Friday, October 08, 2004


The 88 come east, and the Would-Be-Goods rock out

I wanted to quickly mention that The 88, who released an album called Kind Of Light last year that made my top ten and got one vote in the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll, are finally playing some east coast dates. Details should be on their website, but the one I'm happiest about is at the Knitting Factory on this coming Saturday night 'cause that's really convenient for me. Based on their videos and a KCRW appearance, I'm not sure The 88 will be the most riveting band live, but I still love their album after a year and look forward to checking them out (at a reasonable time too...I love it when I like the unpopular band who has to open).

I'm not quite sure what's up with The 88. They seem to be good at getting their songs onto tv shows and movie soundtracks (shades of the Dandy Warhols), but nobody I talk to has heard of them. I'd think that a band that released an album that sounds like a great lost Kinks album (not The Great Lost Kinks Album) would have a huge readymade audience, but I seem to be wrong. I don't think they're touring enough, and it's about time for some new material (re-recording a Kinks song doesn't count). I have this weird feeling that they'll either slip back into total obscurity or that their next album will be a misguided bid for a teen audience. We'll see. Between videos and mp3s, they have five good songs available from their website, so I'm not going to post anything this time around.

The Would-Be-Goods, who don't sound like the Magnetic Fields but probably appeal to a similar fanbase, released a new CD recently, their second since reemerging from a longish slumber. And for a second time, I'm surprised at how well head Would-Be-Good Jessica Griffin manages to rock out (in a Yeh Yeh sort of a way) on a handful of tracks that are, for the most part, the best ones on the CD. I loved the high energy song Emmanuelle Beart from a CD EP that accompanied her last album, and this time I'm especially digging one song, sung in French and with a fuzz guitar on the chorus, called Le Crocodile. It's not that I out and out dislike the less upbeat tunes, but her strength these days really seems to be in catchy 3-chord pop songs, and I'd love to see her ditch the sophisticated music (not lyrics) and just kick out the jams on her next disc. Politely, of course.

A somewhat rudimentary website is here. If by some chance you don't know who Emmanuelle Beart is, a quick google search should bring up all the info and all the nude photos you could ever want for this French actress. She's kind of terrifyingly good looking.

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