Friday, July 30, 2004

Like most bloggers, I check my referrers whenever I'm feeling bored or lonely.  Surprisingly, I don't get many of those weird google searches that make you wonder about the state of the world and its sexual proclivities.

What I do get all the time are 1) searches for Phoebe Summersquash and 2) searches for US Maple's vinyl-only track Favors Are Weird

I can't give you people Phoebe Summersquash, and I really don't understand why hardly a day goes by without someone googling her.  Yes, she's cute as a button (ok, that's not the best photo she ever took).  Yes, girl drummers are cool.   Yes, "Summersquash" is a weird name.  Yes, she played on that great Mascott album that came out last year.  But really...couldn't we just let a day go by without worrying about her?  I'm sure she's fine.

On the other hand, it was a little passive/aggresive of me to post Favors Are Weird way back when as an AAC file, so today here it is in mp3.  It's not the best song from their slightly disappointing most-recent album Purple On Time, but it's pretty good. 

I want to do an "All about US Maple" day sometime, so I'm not going to go into much detail.  The main thing that's really important to know about them is that they sound that way on purpose:  you go to see them live and it sounds just like the record.  Another thing that's probably worth considering:  it's my personal theory that people put down Al Johnson's singing style reflexively, without really thinking about it.  When you consider that this is a band that's trying to write songs without verses, choruses, solos, bridges, tunes, steady beats, or any of the other things that usually go into making a non-improvised song, it makes perfect sense that the singer would eschew talking and singing and shouting.  I give him credit for finding an alternative, and once you get used to it it kind of seems inevitable.

Here's the vinyl-only track Found A Place To Have My Kittens from their first album...the one that comes in the metal sleeve and sells for a fair amount on eBay.

BTW, their video for Stuck (from their first single) is still up here.  It's in Quicktime and takes a short while to load, and the picture is kind of small, but it's a pretty cool video and shows off the band's strange and smarmy affect.  It's probably worth mentioning that US Maple became much less coherent after their first single and album, so don't be put-off by the relative normalcy of the song (if it strikes you as disjointed and annoying, it's possible that you may not enjoy later US Maple).

If you decide to investigate them further, the best place to start is probably Talker, though Acre Thrills wouldn't be bad either.

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