Tuesday, September 15, 2009
displays put together by butterfly collectors
Danielson Famile - A Prayer for Every Hour (listen) Danielson (the Famile, Br. Danielson, and the latter abbreviate umbrella Danielson) interests me not because of his intersection of evangelism and ramshackle indie rock, nor for his costumed minions but because I almost can't stand his music. Part of me loves it: this is the feral, immediate, well-thought kidney punch I know indie rock alone can provide, and yet, its a little like nails on a Sunday school chalkboard. His squealy high pitched voice and the breathless pace at which it comes at you; its like having a mosquito sing to you. This album - 24 prayers for each hour of the day - reminds me in its tight conceptual structure and uncomfortable tenor of the Residents Commercial Album, a record of 40 1-minute miniatures and vignettes, each purposefully disquieting in their own way. What it says about me, that I like music that I don't like, is no less personally disquieting. Perhaps I do need some preaching to.
Sufjan Stevens - The BQE (out Oct. 20) This on the other hand, I love all the way, with open heart. Sufjan Stevens' artistry fits right in that pocket of innocent and calculating where it do the most damage/good, and Sufjan sides as much as possible with the good. This, a essentially a symphonic tone poem about the Brooklyn Queen Expressway, is schmatltzy, overblown, a little too-too like all of his work. His song cycles are like the displays put together by butterfly collectors - dazzling but after a bit a little monochromatic and thick to really take in, unless you let the collector tell you the wide swath of stories all his pretty butterflies have to tell, that the true nature of the world can be seen through the gauze of their wings. You might not buy it, but its difficult to not think about it after hearing it.
I'm pretty sure I've posted it before, but here is a snippet from the accompanying film of The BQE. There is also comic book, 3-d pictures and a ViewMaster Reel to accompany various versions.