Wednesday, September 20th, 2006
Salt And Syncope
First off, Nashville’s Forget Cassettes has one of the best band names I’ve heard in ages. Something about it just sounds so right to me. And luckily, it’s not wasted on a lousy band.
Like Montreal’s Land Of Talk, of whom they remind me more than just a little, they hearken back to the mid-90s alternative rock heyday of abrasive guitars and angsty female vocals but without sounding like a retread. On their second album Salt, they reclaim the quiet/loud/quiet dynamic, shake it free of the past decade of cliches and make it sound visceral again. The quiet moments are almost uncomfortably intimate and when they explode, damage will be done.
Singer Beth Cameron’s voice has an innate sweetness but she wraps it in barbed wire – imagine if Nina Gordon had left Veruca Salt to make angrier music, drawing inspiration from Polly-Jean Harvey rather than Sarah McLachlan. And there’s a very raw and personal thread running through the album lyrically that sounds more cathartic than any whisper-to-a-scream shift you could muster instrumentally or vocally. Harrowing stuff. I realize that this formula has been done time and time again and could easily be dismissed based solely on the reference points cited, but to me, they sell it.
The late, great WOXY still has a recent lounge session with the band online and Red & Black ran an interview last month. And while they’re touring, there’s nothing remotely close by. A pity – I bet they’d be scorching live.
This looks like it could be interesting – Cinnamon Girl is an all-female tribute to the songs of Neil Young and yes, I know that sounds more awful than interesting, but Full Of Wishes reports that some of the participating artists will be Tanya Donelly, Britta Phillips and Kristen Hersh. See? Interesting. And proceeds are going to charity so speak ill of it at your own risk.
Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo lists a dozen crucial records for eMusic and gives Austin360 an interview. I finally found out where my copy of I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass is – Raleigh, North Carolina. Insound sent my order to some other guy in some other country. WHOOPS.
Pitchfork asks Scott Kannberg, aka Spiral Stairs, about the odds of a Pavement reunion. I figure they’ve got two more albums after the Wowee Zowee deluxe reissue drops November 7 before the gravy train runs out and they have to find some other way to make those Escalade payments. Then it’s hello Lollapalooza.
The Globe & Mail gets a look at how the final jurors came to the decision of who to give the really big Polaris cheque. Final Fantasy’s D&D-themed album was probably a shoo-in once they decided that rolling a 1d10 would be the fairest solution.