running through my brain right about then. I know a thing or two about the silent city creeps among us. This CD EP may have only been sold at the recent concerts, but it was easy enough to hunt down otherwise, and totally worth it too since it easily rivals his work on "Pass the Distance." Think it was recorded in '04 and has a slightly more controlled atmosphere across five songs of surprisingly potent song-writing. The more damaged inclinations of Distance are less visible in favor of early Cohenesque somberness and poignant, vivid word strings. The Ivytree's "Winged Leaves" takes a more ethereal glance at the earth and moon spirits. Glenn Donaldson's follows up to his album under the Birdtree moniker comes as 12 more environmentally induced folk pop blissouts. It's artfully packaged by Catsup Plate, eloquently littered with minimal ethnic drones and fractured folk lullabys, featuring Glenn's fragile, pop vocal to stunning effect. Tanakh's "Dieu Deuil" (Alien8) on the other hand is a decidedly more full band affair. Jesse Poe's first album after his relocation to Italy (there's a newer one that just came out) is stronger than the debut. Brings together a broad diversity of musical cultures into haunting, direct folk-pop/chamber music that always exhibits a darker, hazier undercurrent. Makes me think of Dirty Three, Mr. Cohen and Fred Neil. Sterling psych production all around. Kemialliset Ystävät's "Alkuhärkä" (Fonal) is the best LP I've heard from the Finnish free folksters yet. It's kind of hard to describe what they do accurately--there are precursors in the clattery drone blues jazz of No-Neck Blues Band, the stoned trance grooves of prime Krautrock--yet this is a genuinely unique, hypnotic, original merging of the living and the long dead into vivid aural spirits. The songs are short, making it all the more impressive the impact KY can have in just under 90 seconds.

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