Local CD Review
Love, Execution Style
nameless (Gleet and Gumma)
If you've ever wondered what it might sound like if the weirdly cool guys who lived down the hall from you in college spent a week or so in a suburban basement working semi-feverishly between bong hits to conjure their very own version of Frank Zappa's We're Only in it for the Money using limited resources, then have I got a deal for you. While Love, Execution Style have miles to go before they reach the exalted heights of St. Frank, nameless is at least a boon for those with short attention spans and a taste for the off-kilter.
LES, based in Johnson City, veer wildly throughout nameless from one speed-freaked, drum-machined, mild-mannered outburst to the next, tossing off well-titled melodic nuggets like "the day my life went wrong" and "scone song 2." from the starting gun of the jittery instrumental "talulah," nameless never sits still, a wise move given the limitations of its echo-laden, droney, not-quite-sung vocals unrolling over a variety of interesting rhythm-track experiments. Melissa Dik's guest vocal on "dotted lines" and the so-ironic-it's-not-ironic (which itself is an ironic notion) "kitty kitty" help break the monotony, but over the course of an hour the overriding vocal approach will likely get wearying for all but the most dedicated Leonard Cohen fans.
If it's an acquired taste, nameless still has a scrappy appeal and an undeniable melodic sensibility that make it worth a try. "every minute i spent with you was wasted" is a desolate island in the chaos around it, and "the single stewardess" also stands out by dint of its irresistible melody and unexpected summoning up of the Cure. That's one of the few influences audible, although "the drowned sailor" is weirdly reminiscent of "Baba O'Reilly" (and it's fun to sing "King of Rock" over "foot"), and "i have no mouth and i must scream" could be their paean to Metal Machine Music. To be frank, nameless may be most highly recommended to recreational drug users, who will surely find its unpredictably shifting sonic landscape endlessly fascinating (the value-conscious will also be glad to see the plethora of extra tracks and remixes tacked on to the album, including several commissioned songsthe logical extension of music licensing turns out to be the same route Mozart took).
nameless' seemingly all-electronic arrangements (is that a banjo on the blaxploited "brown sugar"? yes? no? is that even a guitar? a sample?) are both its distinction and its downfall, its inherent otherworldliness and a nagging made-at-home quality rubbing uncomfortably together. This may simply be what happens when the desire to create a sonic world of your own collides with the economic reality of indie recording budgets; given a bigger chunk of change next time, Love, Execution Style might really have their own We're Only in it for the Money in them after all. Or, if "i have no mouth and i must scream" is any indication, at least their own Lumpy Gravy. Either way, it's worth a try.
Back to the Garden
Former Human Window and Southern Sound Recording Engineer Michael Davey will be hittin' the big time this weekend by taking part in the mud-fest/music carnivale known as Woodstock '99. Davey has been pretty popular over in Nashville after his move there last fall and has hooked up with a Ms. Moe Loughran, an emerging rock-folky artist (think pre-Globe Sessions Sheryl Crow). Dave and Loughran, along with drummer Christopher Robbins (of Knox's The 45s, not Winnie-the-Pooh) will head to upstate New York this weekend and play before the teeming, unwashed masses on Sunday, July 25 at some point in the late morning, depending on the whims of the weather and scheduling gods. Fortunately for those without tickets or a ride, the show will be simulcast on VH1the station for those of us who remember the first Woodstock...
Just Do It.
Thursday: Celtic Music Session at Great Southern Brewing. Because you can't have too many pints of stout.
Friday: Big Al and the Heavyweights at Sassy Ann's. A perfect cure for the July bluesimmersion in swamp-gas inspired, deep-Delta indigo that will make your toes shuffle. Or Superdrag with Gravel Pit at Moose's. See them again for the first time.
Saturday: The Boogeymen at The Spot. Finally, you can get their CD, which this gig is in celebration of. It's been a long time a'comin'.
Sunday: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Oak Ridge Community Playhouse. It's Sunday. It's about the Bible. But it's more fun than a sermon and with better-by-far costumes.
Monday: Drink a mint julep and dream of December.
Tuesday: Powerman 5000 with Galaxie and Double Drive at Moose's. Powerman is pop-culture made heavy sonic and Galaxie are local boys gone funk-rock. Yummy.
Wednesday: The Powell Team at Axis Skatepark. Jason Ellis, Danny Wainwright, Joe Hutchison, and Paul Machnauthe Powell teamare kings of Extreme Sports. And Axis will let you skate with them (or just watch if you're feeling verklempt) for $5, starting at 5 p.m. If you want to buy some new gear or get the guys to sign stuff, head to Pluto Sports beforehand to meet 'em, up close and personal like.
Zippy "Wear a helmet, kids" McDuff