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for July 13, 2005

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The Altrok Listener #6
by Bill Stella

"Let's Pretend We Don't Exist" oops, I mean, "Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games" of COURSE (grumblegrumble misplaced creative impulse screwing with song titles again moan bitch bitch) by Of Montreal is a song I didn't want to like the ol' Song-title Switcheroo Trick always bugs me but I'll get over it for a song with as attractive an invitation and as sweet as this one. From The Sunlandic Twins, as is:
Of Montreal - I Was Never Young
I Was Never Young starts with a lovely Adrian Belew-like syncopated guitar, before Kevin Barnes sings: "I was never young / even when I was a boy" Well! That was an eye opening opening line, one to enter the pantheon in the Hall of Lyrics I Wished I Wrote. Eventually the addition of a horn chart over a snakey synth support makes the Talking Heads influence even stronger.
The Decemberists The Sporting Life / Sixteen Military Wives
One of the albums from early this year which quickly filled up a personal Top Ten Best of the Year (and which has now overflowed to I've lost count: three dozen?!?), "Picaresque" is filled to the brim with songs like short stories: densely drawn, with moments of New Yorker-cartoonish wit. These two songs, both Altrok Grinders, I suppose, are the album's most delightfully buffoonish, but are set solidly in what, to me, is a unique band sound characterized by surprising arrangements. With this album, I can't stop the sense of joy of having discovered The Decemberists for myself (with the help of WRSU-FM djs). I recommend you do what I did and pick up at least the last two full-length albums in their back catalog.
The Go! Team - Get It Together
This wonderful track should be some TV show's theme song. Hell, build an entire series around it. Why the ufkc not? (See also Altrok Listener 3 for "The Power Is On".)


©2005 Bill Stella

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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