I'm probably one of the only showgoers in town who's never stopped in on an of god and science gig. Shame on me. Gorgeously executed and recorded, original discs like this one make me proud of our not-so-little-anymore music scene. It's easy to get distracted by the careful arrangements and pitch-perfect pop hooks on this self-titled release. If you're paying attention, you'll also catch some wonderfully subtle drum work. I'd love to smash these guys into genre Tupperware for you, but some of their mellow, alt.country, indie, Beatles-influenced goodness would surely slop over the side.
The soupy Handsome Furs walk that fine line between hypnotic and repetitive; between good broth and the coagulation you skim from your stewpot. It's too bad singer Dan Boeckner doesn't do more than the David Byrne weep with his voice. Though the guitars are mostly innocuous, once in a great while, they creep onto TV on the Radio's washy turf. Unsurprisingly, that's when I like the Furs best. Some gray afternoon when you're working on your first novel, pop this one in for a brain-gentle soak in unobtrusive ambiguity. Otherwise, let it spin down the drain.
I like Jesus Lizard enough that I was curious about this project from guitarist Duane Denison. Vocalist Mike Patton's always fascinating, too. This is Tomahawk's third album, a collection of intriguing but often cheesy Native American songs Denison dug out of the archives. Authors and sources are unknown. The songs were not well-documented, so Tomahawk liberally filled in the blanks with rain sounds and other clichéd noises, all while consuming buffalo and whiskey to get in the mood. Of course, which tribes produced these tracks isn't listed on the album, aiding to the impression of generalized Native Americaness. Appropriation alarm buzzing yet?