Tuesday, January 19, 2010

lost and found, redux

Reflective and spare - understated and warmly genuine - this beautiful collection of songs gently floored me on its pre-release last year.

Previously on SibLINGHOT ON THE BLEACHERS (23/04/09):

"There is a sepulchral fragility to the songs this duo brings to the table. A brittle clarity in their refusal to labour the point... Quietly poetic observations in the two to three minute manner of a Jonathan Richman or Antony Hegarty".

That is to say, achingly direct.

A regular fixture, seemingly, at the Bowery Poetry Club - just over the bridge from their native Brooklyn - there is nothing to be uncovered in their stripped to the bone eloquence which discomforts or annoys. Their pairing melts in the shallow of a heated spoon. Impurities swabbed and filtered; niggling doubts suspended in the wings. The nested spirit of CBGB's.

Absorbed and informed by fleeting decades.

I wandered to my front door this morning and their CD was jammed in my letterbox. A manila envelope bearing a return address. The final print has been a long time coming. Even before I opened it I was elated. Chastened.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread ? Decide for yourself. Just beautiful.

uchenna bright: bass;
jen tobin: vocals and guitar.

Released on the Eternal Amateur label through Bowery Poetry Club Records.

THE FOOLS: EVEN FOOLS KNOW (BONUS TRACK) from "Lost And Found" CD (Eternal Amateur) 2009 (US)
THE FOOLS: FOLLY (BONUS TRACK) from "Lost And Found" CD (Eternal Amateur) 2009 (US)



Brushback said...

Doesn't sound bad...

ib said...

A masterly stroke of understatement, Brushback.

By the way, my thanks to The Fools for setting straight my lamentable awareness of NYC topography. The more salient landmarks fade in and out of memory according to where my head's at, but even I should have spotted my - since amended - clanger.

The Bowery Poetry Club is situated directly across the street from Hilly Kristal's sadly defunct CBGB's, which first opened its doors in 1972.

To quote from an article which appeared in "Downtown Express", 2005:

" “CBGB closing would be a tragedy of the first order,” said Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club. “There is no single cultural site on the Bowery that has the historical and creative force that CBGB has. We tell people to find us by going across the street from CBGB.” "

Once the notoriously thriving underbelly of Manhattan, Jackson Pollock nodded out there on the kerb once after a drinking jag and woke up in Robert Quine's shoes on stage in CBGB sometime in 1974.

Or not.

Had Jackson Pollock played guitar, I suspect he might have sounded a lot like Quine. I have no idea if Quine ever picked up a paintbrush or threw it onto a canvas by the muscular bucket load, but it would not surprise me.

Is there still a homeless shelter on the Bowery ? If so, do they operate a waiting list ?

Put me down for a provisional booking. In the event they ever let me touch down at JFK.

Ramone666 said...

Pollock vs. Quine is one spot on observation dude. Hats off.

ib said...

"Pollock vs. Quine" sounds like it should be the an album title, if not a post at least. Cheers.

ib said...

On a more relevant note. Both those bonus tracks featured are live recordings of Jen and Uchenna at the Bowery Poetry Club. With only the staff sitting in as audience.

An interesting counterpoint to the studio arrangements on their album proper.

More raw and spare as one might expect, it is something of a triumph that none of the intimacy and integrity of the songs was compromised in the studio process. Hats off to Cliff and Misha for their part in the finished print.

From an email correspondence with The Fools:

"...there was also a lot of pressure in knowing that once you record something it is set for life. That recording will be how people will see the song forever."