Monday, October 11, 2004

More on Experimental Aircraft, Boo Radleys/Brave Captain, and my new favorite song "prc-028-01"

It seems like ages ago, but it was just back in May that I mentioned Texas shoegazing types Experimental Aircraft. I'm not what I'd call a huge fan of the shoegaze genre, and I usually find myself liking bands more after they shed that skin (e.g. The Lilys, Ride, Jennyanykind, and I could go on). Must admit, though, that Experimental Aircraft's Symphony (which I'm posting for the second time) is a major keeper. If they were from England and it was 1990, I suspect people would be pretty excited about them.

I was hesitant to order their albums, but finally gave in. There's nothing quite up to the level of Symphony, but there is at least one other song that's noteworthy. Here's Johnny, which starts off in a very off-kilter way that doesn't sound like it's going to work, then abruptly presses the Swirlies/Isn't Anything button and away we go. There's also an especially nice noisy guitar solo thing at one point. Symphony is track #1 on Experimental Aircraft's Love For The Last Time CD, and Johnny is track #2, and it's as if they wanted to show they could do several aspects of MBV (soothing guitar wash and herky-jerky-let's-not-quite-resolve) right off the bat. The rest of their material is solid, though I don't like anything else as much as what I'm posting. People who do like shoegaze a lot probably won't be disappointed. Their website indicates that a new album is getting closer to completion.

Free associating a little bit, that track Johnny puts me in mind of a Boo Radleys b-side that also starts off awkwardly before slipping into a groove. Let Me Be Your Faith is the kind of song that illustrates the reason why you sometimes need to listen to an entire track before judging. Once you've heard the whole song, the beginning makes sense, but on first listen it really sounds like it's meandering around, trying to figure out what to do. About halfway through, one of the prettiest instrumental parts I know of suddenly zips down out of the sky and we float away into a kaleidoscopic bliss. The song originally appeared as a Giant Steps related b-side, but it's one of my favorite songs by the band. (Just as a note, the mp3 I'm posting is ripped from a collection called Boo-Sides Collectionthat you can probably find if you google for a bit. It compiles 2 CD's worth of fairly neat stuff.)

And speaking of the Boo Radleys, songwriter Martin Carr has another Brave Captain album out. Details and samples and such are on his website. I'm not sure that the laptop thing he's so drawn to is really his strength; my ears keep perking up whenever I hear shades of his poppier and more organic past. As with all of his releases, there are a few songs I like a lot, a bunch that are ok, and a couple of more beat-oriented things that I generally skip over. Fans of Aphex Twin and such might have a different reaction. The song I like the best thus far is, kind of predictably, Every Word You Sound which probably could have been a Boo's song.

Last thing. I'm far from the first person to say this, but it's one of those things that apparently isn't getting through. If you're a band or a label that posts mp3s, for the love of god tag them with your band name and the name of the song, at the very least. I don't know about everybody else, but I get up in the morning, skim a bunch of sites and download left and right. Later I put everything into iTunes, and I actually listen while riding the subway or at the gym. So, currently I'm really enjoying "prc-028-01" by unknown band. Everyone run out and buy a copy!

[Ok, actually I don't really like the song that much, but I wanted to use a real example and it was the most recent one I've downloaded.]

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