Thursday, December 17, 2009

the alchemy changes with the gear


Gregory Alan Isakov - That Sea, the Gambler (listen)
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Beware
Etienne Jaumet - Night Music (listen)

That Isakov kid is good. His songs are painted in the same rainbow of woody-to-amber browns that is my life, a music barely audible and a singing lilt that sounds like he just cleared his throat because he has a point. His song titles are enigmatic, and I like that. I suppose his words are too but I'm really too busy listing to how he sings them to hear what they say. Don't get me wrong, this is straight up coffee house music, plausibly engineered to compete passively (and a little aggressively) with clanking cups, offering a soft counterpoint to the complicated coffee orders of assholes overspending their way into a momentary Bohemia, and that last bit of that last song disappears like the last sip - a little strong and a little cold - and you look for the first time into the cup and see that it's gone.

I just listened to it a second time while fiddling with my speaker arrangement, if that indicates what kind of record it is. With advisement of the sound-system mind of technical men in their twenties - I once was one of those once but the alchemy changes with the gear - my speakers are now elevated on stacks of promo CD's (finally, a use!) in a Buckminster Fuller triangle with my ears and the boxy subwoofer device is pushed up against my desk to make my whole world rattle with Billy's country upright bass player, as the Lord ordained. It makes my plywood world ring like burled maple. The more I feel myself, the more you're close to me, the old boy sings. I've never even heard that trumpet before!

Also, tony ambient techno is the finest music to which one can go pick up a check. Merci, Etienne! and those with checks to be picked up!

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