Monday, March 3rd, 2003
Off The Pedestal
Tangmonkey is a music/culture site introduced to me by Sean, who happened to pass through the chromewaves sphere of influence. It’s a pretty cool site and Canadian, no less. Extra points for having ‘monkey’ in their name. Go visit and say hello. To Sean from Tangmonkey – your email address was getting bounced back to me as undeliverable.
I got my big stack ‘o Wheat EPs today. They’re an online exclusive at the Aware Records store, only $2 a piece. A nice deal till you factor in the $7 shipping to Canada. I won’t mention the fact that the postal meter on the package only said $2.55. I bought 3 for the purpose of spreading the Wheat gospel. Well, one is for Kyle, but the other one I’m saving for someone who needs to see the light. Or eBay, whichever. The EP, Too Much Time is an interesting listen. Wheat’s been essentially out of circulation for about three years now, since Hope & Adams came out on Sugar Free. The new album, Per Second Per Second Every Second has been ready for over a year, but hassles with their old label going belly up and then re-recording tracks for the new one have kept them from releasing it forever. It’s due out this Spring, finally, on Aware – home of John Mayer and Five For Fighting. Curious company for a band that used to have that trademark mid-fi indie pop sound. Operative words, ‘used to’.
The new stuff has a remarkable gloss to it – though the material on the EP is still Fridmann-produced, it’s slick. Like shellacked slick. My first reaction is some disappointment, I’ll admit, because I loved Hope & Adams so much, especially the sonics. By the same token, there’s a re-recorded version of “Don’t I Hold You” on the EP, with the same production as the new material, not to mention additional lyrics and rearrangement. Again, mixed feelings. I don’t like seeing perfection messed with. But – I will give Ricky and the boys the benefit of the doubt. I won’t be one of those who disown a band because they make a grab at that Total Request Live brass ring. The material is still strong, if a lot more ‘pop’. We will see if 2003 is the year of Wheat.
Had one of the best band practices ever tonight. Laura, freshly back from Amsterdam, came out and things really come together when she’s around. Besides the songs actually sounding the way we want with all the keyboard parts, it was good to have some of the raging testosterone of the rest of us diffused a little. Besides having a load of fun playing with the rap/DJ samples on the keyboard, we got a good deal of the arrangements worked out on some of the songs that had been giving us trouble in the past. A few more nights like this and we can seriously start thinking about booking shows.
np – Wheat / Medeiros