Quite a bit of activity on yesterday’s Dylan blog, as you might expect. Interesting, though, that most of the talk seems to not be about the music, but about SonyBMG’s marketing strategy for “Tell Tale Signs” – chiefly the high price being asked for the 3CD set which, as I pointed out, is certainly worth having.
Here’s a fairly typical response from Kevin: “I think everyone should just boycott the whole Sony rip-off mess, including the 2CD version.” The upshot seems to be that a bunch of Dylan obsessives will be turning to crime to get their fix. “Sony is dreaming if they think many diehard fans like me will spend an ADDITIONAL $100+ for that third disc,” reckons Mr Jinks. “We’re all gonna download it, instead.”
Anyway, far away from that shitstorm, a couple of pretty nice new things today. Regulars will know of my near-pathological love of Comets On Fire, so the tentative appearance online of a new project called SF Dirty Stealer is definite cause for rejoicing in these parts, since it seems to involve all of the Comets apart from Ethan Miller, evidently up to his neck in Howlin Rain.
SF Dirty Stealer, then, feature Utrillo Kushner, Ben Flashman, Noel Von Harmonson and Ben Chasny (listed as spiritual adviser), with the notable addition of Magik Markers’ Elisa Ambrogio (who also sometimes figures with Chasny in Six Organs Of Admittance) upfront. It’s hard to tell whether this is a serious ongoing band, or a who-gives-a-damn jam – maybe it’s both – since there’s only one song at their very new Myspace.
But fortunately that song, “Too Long Waitin’”, is just great, being the sort of hotwired scuzz-riffing that Royal Trux were deep into around the time of “Accelerator”; is that Ambrogio on wailing lead, I wonder? Excellent stuff.
As is, in a very different way, “The Day (We Fell In Love)” by Appaloosa, though they do list Royal Trux as an influence on their Myspace. I found this one hiding at the back end of the latest “Kitsuné Maison” comp (Number Six, to be precise). Appaloosa, as I learned from this useful feature, are a Berlin-based duo fronted by Anne-Laure Keib, a Frenchwoman who seems to be Chan Marshall’s best friend and former flatmate.
“The Day (We Fell In Love)” begins not unlike a mid-period Cat Power piano ballad (something off “You Are Free”, perhaps), though Keib’s voice is tremendously European, resembling an implausibly lovestruck Nico. After about a minute, the song lifts off into a kind of gorgeous, twinkling electropop; not the sort of thing I often go for, but there’s a kind of still, calm euphoria to this which is really addictive and enchanting.
The other tracks on the Myspace aren’t quite as arresting, edging a bit close to generic synthpop for my staunch tastes. That said, “Fantasy” and “Intimate” prove that Keid, whatever the shortcomings of the music, really has something about her; a warmth which belies all the glacial stereotypes that cluster round this sort of thing.
Have a listen, anyway, and, as ever, please let me know what you think.