Monday, July 27, 2009

Pretty Voice

Here's the deal...

I am the Cavy Collector and I have been asked to contribute to the Cedar Blog. I'm a guy that used to know a lot about music before jobs and kids and a rapidly shortening attention span brought me crashing down to earth. Occasionally something will come by that gets past the latest guinea pig crisis, school homework, bikes, playdates and the less rarified stuff that is exciting to me but doesn't lend itself to interesting reading in a music blog. I think that the music that crawls through all that and manages to survive is the stuff that I'll cover here.

There's an amazing music blog called Heartache with Hard Work that I check in with now and again. It's a remarkable blog that has exposed me to tons of new music. One of the finds I've came across there is a band called Windmill that had just released Puddle City Racing Lights. The really cool album cover and the reviewer's namecheck of my favorite Flaming Lips release, The Soft Bulletin, set the hook immediately. I obsessed over this more than anything I'd heard in years. Puddle City Racing Lights is a lot of things but it is not slight or casual music. It's big music and it's up to you whether you're willing to take it on. I can't tell you how many late nights this release has suppllied the soundtrack for.

"What's the problem?" you might ask. "Why don't we all know about Windmill? We're an enlightened bunch." In spite of all the pluses, the brains of the group, Matthew Thomas Dillon, has a voice that could kill at 20 paces. It's a unique instrument, I think it's remarkable, but it's not for everybody. Check this out and report back.

There's a new release coming out that's a concept album called Epcot Starfields. I'm hoping for the best.

The reaction I'd get when exposing friends and cohabitators to Windmill reminds me of what used to happen when I'd play one of my favorite 70's bands, Pavlov's Dog, for people I knew. Pavlov's Dog had a singer named David Surkamp with a voice that would make Geddy Lee blush. Their song "Julia" is both ridiculous and heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time. If you want the full force of The Dog, just jump ahead to about 2:40. But why do that. Listen to it all... Enjoy the mellotron, tolerate the flute, bask in the glory of that voice....

I do think it's important to mention that the producer of the album that spawned "Julia," Pampered Menial, was produced by Murray Krugman and Sandy Pearlman, the producers of almost all of the Blue Oyster Cult CDs. Of course, you all know that Christopher Walken (who is mentioned in the lyrics of one of the best Fountains Of Wayne songs, Hackensack) played the producer of Blue Oyster Cult in the Saturday Night Live More Cowbell sketch. I think that just about ties everything together....

Also, I mentioned that I have kids and guinea pigs... Did anyone else catch the Loudon Wainwright III's cameo in G-Force (in glorious 3D, I might add)? He had a cool hat.

That's it.

1 comment:

Angel of Rock said...

I appreciate this post as a long-time supporter of the unconventional voice. Perhaps this should be a regular Cedar Blog feature? Unconventional voice of the month?