Sunday, June 24th, 2007
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 71
|The Boggs / Forts (Gigantic Music)
My review copy of The Bogg’s new album Forts has a big “Rough Mixes” sticker on it, so I’m not sure I’m actually commenting on the actual album that hit stores last month. Gestated and birthed in Berlin but originally from and now returned to Brooklyn, The Boggs are a collective of musicians whose names may be familiar from other projects (Enon, Au Revoir Simone, Holy Fuck, Daylight’s For The Birds) but whose core is one Jason Friedman. His compositions have a boozy and bluesy rootsiness gussied up by more modern and slightly bent lo-fi production values and over the course of the record veer from gentle, fire-escape folk strummers to cacaphonous group field hollers in a city canyon. Strange yet straightforward and really kind of wonderful – rough mixes they may be but I hope that for the finished product, they didn’t change a thing.
Friedman talked to Tripwire about making the record and The Boggs are playing a free show at Sneaky Dee’s on Wednesday, June 27.
|Mason Dixon / Hurry Through the Night (independent)
I think I first heard Mason Dixon some three or four years ago in the form of a handful of random demo MP3s, none of which I think I have anymore. But after waiting what seemed like forever (but probably more like three or four years) for their debut full-length, my attention finally wandered as it’s wont to do and I mostly forgot about them. Then Hurry Through The Night showed up in my mailbox and I’m having a bit of trouble reconciling what I’m hearing on the record with what I seem to recall those old MP3s sounding like. I remember Mason Dixon as a gentleish, almost-twee outfit who tickled my alt.country funnybone but Night opens with a salvo that’s purely Springsteenian roots-rock. By four tracks in with “You’re Dealing With A Tender Heart”, however, the flexing stops and the delicate boy-girl harmonies between Jeff Bailey and Amy Miles come to the fore and things are sounding a little more familiar. But that turns out just to be a brief respite as most of the rest of the album sticks to the bar-rock vibe, though you can still hear the sawdust on the dance floor. It may sound like I’m registering some disappointment about this record, but I’m not really. It’s just some surprise – like seeing someone you’d always known in flowy skirts and sandals show up in jeans and cowboy boots. But they still look good in them.