According to his PR, Travis Trevisan lost his job about a year ago and sat at home and made music. Sometimes, unemployment works wonders. Trevisan sings in a kind of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone monotone, but the fuzzy, dour, and always interesting musical arrangements that accompany his voice range from brief Guided By Voices and Pixies-influenced rock to more expansive excursions into post-rock soundscapes.
Tape Deck Mountain will be playing some California dates this November. Check his MySpace page for details.
As a fan of all things George Romero, be they good (Dawn of the Dead) or bad (Diary of the Dead), I wanted to post the new poster for the loose remake of The Crazies, coming out on February 26th. It would seem that this “reinvention” of the original film could only be better (although Romero’s does have its merits), but odds are that it will be worse.
The Crazies stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, and Joe Anderson, and the plot centers around a town that is “beset by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply” (from the press release). Breck Eisner directs.
Timing can be a bitch or a blessing. The LA band-as-collective Fool’s Gold releases their debut record of lithe, African-influenced dance-pop with a Hebrew slant on the heels of Vampire Weekend supremacy and a new album from Matisyahu. Valid or not, comparisons are inevitable, especially with the former. Such is the nature of music criticism and wonkery.
This is not really fair, though, as Fool’s Gold’s musical range and motivation are very different animals from these other bands. Yes, bassist/vocalist Luke Top sometimes makes an unfortunate choice by appearing to mimic a generic African patois, at least when he’s not singing in Hebrew, which he does on much of the record. But the music that Fool’s Gold makes is expertly woven into rich tapestries of poly-rhythms, percussion, horns, and spidery guitar lines. The album’s opening track, “Surprise Hotel,” is the band at its best, mellifluously and smartly embarking upon a journey through West African melodies. Indeed, Africa is the source for most of the record, but it’s not the only inspiration. “Poseidon” finds the band flirting with ‘80s indie-pop, something the members would most likely proudly acknowledge, as guitarist Lewis Pesacov cites The Smiths as one of his many influences.
Fool’s Gold goes way beyond Graceland as a reference point, and Luke Top’s nod to his Israeli roots is really not the same as an orthodox Jew doing dancehall reggae. So let’s let bygones be bygones and ignore recent events, because Fool’s Gold’s music offers too much pleasure to write off as just another drop in the bucket of popular trends.
The band sounds like they’ve been energized and rejuvenated over the past few years, still keeping things pretty but rocking every so slightly harder. Singer John Orth’s vocals still trill about horse and nature imagery, especially when it comes to the Little Stallion character which is supposed to be the subject of much of the record.
1. The Art Teacher and the Little Stallion
2. Black Lacquered Shame
3. Boys on Motorbikes
4. Cherry Glow
5. The Conductor and the Hobbyist (Avalanche)
6. The Last Transmission (Honeybee)
7. The Lazy Matador
8. Little Stallion with a Glass Jaw
9. Oh, Glory
11. Snow-packed Hush
It’s a Fool’s Gold pool party. Lizards, old men, ladies in bathing suits… just like pool parties when you were a kid.
This song has grown on me quite a bit. When you get past the indie-rock-meets-Africa trend going on these days, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s not hard to hear that these guys know their shit and know how to play said shit quite well.
And here’s an older song for you: