Friday, September 13, 2019

Don't Feed the Bear

I often wonder what other people are listening to, when I see someone dancing around behind the wheel of their car, or wearing earbuds as they make their way around a walk, or run, or sit at a desk in a cubicle.  This includes the players I cheer on at the LPGA event I attend each year.  Especially this year.  Almost every player warms up before her round with earbuds on (in?).  Are they listening to DKFM, like I am when I go for walks around the nature park on my way home from work?  I would imagine that the music choices run the gamut from K-Pop, to hip-hop, country, maybe good old retro 80 and 90s music, or whatever passes for top 40 these days.  In my mind, they would be listening to the brand new New Model Army album to prepare for competitive battle, or something both quietly intense and calming like the latest from Slowness - like when I used to play New Order’s “In A Lonely Place,” or the twisted tragic turmoil of the Cure’s “The Kiss,” or strangely, “Welcome to the Boomtown” by LA duo David & David – in order to pass the down time before basketball games during my mediocre school sports career.

Everyone that knows me, knows that I love attending the Portland Classic golf tournament each year.  It is a highlight that in many ways keeps me moving forward – keeps me trying – so I can return the following year.  This year, keeping in mind that I would continue to follow my favorite players around the golf course from hole to hole, I decided to splurge and purchase what were called “Champions Club” passes for all four days of the tourney.  These passes would allow me access to the grandstands behind the 18th green, unlimited food and beverages, and V.I.P. passage into surprisingly nice porta potties.

Every year, after the tournament, I write about my experience with a little coverage thrown in.  This has been going on since 2012, and I am finally ready to stop trying to convince anyone else of the incredibly entertaining merits of this experience.  Instead, I will simply tell a bit about the week, simply in order to try to sort it all out.  It’s been a couple of weeks since it all went down and I’m still not sure if I can.  Now that I’m back fully immersed into the horrific work grind, it’s all fading rapidly.

To be honest, my annual vacation week did not start out great.  Every year I volunteer caddy for two Pro-Ams on Monday and Wednesday.  These are tournaments before the actual tournament, where corporate big wigs pay money to play a round of golf with one of the pros.  This money then goes to charity.  As a volunteer, I caddy for one of the amateurs.  It’s fun for me, because I always get to meet a pro, see them play up close and marvel at their ability, as well as walk a golf course from the fairway I will likely never be able to play.  There have been several moments where I have laughed to the point of hysterics out there – hearing the banter between a player and her caddy, or with a subtle jab at some of these corporate blowhards who are trying to show off.  This year the Pro-Ams were poorly organized.  There was a lot of uncertainty since a lot of people who were registered were not on the list.  Little things were not in place like water to drink, or napkins for the meager food spread, or any kind of set up for checking in.  The people in charge were confused and unprepared, which doesn’t make sense, because this has been happening pretty flawlessly for years.  Though this summer has been mild, the volunteer days were marred by miserable heat.  I was actually worried about my health out there.  For that matter, nothing went quite as planned all week leading up to the tournament.  Everything was off-kilter.  Nothing bad, but all my plans were changed or canceled last minute, and I was in a funk.  I guess it was fitting that it carried over into the caddying event.

Luckily, once the tournament began early Thursday morning, everything fell into place.  I had a group of players I was excited to see in person teeing it up at 8:10 AM and off we went.  Thus began four days of the fun emotional rollercoaster watching great players struggle and triumph as their rounds progressed.  I was discouraged watching Morgan Pressel play really well tee to green, yet she could not buy a putt.  Her putts all looked good, but none of them would drop.  As each hole passed, her frustration grew, and you could see the rest of her game start to crack.  It was not to be her week.  I did almost witness an ultra-rare double eagle in person, as Jeongeun Lee6 hit her second shot on the par 5 fifth hole to about six inches.  The ball slowly rolled by the hole, always looking like it was going to drop.  For the third year in a row, I watched Amy Yang play up close.  Though she struggled in the first round, she shot back to back six under rounds to get in the mix by the final round.  Unfortunately, that final day was rough.  She was off to a slow start, but then went on a great run on the front nine.  Then came a short missed par putt on the 8th hole, and a bladed chip shot on the 9th that led to a double bogey.  This erased her previous progress and she went into a stall the rest of the way – finally finishing in a tie for 20th.

When I wasn’t strolling around the grounds of Columbia Edgewater, I would find refuge in the Champions Club.  I had spent all that money, so I had to take advantage.  On Saturday, I stopped in for lunch as I came around the turn while following Amy’s round.  They were serving unusual looking enchiladas.  I grabbed a plate and silverware, place a little salad on there, then some sort of bean mixture, and then struggled a bit with the lid of the chaffing dish that kept the enchiladas hot.  There was no place to put the lid aside and having deficient control of my left hand, I was struggling.  This was the moment that a really old white haired man wearing an all red outfit nudged me aside, scooping another couple enchiladas onto his plate, pronouncing “These things are way better than they look!”  I was dumbfounded as I held the lid.  It took me some time before I realized that I had just been assaulted by the Bob from Bob’s Red Mill – wearing the same gear he wears on all of their promo pictures.  He was correct.  The food was really tasty!  I never saw him around after that. 

Later, after Amy finished up her round – going from a tie for 63rd to a tie for 10th - I returned to the luxury of the Champions Club, retrieved a beer, and watched all of the remaining pairings finish up on the 18th hole.  It was really cool.  They also had the television coverage playing up there, so we could keep up on action on other holes.  During some down moments, I was exchanging text messages with a handful of different friends who somehow put up with my occasional golf course updates, when I happened upon a GIF (in search of something else) of a chained bear attacking someone.  For whatever reason, I could not stop watching it, nor could I stop laughing.  The harder I tried to suppress the laughter, the worse it got.  Tears streamed down my cheeks, and the older couple sitting to my right moved to the row in front of me.  I laughed harder.  The guy to my left, who had been making small talk with regarding the golf, got up and left.  Soon there was a bubble of space surrounding me, and the laughter came on again.  This went on for some time, at least until I became emotionally overwhelmed by the rousing cheers for some fantastic shots into the 18th green, as we were witnessing some amazing golf being played.

I don’t know what to make of any of this, but by tournament’s end, the week was no longer off-kilter.  I was feeling thankful for the experience and excited that the tourney came down to a final putt from this year’s champion, Australian, Hannah Green.  I had rooted for her to win the Women’s PGA title while watching on TV in the spring, so was happy to see her succeed, and sad that it was all coming to an end again.  Along the way, I met a fellow fan, Alex, who said to me that this is his favorite week of the year.  That he takes the entire week off from work to be able to see his favorite players, and he thinks that the LPGA is the best event to see in person.  Weird, right?

One of these days, one of the players I follow around all 72 holes will breakthrough with the victory, so I can take full credit.  The soundtrack will be provided by David + David.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Right Now

I’m not sure what is wrong with me.  It doesn’t matter how old I get and how many years pass since moving away from the small town where I grew up, every time I go through those seven “miracle” miles, I become the same angst-ridden teenager anxious to get out as fast as I can.  When I was in High School, I used to drive around that dreary town, blasting tunes as loud as I possibly could, so I could emotionally shout along to the lyrics as some sort of primal scream therapy.  I wanted so badly to get away.  I wanted so badly to start a new life full of cool adventures and worldly pursuits that the incredible music I loved so much was educating me about.  I felt trapped, like so many of us do at that age.

The problem is, I still feel trapped, and somehow it all becomes amplified when I drive through that terrible town.  I revert back to cranking the volume on the stereo to blistering levels.  There is no loud that is loud enough!  I think this is part of the reason why I like many of the bands I do.  When I was that restless teenager, I developed a fondness for screeching feedback, atonal tunings, and explosive instrumental drama combined with doom-laden and nihilistic lyrics.  These things were like a defensive shield to keep people away – a warm cocoon of noise to keep me safe.

Luckily, I don’t return very often, and when I do it’s mainly to pass through.  That’s when the windows go down, the volume goes up, and my imagination seethes with images of the streets ripping apart behind me from the sonic waves of epic noise emanating from my shitty car stereo system.  I can almost see the poor passersby bracing themselves to stay upright – showing concern as their teeth rattle to the brink of shattering.  Meanwhile, the automobiles around me are swerving uncontrollably from the rippling roadway and their windows crackling under the intense pressure.

The last time I drove through that dreadful coastal town, I had just started playing the Blankenberge album More.  The first few songs are absolutely breathtaking with their sheer insistency, drama, and yes, passages of explosive sound.  These are songs that for me bring a huge well of emotions surging to the surface simply from the music alone.  The reality is that instead of the handsome dude in the sweet ride cruising through town with a destructively powerful sound system playing music that is literally too cool and powerful for anyone to handle, I’m a fat older guy, on the verge of damaging the speakers of my 15 year old car, that cannot handle the volume of the distorted music playing that no one around will notice at all.

Like I said before, I’m not sure what is wrong with me.  Other than some family medical issues, which would’ve occurred no matter where we would’ve been located, my upbringing was pretty stable and generally happy.  I have a handful of really great friends from that town that I cherish, along with a lot of fun experiences to remember.  It’s the reminder that when passing through that town, I’m really no different than that teenager was.  Just a lot older, less healthy, and a lot more easily frustrated and confounded by everything.  It makes me want to break everything apart and start from scratch.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Ex Voto

Ex Voto
(Earnest Jennings Record Co.)

When I first happened upon New York City’s Versus demo tape in early 1992, I immediately loved it and wrote about it in the old photocopied ‘zine days of This Wreckage.  At 21, and with a pretty limited lexicon of music history, I said this about them:

“The dual vocals of guitarist Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups, along with the bouncy drums of Rob Hale give you an inkling of the best early X songs – with a little of the gentle Go-Betweens thrown in.”

Not sure I would use the same description/comparison if running across them now, but I cannot really argue with it either.  It was that same year, most of the songs from this demo started popping up on 7” singles and compilations on indie labels around the country, and thus began my collection.  I’ve been a devoted fan ever since and have followed most of the band members’ other musical projects over the years (The Fontaine Toups, The Pacific Ocean, +/-, and Whysall Lane), including legendary NYC band, Flower, the band that Richard and Rob were fresh out of back when this demo appeared (Ex Voto was recorded by Flower’s Ian James).  The thing is, I’m not sure they’d ever made a great album!  Versus have a plethora of incredible songs, but, in my opinion, the albums were always a bit spotty.

Surprise, surprise, then that they reappeared this past May with an EP, Ex Nihilo, that is truly inspired, and now nine years after their last LP, comes their best full album, Ex Voto!

This collection is captivating from start to finish.  Versus sound re-vitalized and more energetic than ever.  “Gravity” and “Moon Palace” the one - two punch of the openers set an exciting mood with catchy melodies, lithe playing, and some existential lyrics.  “Gravity” finds Richard asking his significant other “Does the story end the way you want it to?” and “What is left behind when the spirit’s gone?”  It seems as though he is ready to move on, but not sure how to end the dead end relationship (“I can’t seem to say, I no longer love you”).  There is also a feeling of overcoming the mundanities and trials of everyday life and love and finding solace with oneself.  In this case, it almost feels like this new start is from some sort of apocalyptic event, and our narrator is finding strength and courage to find hope by letting go of the past (“I don’t know where I’m going / I don’t know and I don’t care”).  Next up is the mid-tempo floater, “University” (which includes the great lyric: “paradise lost but we are alive”) eases us into the busy “Mummified,” whose long intro includes excerpts of some kind of movie dialogue, that I can’t quite make out or place, but reminding me of second and third album Jawbreaker.  Once we get to the song, we see every member of the band featured beautifully with slashing guitar work, and crashing drum work from the other two Baluyut brothers: James and Edward, while Richard and Fontaine trade off verses vocally and share the sing-along chorus.

Side two opens with the interesting “Baby Green,” which opens with a plastic sounding drum machine pattern and a New Order-esque bass fill.  The song actually reminds me of New Order’s “Every Little Counts” in feel, but this is much more complex, and interesting and fully fleshed out.  The blunt sounding “Atmosphere” comes on full tilt next, as Fontaine urgently asks “Have you ever felt that way before? / Have you ever felt a weight you can’t ignore?”  “Atmosphere” bleeds nicely into the orchestral pop song “Nothing But U,” which is a nice brief reprieve from all of the intensity up to this point.  The epic “Re-Animator” closes things out perfectly with an explosive final half.

This album, along with the EP from earlier this year, have been quite a surprise!  A welcome return to a band achieving new heights after such a long absence.  This kind of thing gives me hope that maybe one day I too can get better at something.  Maybe.  Don’t hold your breathe.  Instead, go out and buy this record!

 Versus "Gravity"

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Nothing Happens Here

Soft Blue Shimmer
Nothing Happens Here ep
(Disposable America)

I’ve been procrastinating writing this forever.  I think it’s because of my constant self-doubt about why I write about my favorite music.  It all feels so useless, especially since I’m not very eloquent, and as has been said before “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”  In other words, it’s difficult to explain the sound of a song, especially without relying too much on pigeonholing artists by comparing them to others.  I generally attempt to describe the music’s impact on me personally, in hopes of enticing the one person who might read far enough to think “hey, this seems like something worth listening to!”  Unfortunately, despite being really excited about a lot of the new music I’ve been encountering, it has not translated into words that I feel do these fine artists justice.  But, I can’t seem to help myself.  As I’ve said elsewhere, when I hear great music, I want to shout out my love of it to the world!  I want to play it loud enough for everyone to hear and get the same kind of magic out of it that I do.  Sometimes I think that perhaps I should simply write my record synopses with simple phrases like: “This rocks!” and leave it at that.

Nothing Happens Here is the debut EP from the L.A. band Soft Blue Shimmer and I absolutely love it!!  There you go.  This is where I should stop, but I won’t.  These five songs are so magically tuneful and enticing that I cannot stop listening to them.  Like the chorus from the wonderful “Fruitcake,” my advice is to let each song dreamily work its way into your subconscious – “crushing like a wave.”  Lyrically, the songs all tie together with a theme of missing a partner who has departed and our narrator pining over their memory.  The languid “Dream Beam Supreme” presents the battle to fall asleep when the mind won’t stop ruminating over that certain lost someone, so, vocalist Meredith invites that person to join her in her evasive dreams to dance.  Next up is the upbeat blast of energy that is “Shinji.”  This song really gets me going.  There’s something about Meredith’s calm vocals (I’ve been deliberately repeating “I’ve been feeling more” over and over in my head lately during stressful parts of the day), juxtaposed with the crashing cymbals and twin guitar drive of the music that is stunning.  Back on the unbelievably perfect pop song that is “Fruitcake,” we find Meredith in fear of dwelling on the sadness of losing her former partner and trying to avoid being alone with those thoughts.  A feeling I’m sure a lot of us can relate with – at least I sure can.  In this case though, it all goes down easier with such a spectacularly hummable song.  “Chamoy” also mines this territory beautifully, as the memories linger (like chamoy sauce?) dangerously and with a healthy bit of bitterness (“I thought I would miss that / the feeling of missing / of something I thought I knew / but I’ll never miss that / the feeling of leaving / or the scent of you in my room”).  The dramatic closing song, “Happier Than Mitsuru,” finds us getting a little fed up with these memories, and possibly ready to try to move forward (“try to remember / but I / often forget that / I can’t / keep seeking people from the past”).

These five songs are loaded with sadness, but are so damn enjoyable to listen to!  I cannot decide which song is my favorite, so I have to play the entire thing from start to finish, and then, I have to play them all over again.  This young band has completely caught my attention.  I cannot wait to hear more! 

Soft Blue Shimmer "Fruitcake"

Sunday, July 7, 2019


(Specialist Subject)

There are a few album covers in the music collection I’ve been amassing for the last 35 years or so that are photographs taken from inside a home looking toward a window or two.  There is something so appealing and intimate about this.  From the get go, one feels invited and welcomed.  As I listen to Withdraw for the 400th time this week, I find myself getting lost in the cover photo.  I feel like I’m visiting an old friend, sitting in a comfy chair looking out the windows towards the setting sun.  I’m admiring how the plants’ leaves turn toward the light and wish I could absorb it’s nurturing power in the same way.

Withdraw is the second album from UK four piece Fresh, and once again, I am catching up with another band (debut album ordered!).  Not only is this album as inviting as the cover suggests, with its sharp, short, bright pop songs, but songwriter Kathryn Woods’ lyrics are as intimate and personal as a conversation with your best friend.  It all feels very real and powerful.  A lot of bands have the upbeat/happy albums, or more accurately, happy and or sad songs, or there’s the very serious depressing songs that sound upbeat and joyful, but Fresh cram all of these things into two minute songs without sacrificing melodicism.  The clearest example of this is the exciting and momentous sounding “Nervous Energy,” where the first verse feels triumphant (“giving hi-fives out of a moving van / trying to soak up every moment I can”), but then we quickly learn in the second verse that maybe this move is not so welcome (“wishing things we back to what they were / feeling suicidal nobody cares”), and that something is deeply wrong.  There is a sense of uncomfortable transition and of low self-esteem throughout this brief album, along with a strong determination to overcome these issues that make Fresh defiant and powerful, instead of pitiful.  A move is again tackled in the endlessly catchy “Going to Brighton,” but this time Woods tackles the notion with a positive tenacity (“I feel a fire inside me” / “I refuse to be let down”).  On “In Over My Head” Woods admits that she’s looking for security, despite the move (“I just wanna feel safe in my own bed / the rest of my life beckons up ahead / I’ve just got to embrace it”).  On the other hand, in “New Girl,” Woods is restless and doesn’t want to stay put as her depression sets in (“woke up last night / with tears in my eyes / because I am fundamentally unlovable / packing an overnight bag / wish I could never come back”).

Elsewhere, the beautifully touching acoustic “Nothing” breaks hearts with the repeated refrain “everyday I tell myself that I am nothing,” yet again, Woods fights this with the hope that one day she will tell herself that she is “glowing.”  For those of us with that negative self-opinion, this is easier said than done, but you can sense her determination to make it happen which feels incredibly encouraging, as does that lovely soothing trumpet at the end.  In the breezy “No Thanks,” we find Kathryn taking a firm stand regarding her resiliency and strength (“I am fire and light / I am fine on my own”), despite her insecurities.

I find this all so damn relatable, because even though I feel a strong sense of doom and gloom weighing me down pretty much all of the time, I find that I can still laugh and find moments of joy and functionality.  I’m sure I’m not on my own with this and it is incredibly refreshing to encounter such vibrant music adorning these nakedly honest lyrics.  Withdraw is a fun album to crank up the volume out in the summer sunshine, and it can also keep you company with understanding through those moments when you’re having “dark thoughts again.”

I’m tapping into the lyrics here, perhaps too much, because these kids bring the tunes!  There is a tangible joy in their performances that infuse these songs with electricity.  Myles McCabe’s guitar work is stellar throughout, while the rhythm section of George Phillips (bass) and Daniel Goldberg (drums) are tight.  The opening title track feels like a crashing mess – not far removed from flirting’s psychological dramas, while “Willa” begs for frequent repeated listens at high volume, and I can’t get through this without acknowledging the “Summer Nights” (Grease) referencing pop song “Punisher.” 

I cannot recommend Withdraw enough!  Meanwhile, I will continue listening to the album, as I gaze out the windows on the cover and wait for my copy of the first album to arrive in the mail.

Fresh "Going to Brighton"

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Morning Thoughts

Agent blå
Morning Thoughts
(Through Love / Kanine)

Here’s yet another band I’m encountering for the first time with their second album.  Whatever happened to the sophomore slump?  I feel like I’ve been having to play catch up all year.  At any rate, this splendid album, Morning Thoughts, comes from Gothenburg, Sweden’s Agent blå pronounced “Blue”).  Upon hearing this band’s music for the first time, I was instantly smitten.  I instantly fell for Emilie Alatalo’s interesting and intoxicating vocals.  I’m not sure what it is.  Her voice mixed with the band’s vibrant upbeat music reminds me of something I can’t quite put my finger on.  Her vocals keep their own pace – making even the loudest moments here sound somewhat languid.  Perhaps I’m reminded of the first Drugstore singles that I flipped over in the mid-90s, along with a touch of Siouxsie.  There’s an exotic feeling to these passionate songs that is enticing and exciting.

The opening song (after a brief instrumental opening), “Lust,” is a good example of where I’m coming from.  Arvid Christiansen’s drums come on with a western style march propelling the music forward at a different rate than Alatalo’s vocals seem to want to go.  Then, once we reach the dramatic chorus, the music becomes a merging of crashing cymbals “Plainsong” – style chimes (The Cure) and an unusual low end bass line from Josefine Tack that feels like it’s pushing the entire song around like a bulldozer.  Likewise, the upbeat “Colors of the Dark” skips along at a nice pace, with gorgeous guitar work from both Felix Skorvald and Lucas Gustavsson, while Alatalo sings what could be words of encouragement to a growing child, which is basically a mumbled murmur by the final chorus. 

The album’s singles are both absolute gems.  “Child’s Play” has a palpable wistful emotion to it that is heartbreaking and beautiful, especially with the bright chorus.  Where “Child’s Play” tells us a story of unexplored potential romantic relationship, “Something Borrowed” explores the end of one – one that may have been one-sided.  The ache in Alatalo’s voice is drenched in reverb and dramatic and wonderful.  The explosive “Cambion” continues this bitter thread with lyrics like: “you never meant a single thing you said / a thing to break / a prey to gain.” 

Overall, Morning Thoughts covers some fairly heavy stuff, but the final two songs are sobering.  “You’ll Get it When You’re Older” is a breathtaking song, with stinging guitar interplay and a simple yet lush piano thread, about coming to terms with the harsh realities of life and the mortality of ourselves and those we know and love.  The LP closes with “Defenestration,” which laments the entire cycle of abusive relationships.  It’s quite unsettling, and very very powerful.

I love this! 

Monday, May 27, 2019

There's No Fight We Can't Both Win

Mammoth Penguins
There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win
(Fika Recordings)

Between 2010 and 2013, I listened to the band Standard Fare constantly.  I cannot emphasize enough how much I played their two albums.  Over and over again.  I tracked down all of their singles and played those to death as well.  There was something about the trio’s concise bright pop songs that captured my sweet tooth and I never tired of their music.  It sounded great loud and with Emma Kupa’s – let’s just say unique vocals – I sang along at the top of my lungs.  Well, unfortunately, they only lasted those few years.  In my disappointment, I half-heartedly tried to follow the members’ post break-up (which turned out to be Kupa only), but she adopted a more rootsy sound that didn’t appeal much to me.  I only picked up a few singles of hers along the way.  Somehow, I missed the Mammoth Penguins project until they leaked the silly song “I Wanna,” that gleefully falls head over heels into a crush, early this year.  I’m so thankful, because Emma is back in the indie pop rock trio format, writing fantastic melodies that are once again forcing me to listen – and listen enthusiastically – a lot!

There’s an elegance about the straightforward simplicity of this third Mammoth Penguins album that is incredibly appealing.  Lyrically, Kupa mostly covers the aftermath of a break-up and the regrets she has that may have led to its demise.  Yet, still there is an inherent acceptance that these things sometimes don’t work out, despite all of our best intentions and when both parties are good people.  Musically, there’s a nice variety, but in a stripped down no frills sort of way.  The rhythm section of Mark Boxall (bass) and Tom Barden (drums) are so unflappable and tight, the entire album would sound good with just them.  Emma played bass in Standard Fare, but here she proves to be an excellent guitarist as well, but it’s her vocals that are her trademark.  They are unschooled to say the least.  I can completely understand if someone listened and found her voice off-putting, but personally, her vocals are the major highlight for me.  She strains for notes that she can’t reach and its fun as hell to sing along, because I can’t reach them either. 

The opening and closing songs here are my favorites.  “Closure” starts things off at the end – a wistful look back at what was likely a pretty happy relationship, but one that is now over.  Inside this propulsive song, there are a load of contradictions therein.  The song gives every indication of being a love song, while also acknowledging the relief that there’s now closure.  At the end, “We Just Carry On” finds us back where we started, but now everything is more emotional.  She sees her old partner carrying on, but her strength in “Closure” has evaporated (“I feel the thrill of your eyes on mine / and I want to die”).  In between, we are presented at glimpses of where things may have gone awry.  The classic rocking “Dick Move,” lists all the things she should’ve done to keep things together.  She treads on regret some more in “There is so Much More” – “I’ve always hesitated / I tend to look for the negative / never singing your praises.”  The tumultuous “Put it All on You” is a powerhouse of a song, as we gain more insight on how things may not have ended so amicably: “You said I was everything / and then it all stopped / like I was your hallway light / that you just switched off.”  The relationship isn’t the only thing that has ended here as we find out in “Quit My Job,” which should be my anthem (“quit my job and it feels good / now I feel free”), but it’s a little too melancholic sounding to sound like the celebration that I feel it should be.  Perhaps for her, this is more about housecleaning and starting anew.

At any rate, I’m very excited to have this album to enjoy and I highly recommend it.  However, if you’re unfamiliar with Standard Fare, please try to track them down as well.  Meanwhile, I will be tracking down the Penguins' prior releases.

Mammoth Penguins "Closure"