Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Unbridled joy

I found a copy of a 5th Dimension record in a dollar bin and have been digging "Light Sings" as our northern light packs it in for the long winter. Quality effortless Joe Osborn bass line for the ages, snaking all around the various melodies going on.

This variety-show appearance is (1) maximum 1971 and (2) also pretty awesome. I am always in awe of people who can make it look like they are having the time of their lives at all times. The joy joy joy joy down in their heart.

The Umbrellas' "Pictures" videos is an interesting study in this phenomenon. The three people not wearing a dress in the video are standing dead still, the drummer occasionally hamming it up a bit (and creating time-lapse balloon animals), but the female guitarist/singer is exuding unbridled joy throughout. Is this a function of the socially distanced separate filming? A function of their not wearing coordinated outfits?

Sometimes I wish I could exude unbridled joy at all times. But man, too much of the time these panels from an Ivan Brunetti comic come to mind:

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Servants, unexpected moments, cheap old man rantings

The Servants' album Small Time is pretty great. Due to lack of funding, they ended up doing these songs as basically demos and they never went anywhere, but they sound great as a result. Certainly much better than if they had received a coat of George H.W.-era audio sheen. Perfect intimate low-key sound quality, a hard-working Boss Dr. Rhythm playing everything it knows and an Octave Cat synthesizer blorping out weird little bloops, songs that are sneaky and smart without announcing how sneaky and smart they are. It gets stuck in my head a lot.

In the middle of the first song, "Everybody Has a Dream," the singer lets out a little vocal "brrrip!" that comes out of nowhere. Why did he choose to do that?! And why is it so great?! Of course this makes me think of former Portland mayor Bud Clark's beloved "whoop whoop!" We need more of this sort of thing.

The album is unfortunately only available on fancypants expensive new vinyl, paired with a second disc of less-vital demos with even worse recording quality. There's a lot to be said for principled lousy sound quality - c.f. Four Gods' only single, which this reminds me of - but something about paying $25 for a record just gets me. Sigh. Bring on the CD revival already!