Tuesday, June 8, 2010
That Star Folk Band's latest outing on Old 3C Records is strikingly reminiscent of Zuma era Neil Young in places is cause for celebration. On "Ghost Man", it even wanders joyously onto open blacktop like Luke Askew thumbing a lift from Dennis Hopper or Peter Fonda.
Brady Burkett and Ryan Shaffer have been recording together for over ten years, studiously ignored by the kind of corporate tomfoolery which makes me want to spit every time somebody mentions the IFPI.
Their unburdened passion for making music is self-evident. Tempered from a decade's worth of home-recording; untampered with by A&R intervention, or marionette string pulling.
Seven years ago, the pair financed the release of a two-disc compilation of their early material, "A Landscape Yesterday, for Seasons". You almost certainly will not have heard (of) it. You may, however, be familiar with Electric Magnolia Co.. Mike Brenner, contributor to that collective, slides in unannounced to underplay his hand on "Well Oiled".
Acoustic lay-bys negotiate the asphalt two lane here, on "Look At This Mess (The Ballad of Deep Green)" and "Looks Like a Bailout", but the opening 53 seconds of "See the Light" - a stuttering tribal chant redolent of a certain immigrant song - is a fitting prelude to something harder wearing and more permanent. Burkett and Shaffer absorb the familiar and throw it straight back out there to sweat like road kill.
A clatter of hubcaps and radiator grill, unselfconscious; inviting.
Four sticks in, the unabashed "Down to Dust" blindsides in a welter of unmistakable Stooges riffing and vintage Crazy Horse. Pretense be damned. All the more alluring for its liquorice effrontery.
When I rolled out this blog two years ago, there was no fixed agenda beyond simply sharing my enthusiasm for music; writing; imagery. If the process of sharing were not restricted to sight and sound, I may well have added a pinch of my favourite smells to the mix as well. Petrol and melting tarmac. Turkish soap.
As it is, my hands are tied. I will continue to inflict my poetry on the unsuspecting visitor. The odd illustration, or digital scribble. A ghost from the past. Or two.
I will continue to do it my way. "Do It", as Pink Fairies were prone to incite.
When I started in on it, I made it my habit to include direct purchasing links to the material sampled. It is quite ironic that on those occasions when I have fallen afoul of complaint and deletion - when the SibLING has been SHOT at from the bleachers - it might have been wiser to desist from the prompt to buy.
Some of you may be aware of Blogger's decision to integrate with Amazon. To persuade its subscribers to climb into bed with a Scythian partner. Well, that turned out badly. It is well to be suspicious. I have no appetite to turn this site into a mere adjunct to corporate markets. Let's leave that to those far eastern scammers who merely copy and paste; steal and run.
My awareness that too few artists seemingly benefit from sales punched through the virtual warehouse bothers me too. That argument is redundant.
"Well Oiled" is avaible to purchase direct from Old 3C.
☆ Support Independent Music. Support the artist. Buy directly from source when that option presents itself.
Thank you, Totem Pole Media.
See what looks like a little china figurine up there atop the refrigerator ? That is no tchotchke, it is a man's hand cradling a smoke. I like that.
▼ STAR FOLK BAND: SEE THE LIGHT from "Well Oiled" CD + Vinyl (Old 3C) 2010 (US)
▼ STAR FOLK BAND: DOWN TO DUST from "Well Oiled" CD + Vinyl (Old 3C) 2010 (US)
PURCHASE WELL OILED EXCLUSIVELY FROM OLD 3C RECORDS