So, happy Christmas, merry holidays, ho ho ho and all that. After some weather-related drama, my son is home for the break, and he is not feeling especially good (bad cold, which I believe he's been putting off until he had time to have it, and now he does), but it is still very sweet to have him in the house again.
I have been pretty delinquent about this blog lately, I know...the new dusted tumblr has been hoovering up my spare time, and, also the holiday thing is a bit consuming...but I do have a couple of things to report on.
First my review of Destroyer's brief, very enjoyable Five Spanish Songs is up now at Blurt.
DESTROYER — Five Spanish Songs
Merge By JENNIFER KELLY
On Five Spanish Songs, Daniel Bejar pulls off the rare trick of covering five songs by a single author – the Spaniard Antonio Luque, who records as Sr. Chinarro – while sounding precisely like Daniel Bejar.
That’s a feat for any performer, but more so for Bejar, who is, by nature, slippery and hard to define. He is a midi-mastering solo symphonist one minute (Your Blues), a full-band rocker the next (Destroyer’s Rubies), and most recently a lite-fm Gerry Rafferty devotee (Kaputt, which is a good name for it). The main connector, for me, has always been his skill as a writer. His words have a sinuous-ness that glide effortlessly until they land in a tangle, dense, elegant, impacted with inference. He’s just too good at the oblique image, the tossed off bon mot, the line-drawn portraits of strangers in a crowd to be considered apart from the words. The music just wraps around them.
Also my review of the much more difficult, less accessible (but still interesting) Rene Hell album Vanilla Call Option is up now at the Dusted Tumblr. I picked this off the old Dusted dropbox by closing my eyes and clicking on it (I got three albums this way), and then when Otis was asking for reviews last fall, offered to review it. I have an extremely inadequate background for this sort of thing, so bear with me.
I said, "Jeff Witscher, in his latest effort as Rene Hell, has pushed beyond rhythm, melody and motif into pure abstracted sound. Squeaks, squibbles, odd itches, burbles and scratches are floodlit with blinding clarity, set like museum pieces against backgrounds of bright, disturbing silence. If “Smile Models” sounds, from certain angles, like an unoiled door swinging open and shut, it is the dream of a dream of a dream of that door. It squeaks without real friction, heat or physical presence."
There's more here.
Here is a sample of his stuff
I am just going to assume that this is the one and only blog post ever to feature both Destroyer and Rene Hell until someone shows me another one.