National Public Viking

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Is it so wrong that I spent most of the day watching the Project Runway marathon?

|current sounds| Scott Walker- The Drift

FRIDAY, 6/30

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Man Man.

NPR took a huge chance by including Man Man as part of the "Live Concert Series," but it just makes me more proud to be just a small part of an internationally recognized organization. Most writers will tell you that Man Man is the descendent of such avant-garde visionaries like Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits, but in all honesty, they're just a rabid pop band cranking out tribal carnival jams. I've been skeptical about them on CD, but they definitely made a fan out of me at show. Dressed in tennis clothes and white war paint, the band literally played on top of each other in a tight circle. In performance, this is hell to pull off, but they did because they practice (that was very clear). I think they also convinced the very pop-conscious audience, too, even some of my fellow interns who had never heard of them before.

The Fiery Furnances, on the other hand, were a disappointment. The odd quirks that both repel and attract me to their complex pop songs were nowhere to be found. Instead, the sound was streamlined to loud, distorted rock. I do like it when an otherwise "strange" band comes out of nowhere and delivers a balls-out foot-stomping version of a silly pop song, but the Furnaces did it for the whole set... so much that it actually became boring (many people left half-way through). Made me wish I could've been a few blocks away to see Juana Molina (WXPN, an NPR member station, did, thankfully, record her show in Philadelphia. It's beautiful).

Here's a link to a stream of the Fiery Furnaces/Man Man show.

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American Heiress covers.

I've finished my second album under the Ancient Mariner moniker. It's called American Heiress and each specialized cut-out artwork will feature a classic (or, at least, classy-looking) female model. The two pictured are of Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol's first "it" girl.

Musically, it's much much better than Queynte Geres, which was recorded when I wanted to be free-improvisation guitarist Derek Bailey, but still believed in riffs. Someone left me a message on Myspace commenting that some of my new songs reminded him of gamelan music, which I took as a high compliment. There are also a couple attempts at ambient music with actual singing... well, more like echo-ed ooh's. I'm pleased with the 30-minute album and surprised by how un-abrasive or un-"out there" it came out.

Next project (on the opposite end of the spectrum): Athens, Georgia noise artist compilation.
Release date: I'm hoping it'll be out by late August or September.


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