post parade/yardsale online zine
Debe Dalton - Lives in Brooklyn
Kale Records, 2012
A timeless album you will play over and over, good music for chilling in the afternoon or evening and good music for coming down in the morning. Stalwart Seeger and Newport treatments render a comfortable listen yet Dalton's activist wit and occasional pop flourish never let things get passive. Missed Opportunities, classic antifolk, chides the opportunism of the new folk revival. 52 Minutes comforts the doubt in the spiritual quest Seek and You Shall Find. Think Again recasts the Billy Bragg song of the same title from political to personal without losing any any urgency. (I Was) Quietly Playing Banjo (In the Park) sentiment and arrangement bite Kimya Dawson's Sorry Sometimes I'm Mean.
The Magic Trip
Directed by Alison Ellwood & Alex Gibney
History Channel Films, 2011
Made up of generous eye popping and eye opening raw footage of Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters on their dementia breaking Acid Test bus trip across the United States The Magic Trip makes vivid what the written word made a bore. Unfortunately the footage is often interrupted by contemporary talking head memoirs and disaffected voice overs that keep the hijinks firmly rooted in the mundane however fantastic the footage. Culled from hundreds of hours of footage the film we masses might be turned on more with would be a longer uncut version (with subsequent multiple DVDs of the rest) of just footage paired with whatever sound still available from the time (Grateful Dead bootlegs?) if not silent. The footage is that ravishing and flamboyant. Creating the vocabulary still used by countless collectives, communes, families, outsider art galleries, and alternative music venues the influence and relevance of The Pranksters cannot be denied. Never the less the Acid Test vision of the sixties may be best represented at the end of the film with footage of Kesey retreating back to nature, strolling the woods shotgun in hand, accompanied by hounds and housemen and greeted by children and wife upon the arrival at the house.
The War on Drugs
Summer Stage summer 20012
Offering a rambling blend of country blues and southern rock The War on Drugs rocked through an afternoon set at New York City's Summer Stage, propulsive songs with beatific lyrics delivered rapid fire. Sounds great Right? Well not really. The songs were great, incisive lyrics matched with a hoarse snarl from the singer/guitarist. The arrangements were not. Obviously accomplished musicians who were hitting the right notes and tempos all afternoon, it was a mystery to me why they were performing the songs with a bombastic arena rock treatment. Maybe they are prepping for an opening spot on an arena tour or felt the need the widen their sound for the summer festival circuit? In my ears The War on Drugs blend of country blues and southern rock would be much better served (and be made absolutely essential) by a more lofi gritty approach.
Check out Yardsale on bandcamp, current releases:
Major Matt, Kansas State Flower & A Brief View of the Hudson
Upcoming show on Thursdsay Nov. 29th at Goodbye Blue Monday with Sam James, Hugh J. Noble, and Prewar Yardsale