Alibi V.19 No.11 • March 18-24, 2010 

Song Roulette

Nick Brown prefers the weirder ‘chamber jazz’

Nick Brown is a musician who likes to make weird songs late at night in the shed behind his house. He’s also the Alibi’s puppet master, a prolific blogger and a jokesmith. Here are five jazzy, new wave-y, psychedelic, random selections from his collections.

1) “Flies” • The Verna Cannon • The Verna Cannon

“This isn’t my favorite Verna Cannon song, but I’m generally a huge fan of their quiet, weepy pop. I had to write the band to buy this, their hard-to-find first CD, and they graciously threw in a T-shirt and a nice postcard with a picture of a raygun and a note from singer Molly Ledford.”

2) “Hey Bulldog” • The Beatles • Yellow Submarine

“I don’t really like this particular style of Beatles song, and Yellow Submarine is one of their lamer albums, but as I forced myself to listen I started actually liking it a little. Like most music, it’s better than it sounds.”

3) “Slow Hands” • Interpol • Antics

“I like Interpol’s tough-sounding, spy-movie reworking of the ’80s new wave vision. Bands back then would have killed to sound like this, and I think this is my favorite song off the album.”

4) “From the Same Hill” • Brian Eno • Music for Films

“In my opinion, this is one of the better songs off one of Eno’s better albums. Sure, it’s ambient mood music, but it’s a nice mood. You can’t really dance to it, but you can exist to it.”

5) “Cherry Tree” • Arild Andersen • Molde Concert

“I don’t think I’ve ever listened to this song before. I’m a big fan of European ECM-style jazz, but this is a little straight-forward and uninspired for my tastes; I prefer the weirder ‘chamber jazz.’ Still, it’s got guitarist Bill Frisell doing some nice, understated volume pedal chords reminiscent of his mind-blowing work on Eberhard Weber’s Fluid Rustle.”