With The Eye Of A Skeptic… – Bill Price (Grass Magoops Records)
This is old time Country dance, girl boy harmonies against a roots rocking band led by the jubilant skitter of the Cittern (a sort of large bodied mandolin.) This is not all though; this is the personal political, the thoughtful, the wishful, the dreamer making songs, the watcher singing.
We hear about the Junkman who learns about life in the bits and pieces he collects, the secrets we throw away without even knowing it. We debate within a blues swing room about the soul of modern art then to the strains of a lilting lullaby like tune we are taken flying.
In his dreams, in this flight, years roll by jumbled, villains are given the chance to be heroes , history is scrambled and re-sighed re-written and hope is rescued from the cynic’s prison.
Price may see these things, these choices, with the eye of a skeptic, but his belief in good, in the right decisions maybe being made, the fact that the future is really fragile and can be broken into something beautiful; is what makes this collection a gift.
In the song ‘’Foot In The Dirt’’ the simple act, the lucid description of how it feels..Just to cast away the heavy of the day and ..Walk, touches this listener because that escape has often been MY escape too.
So jump slow and jump calm into these songs and stories, get caught up in the seemingly effortless virtuoso playing of all involved and welcome this gentle raconteur into your home.
Analog Love – Cassis and the Sympathies (Wunderblumenmusik)
Benign, serene coming down from the clouds willfully we slow dive into Analog Love, a neon lit lounge, default setting on sultry, though soon enough we allow the lady to take our hand and dance us into a wide open cinema land.
This is new wave old romantic, ambient, impulsive, addictive, a darker Julee Cruise, a content Nico, still slightly dangerous, a sweetly lethal bubblegum, deep blue tripping over the rhythm disguised as sighs.
There is that skewed perspective that Lydia Lunch gave on Queen Of Siam, though this time the chanteuse is backed by a mixture of Yello and seemingly old time wicked jazz musicians playing for their souls.
In these songs disturbing desire is just, always JUST, a finger click away. These are invitations to a languid version of Hell, an acceptably edgy version of Heaven. Piano and Accordion entice and bewitch in the guise of slick warped ballads, tears and escape, they urge us to close our eyes and
A cool journey away from the modern normal.
Hear Tracks from BOTH these albums on the NBT Podcast going out on the 23rd Feb 2010