Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Back home again/Schooner

Well, a moderately pleasant trip to California was seriously derailed by my foolishly leaving my iPod on the airplane from San Francisco to LA. I've called the airline, and I know there are nice people out there in the world, but I really don't think I'll see it again. Grr.

While I'm enjoying doing this, I regret that I don't have the time to write as much or as wel as I would likel about the music I'm featuring. Ideally, I'd live with the music for a while and really figure out what I think about it. (And, you know, buy the whole album rather than just listen to whatever MP3s the band puts up on their web site...) As it is, this is more or less first impressions of bands that I don't know very well yet. Think of it as my listening diary, if you care to follow over my shoulder, and hopefully, eventually, I'll be able to work more detail into this.

Today's band is Raleigh's Schooner -- they play melodic indie rock with some interesting instrumentation, chiefly the Kathryn Johnson's keyboard/organ playing. Her brother, Reid writes fairly melancholic lyrics, though they're interspersed with a fair amount of wordless melody lines. I like the fact that Billy Alpin's drumming adds some different textures to the mix -- it's a little less straight-ahead than many bands.

MP3: "Trains and Parades"
MP3: "We Let the Cat Out"
MP3: "Stunts and Showmanship and Codes"
(from You Forget About Your Heart, Pox World Empire 2004. Buy )

The stately "Trains and Parades" is perhaps my favorite out of these three. Nice organ, and the most interesting drumming. "We Let the Cat Out" picks up the tempo some -- I like the way the harmonica drifts into the background. "Stunts" etc. is the most agressive of the three -- pounding drums and piano, distorted vocals. Frankly, it could use a little more variety. But given the range of these three songs (and reviews note that the whole album shows impressive range) I'm giving these guys the thumbs-up. Catch them this weekend at a free show at the NCSU Alumni Building (1:30 p.m. 10/24/04), and vote while you're at it.


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