Sun-drenched desert rock blowing out of the speakers like early 70′s cannabis jams, the house band at some bikers club bar somewhere in the Coachella valley. This has yet to sink it’s teeth into me like Saved By Magic, but I make a point of giving anything by the original Rancho De la Luna crew a chance. There are some represses out there, but the first pressing seems to still be available at allthatisheavy.com for $13.99
I like a lot of things about Kozeleks work, but one very convenient thing is that when you read the track listing on the back of one of his records, and see an “alternate” version or live version, it’s basically a completely different song from the original. And if you liked the original, you’re pretty much guaranteed to like the other version. Kozelek has perfected his sound, and I’m not just throwing that tired old chestnut out there offhandedly; he’s got a sound these days, whether it’s Sun Kil Moon or his solo stuff, that I think I might be happy listening to that sound even if he was reading the Sunday grocery circular. As long as he’s playing that guitar and singing all mopey like he does. And ok, that one is a tried old chestnut when it comes to a review of anything Kozelek; his singing isn’t really mopey these days.
I don’t think there’s anything you can’t find a studio version of on this record, but I care so little I haven’t bothered to check. It’s an excellent record, one of the few that makes me wish I was listening to a cd so I wouldn’t have to wait while I flip over the record.
There are 200 copies, one white vinyl, one in black, 100 of each but of course the white seems to be scarcer. The black version is still out there at initial retail price too.
Moses On a Snail LP
Guided By Voices (Label) 2010
OK, I’ll say it: How does he do it? He should really be sucking air by now, right? But I’ve yet to find a Pollard record I didn’t like. Each one seems to have at least two or three sweet rock anthems, a moody, surreal psych-ballad or two, and several lyrical phrases that make me smile at how clever the old guy is. I never have that struggle we all know; where I have to admit that I’m disappointed, that I just wasted my money on a turd of a record. And apparently it’s official; Pollards post-GBV work is solid. Not that we all didn’t know this two, three, umpteen records back, but it was interesting to notice that very few reviewers out there are judging Moses based on Bobs previous band. For anyone still not buying this mans solo records, whatever the reason, just start with this one. Your welcome in advance.
A Sufi and a Killer 2xLP
Warp Records (UK) 2010
I have a feeling that nobody else is doing anything quite like this. Gaslamp Killer is the ‘Killer’ in the title, but comparisons break down when the album is given repeated, complete listens. Heaps of thick, dark atmosphere along with a liberal scavenging of otherwise banal easy-listening melodies and classic tracks wreath this thing in dense, heady smoke. The buds are fat and piled high. I swear I heard a frankenstein of a guitar lick from ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ in there somewhere. Threading through it all, the Sufis vocals reside somewhere between atonal prayers and drowning gasps of desperation, not rapping, not singing. I made the remark that it reminded me of TV on the Radio, but only if that project was a single guy with a sampler and an amazing knowledge of studio equipment. Lovely matte-finish gate-fold jacket, but they lose points for not printing the tracks somewhere, anywhere on this thing.
‘The Silence of Love’ 2xLP
Fargo Records (France) 2008
Damn. From out of nowhere. Whoever chose the cover songs on this record is probably the real artist here, but having said that, the out-front show-stealer is the voice of Alela Diane, deliveringperfectly-enunciated lyrics that make this feel like some circa-1971 forgotten gem of orchestral folk. But banish those visions of “Freak-folk” and its attendant dullness from your reckoning.
There’s a sort of time-machine quality to the entire thing. For one because it sounds like the record a lot of high-profile early-70′s folkies WISH they could have made, but also for the stories behind many of the artists and tracks that were chosen. So it comes with it’s own magical aura; tragic, sad, beautiful and delivered perfectly. My favorite find lately. And to think, I picked it up only because I liked the cover art and title as I noticed it in one of those Amazon “similar items” crawls. Some of my hunches are amazing.
Very nice matte-finish gate-fold jacket and heavy vinyl. Distribution seems to have tapered off, there are still copies of this out there but a recent hunt through discogs.com and ebay saw only a single copy from a US source.
Hey, Who Really Cares? (Youtube)