Since it's looking as though what would have been my first non-Pazz & Jop Village Voice submission might not actually see publication - I submitted it to the music editor and never heard back - here tis, in its entirety. It's totally silly and irreverent, but I want it to appear somewhere, even if only 3-5 people, consequently, will actually read it. Onward and upward!
“Singles Going Steady”
By Raymond Cummings
Blitzen Trapper "Wild Mountain Nation" (from Wild Mountain Nation, self-released)
Like a three-stick Juicy Fruit cud-chew on a sunshiny, cloudless afternoon in the Rockies. These self-sufficient, self-perpetuating Oregonians issue a good-natured cattle call inviting urbanites and suburbanites to drop out of society without getting all McVeigh militia or hippie commune – upfront, anyway. Carefree “ooooo-oooos” and adlibbed “yeahs” sweeten the pot; fulsome, deep-fried, squealing guitar leads lace up them hiking Timbs; drums that mimic tramping up a slope seal the deal. Onward, then, to REI, and to the trail! And all this talk about wolves and eagles hints that Wolfmother, Wolf Eyes, the Eagles of Death Metal, and AIDS Wolf can tag along, too – bonus! Stoked!
Cornelius "Breezin'" (from Sensuous, Everloving Records)
Like cracking the foil on a fresh pack of Orbit while chilling on a Tron set. Are those accentuated finger snaps or compressed handclaps erupting in the crisp, busy mix? Don’t know, don’t much care: whatever it really is, it’s just a stark ingredient in Keigo Oyamada’s dynamic, conveyor-belt future-pop. Electronic drums, prim keyb hooks, handfuls of glistening magic dust, and laidback, over processed Oyamada vox (in his native Japanese) co-operatively exist in the same realm while obeying totally separate orbits, working together in concert and against each other at the same time. Conflicted? No. Jaunty! Yep!
Avey Tare and Kria Brekken "Sasong" (from Pullhair Rubeye, Paw Tracks Records)
Like April Fools’ Day gag chewing gum that turns your mouth wet-black. When the bro-sis Fiery Furnaces shellac backmasked shaggy-doggerel onto prog-pop tuneage, it’s wackily risque; when the hubby-wife duo Tare (Animal Collective) and Brekken (ex-Mum) go so far as to DJ-reverse their entire freak-folk unified debut, it’s straight-up unforgivable. Quickie “Sasong” is emblematic of Pullhair Rubeye’s vortexual mindsuck: what may have once been synth and/or guitar hills-qua-valleys has morphed into nightmarish pitch-shifts as Alvin, Simon, and Theodore trip hard on brown LSD and gossip, conspiratively, all at the same damned time. Behold, the bent echo in Timothy Leary’s rotting skull: dreadful, dread-inducing!