Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lucky Soul A Coming of Age. I am a difficult person to know, perhaps I am merely difficult. When it comes to telling people how I feel I tend to defer. I am more than willing to talk about anything, as long as it does not pertain to me. It is why the stories here predate Bush 41 for the most part. I am not an interesting person. Lucky Soul were not an interesting band. Not, at least, until they released this album. And sure it's retro and derivative and it has been done a million times before and probably 873,000 times has it been done better but it's great fun all the same. I tell my friend Kate the same stories over and over because at this point she is my oldest friend but even now I refrain from sharing much with her. First song has an exclamation point in the title even. And it isn't superfluous. I've just watched the video and it only contains footage of the singer in her bit of shabby chic. Painted on eyelashes reach out and touch you, her slightly soiled faux fur coat, her shapeless sexuality and the cheap dye job all seem comically endearing. I think they mean you to believe that they mean it. I am not sure the look is right but the sound is. On the first record there were dreary bits of senselessness accompanied by some lovely string and horn arrangements. I don't know anything about the band so maybe their horn and string arranger were dismissed from the band because they were sleeping with the bus driver. Like Divney and friend. Second song. White Russian Doll, another swinger. It's a wonderfully physical record. There are strings here, but they are embedded into the mix, they feel right, they don't feel like some tart trying to act posh. The handclaps sound authentic. Her voice sounds nice enough. The music is just perfect blasts of 2 minutes of 30 seconds radio warmth. Third song, Up in Flames. There isn't much nuance here. The title says it all. On each and every song. It's an old school thing, you wouldn't understand. This one is mainly about the drum beat and some snazzy strings and her lovely voice. It sounds girlish but soulful all the same. Can children be soulful? I don't know. I feel like I have soul. I think having soul is about not letting little things bother you. So when you discover that our insane country has added another entitlement to the book when already there exist 100 Trillion Dollars worth of unfunded liabilities(promises the government has made that they haven't yet confiscated your dough to pay for) well then you realize this isn't a serious world we live in. We are all nihilists now, we stop at the side of the road when we see a dead body lying by the side of the road and we write quotations from James Joyce on the sides of corpses in pencil. And we listen to Lucky Soul and we dance, we drink in life and then we don't. This is a fabulous record to cruise the freeways with in the Honda Element. I may have the uncoolest car available. Even Walter White's Aztec might qualify above mine. Someone I work with informed me of some poll of young ladies where the Honda Element ranked number one in a poll of what sort of vehicles might dissuade you from accepting a second date from someone. I am proud of that. Next song. Love 3, more subtlety. You see most of the chorus is "love love love" and there a lot of 'yeah yeah yeah's' and it is pretty awesome really. I love this album. has it been officially released as of yet? I've been loving it for months because i have secret connections in the music industry and as such I am privy to special previews of releases months before their release. Especially key releases such as this. Next song playing, a country croonerish sort of thing, semi-Dolly Parton. Nice. Maybe lead singer here has an open marriage as well. She can go on the road and play swinging rock star in her shabby chic and date the Art Bechsteins of the world and then later she comes home and takes off the false eyelashes and homemade dye job and she never ever lets him forget he's a man. Or some such, and they shall then watch dreadful British sitcoms together. Why do hipsters love the British sitcoms so? I have now seen all twelve episodes now of the British Office and it was pretty dire really. And then IFC is showing "The IT crowd" and it's godawful. And "Absolutely Fabulous" was awful. Is that the point? is it like Modern Art--the new crapness. Is Henry Moore modern art? I spent a few hours admiring his work at the botanic gardens recently. Funny, if it was not among lovely nature in the middle of the high plains near desert it might not have suited me but the desiccated atmosphere lent an air of desperation to my enjoyment. Still country. My old theory was that all good bands needed to make a country record at some point in their career but now I am not altogether certain that there exist such a thing as a "good" band. I have hopelessly low standards on pretty well everything and I find myself with chasm spanning yawns over most new releases. it is why I squealed with glee for the first few months I had "borrowed" this cd. here was soul. here was animus. Here was life. Most bands are merely death. Have you heard Death Cab For Cutie? He's a vampire, draining your life force with every protracted note of diffidence. Really. Perhaps he needs a homemade dye job but then I imagine he has a favorite designer and wouldn't be caught out in anything shabby or real. His torment requires a climate controlled exhibition. The world is horrid. It is filled with mediocrities who are falsely aggrandized from the President to so called movie stars to novelists to athletes. Lucky Soul surely rank in among the mediocritudes but I don't suppose they aspire for any greater recognition than being pretty alright and they are. next song. The title track. Here is where the album lags, slightly. I am not sure why they chose to include this song. It's a bit of a reminder to the first album, the bits seem pasted together and forced into something almost coherent but not really. She's singing a bunch of different songs at once and it doesn't swing, it's stilted and dull and really they should have called the album "That's When Trouble Begins" but that is coming later on. I've been working in my yard furiously for the past few weekends. I have had a massive injection of motivation in everything I do for some unknown reason. I am eating terribly. I live on burritos. I eat two bowls of cereal in the AM and then a burrito in the evening and I run at night and work 12 hours a day and then decide I really need to build a berm on the south side of my house and then I built it and decided I needed a common purple lilac and then a white flowering redbud. I'd like to have really tall trees and later build a tree house at the top. I've had these odd daydreams of a misspent or misremembered youth in New Zealand where I had built a sod house into the side of a mountain just outside of Christchurch where deeper into the wood I have a platform elevated hundreds of feet above the forest floor and some ingenious device that accounts for the sway of the trees and leaves my tea far from unsettled. oh and later I rescue the prime minister's son after a near fatal plunge off of a cliff and there are three made for tv movies showing on Lifetime Movie Network NZ. Warm Water. Another one that is a bit of a drag. Too long, too slow. They should have jettisoned A Coming of Age and replaced this one with Crying in the Morning. There is another single out now, allegedly the b-side residing on it is also splendid. Are they at their peak now? Should I abandon them to fend of the seemingly unavoidable disappointment. My dismay is hardly inconsolable. I don't love music as I used to but it still soundtracks everything I do. If not then I'd be forced to contemplate my solitary existence. better to have dye job beats and faux soul to inoculate me against the desolation of reality. Ain't Nothing But A Shame would have been a better title as well. This is a cracking tune. It's almost like the best filler song you've heard in ages. it's generic and you can imagine they have some obscure garage rock compilation from 1968 Algiers and it's a pastiche but its rendered brilliantly and I love it so if I have somehow inadvertently scratched the surface of truth then please allow me to revel splendidly in my ignorance. I think splendid is an apt adjective to use in overabundance. That's When Trouble Begins, they seem so synchronous on this record in comparison to the first one. Were they not together long before the first record was recorded? Did they have an injection of chemistry by deletion? Unknown. I don't know anything about them. The first album received loads of talk from the usual pasty gangsta types on indiepop blogs but this one not so much. Who knows why. Maybe they can't square their love of Vivian Girls and have room in their calendar for some Lucky Soul love as well. Sad. Southern Melancholy, brilliant, another country-esque croonerish type of thing. Strings are very prominent but then it is a big weepy ballad and it is rather appropriate. David Cameron and his impoverished treadle pump offset boy in India look set to lose to a corpse. Maybe Death Cab For Cutie will play at Gordon Brown's victory party. God David Cameron is awful. Even my Marxist pasty gangsta type foes would agree with that. but then in this age of not being serious why bother. Eliminate risk completely and don't end up with a society as bland and pointless as Denmark. Listen to an Efterklang record as example. That is the future of the USA, no more Animal Collectives but a future filled with yankee versions of Efterklang and the drips in Grizzly Bear are the first step along that evolutionary path. When Thom Yorke is soon confirmed as associate Supreme Court Justice maybe he'll change the national anthem to Foil by Authechre and then later he'll burn all extant copies of the ninth amendment. But we'll be pretentious in our rocking. Last song now. It has definite last song-ness. It's brilliant. This is a brilliant record and a brilliant distraction from our impending doom. So really, you should probably be listening, for your own sake and for god sakes the sake of the children!