Sunday, September 30, 2007

Napcast 37

Hey all. This is my first time doing a NAPcast, and I think by the end of it I got the hang of it. Not the actual putting together of the cast, as that's the easy part. Let's just say I'm fairly behind the curve on this stuff, and leave it at that.

For my own part, I included a couple of Caustic Resin songs as per Head Stapler's request; I can only assume she's enjoying them as much as I am. They're a great band of which the leading internet music criticism trope seems to be (in some form or fashion) that they are the bastard inbred cousins-twice-removed (or some such whatnot) of much better-known Boise band Built to Spill. The groups are close, and I know Brett Netson, the lead singer/guitarist for Caustic Resin, frequently plays second guitar for BTS on tour. Anyway, I like this band. The name fits, for one thing. Actually, I have to recommend buying one of their albums to get a true taste for them. My personal favorite is The Medicine Is All Gone, from which I submitted "Cable" last time, but Trick Question, from which this cast's "Taste" comes, is also a good one. Plus, they let the drummer contribute a song to most of their albums, and his songs are very different from the rest of the songs, so that's always a plus in my book. Variety, spice, life, all that.

Anyway, that's all just diversion. I really wanted to mention my other inclusion, "Junkman's Song" by Stark Reality. Stark Reality was a Boston electric jazz/funk group featuring a very young John Abercrombie on guitar. I'll be honest; I haven't ever listened to the guy's solo output because most of it's on ECM, and I can count the number of artists with music I can stand on ECM on one hand, but I don't know. I'm prejudiced, I guess. On the album this song came from, Now, he's awesome I think, but the main attraction is the vibist, whose name I forget. This album represents the most badass a set of vibes could ever sound, as the instrument isn't exactly predisposed towards that description. Cool, maybe. Haunting, certainly, in the right hands. But this guy amps up his vibes through distortion pedals and such, and it sounds great. On this track in particular I didn't even realize that sound was the vibes at first.

The group only had one recording, a collection of children's tunes by Hoagy Carmichael, which they ran through their own style until it's absolutely trippy and very weird. The whole album's like that. I especially dig grooving on the song about how many days there are in the twelve months ("thirty days, hath September..." and so on). "Junkman's Song" is the lead-off track, and totally blew my mind the first time I heard it. It's a kid's song, but the way they play it, it sounds like the kind of music you'd hear in one of those kitschy movies about the 60s when some young hippie is trying acid for the first time at some swinging club in New York City, and the world is an exhilarating haze of incense, pot, loose chicks with long hair, patchouli, and dudes with long hair and frizzly beards looking right into your dilated pupils with an intensity that no sober man could muster, and asking you if you've ever looked at your hands, man, really looked at your hands. Man.

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