Laurence, Mr. Emanuel... Mr. Dead Bugs... the guy who's gone by Laurence for so long that i can't remember his real name (probably his intention... was is Adam?), asked me to throw up his newest release, "Of a Feather" as it's due to be released on vinyl sometime before the end of the year & that's all very exciting... don't get too riled up though, this record is pretty fuckin' somber - might bring you down a bit. i'm not sure if he wanted me to say anything about it but that RSP post got my fingers tapping so i'm going to ramble a bit and it probably won't make any sense. if you haven't already, click play and start listening.
1. like a song off of the Mountain Goats' "Tallahassee." i don't remember which one. it's been a long time since i've listened to that record and the girl i was infatuated with - whose aura was so complimented by that record's romanticism (and sarcasm) - is no longer fascinating to me. not in the least. not only am i not in love with her, or the idea of her, but i think she's pretty not-cool. if she reads this, sorry about that. maybe we can be facebook friends in a couple of years.
2. reminds me of Peasant, and in a lot of ways that disappeared Doylestown PA area folkie wound up meaning as much to me as that Mountain Goats girl. but the shows i saw were great... Playwright was great, that Buck County band Peasant would share bills with at places like that christian reading room/library in Princeton next to Hoagie Haven, or the attic of the cigar shop in Doylestown, or a little tuft of grass on top of a little mound of dirt in the middle of Peddler's Village on a hot summer day while old women strolled about with their huge wraparound black sunglasses and their sun visors and their short hair... old women and their short hair... and their vests. there was one woman there who approached him after a song and suggested that he ought to find god. i thought that was rude.
3. crowing about Pennsylvania... PA probably doesn't mean much to Blind Melon, but musically this could be a lost acoustic track. i hope that's not an offensive thing to say, it's not intended to be.
4. the peak of the first side. this song just kills. that HORN. Jon E. Erkkilä trumpeting away... what was the name of that band he was in? Joe would know...
there's a time in adolescence when you stop dancing or running through fields and you start to bring a blanket & lay down instead. this might coincide with trying to get laid, or trying drugs for the first time. when's the last time you got grass-stained jeans and a hole in the knee? when's the last time you had a summer off? i mean really off... if i say this music is great for a late spring/early summer evening, you'll have a decent idea of what i'm talking about but what i wish we could feel more clearly is the way those nights felt all those years ago. this album would certainly lead you through that kind of night. or 41 minutes of it... after you think you may have drank a little bit too much, or a bit too much than you're used to... when the girl you've had your mind on all night drank a little bit more than that and is just within eye and earshot making out with your best friend as you sit there counting the blades of grass popping up between your toes feeling absolutely foolish. the album's tagged on bandcamp as "cold-weather music" and though that's the weather i've felt with all the other Dead Bugs records, this one feels a bit different.
5. the Lambertville Station? the Frenchtown Inn? it doesn't matter. Mia Fiorentino on backup vocals.
6. Thérèse de Genova on violin again, that's two in a row... what a wonderful decoration to sew into a song.
Dead Bugs just keeps getting better... as those who don't give up inevitably do. in a a techno-shocked era where people make money sitting in an office and make friends sitting on facebook, Laurence is watching piles of rocks rolling down old metal train tracks through New Jersey woods; he's sticking to an acoustic, slow & deliberate style that's a short relaxing vacation from the highway and strip malls they carved out just up the road crammed full of old ladies and their kitschy home goods and their genetically modified bananas... old women and their short hair...
7. there's a love song or two on this record. a Bug found his valentine. i wish them luck.
8. i keep saying folk. i keep thinking folk. but there's too much reverb for this to be folk. or too many synths. even so, the sounds on this song sound like native american cave winds and the drums on it are heavy... beating sun-dried tom-toms and thunderbolt crash cymbals on the long-view horizon. less out of place than you'd think and mixed deeply into the cinematic ambience that instead of picking them out you're probably picturing Natalie Portman reclined in the passenger seat of your station wagon.
9. that horn again... from the 4th track... that guy is great. and Lauren Artiles on back-up vocals. she has a wonderful voice. i've recorded it before... Nesting Dolls. you'll probably never be able to find that record. hope she's doing well.
10. will Mr. Emanuel remain a foolish boy? will he sink into a bottle or is he too productive to ever really lose his booze-soaked brain? where will he go from here?
stay tuned for the next Dead Bugs release..
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