Friday, February 27, 2004

Wow, first thing is that Kurt Ralske (of Crash/Ultra Vivid Scene/etc.) comes out to say hi here (near the end of the thread). While I agree with him that Rev is far and away the best UVS album, I think he's being too hard on the first two CDs.

A long time ago I read an issue of Tape Op (a neat zine about the mechanics of recording, generally aimed at non-pro's though it covers a lot of ground) where they interviewed the guy who recorded an early Flowchart album. He mentioned (about 1/3'd of the way down the page) having recorded a Can track bubbling under the surface of the song Metro Survey. I finally got around to checking out that song recently, but I can't hear the Can song. I only know Can's ouvre through Flow Motion, so maybe it's a later song. Or maybe I'm just missing it. Or maybe it's actually on another song...or maybe it's just one of those lies that engineers tell to trick people into buying CDs.

Anyway, it's an interesting experience to listen to the Flowchart song while straining to hear the Can song: you wind up concentrating on some of the less obvious parts. Just so you know, Metro Survey has a long intro that doesn't change much, but the song does eventually start doing other things. It does sound pretty much exactly like Stereolab, but that's not a criticism. Later on, Flowchart moved away from being carbon copies, but I think I prefer them in their less-original period.

You can get a whole bunch of Flowchart songs (including the one I posted, but I thought it'd be more convenient to put it here) at this place.

I woke up sick with a cold today and somewhat depressed after finally reading "Our Band Could Be Your Life" last night. God, what a friggin bleak book when you think about it. The song that always cheers me up (and it worked again today) is Martin, Doom! It's Seven O'Clock by the Boo Radleys from their Wake Up! album. (English people: yes it was a hit in your country, but it sure wasn't over here). Wake Up! is where the Boo Radleys shake off most of the remaining traces of their shoegazer past and embrace pop, and I've always associated it with Blur's Parklife. If they were movies, they'd make a great double feature. It's funny: reading the lyric sheet you'd think this was a depressing record, but the songs are so bouncy and optimistic sounding that you'd never know that.

After Wake Up!, the Boos got a little too experimental for my taste (not that I dislike experiments...I just don't think it was their strength, though I can cherry pick lots of great songs off of the subsequent records). After their break-up, songwriter Martin Carr formed Brave Captain, and you can find out all about them by clicking the link to the left.

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