Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Dandyls - Porous Gates

I first met Evan Fillon, aka Frut Dangoes, on the streets of Lakeview about 6 years ago. If I recall correctly, my musical partners in crime and I were loaded on some sort of cheap whiskey and roaming the streets on a Saturday night playing banjos and guitars for passersby when Evan came strolling up with a suitcase full of harmonicas. We jammed and drank for a good long while and a friendship was born. Evan has been a true inspiration over the years. His dedication and work ethic towards his craft (whether it be theatre, music, writing, etc) is truly humbling.

This album here by his band, The Dandyls, was recorded as a two piece with Evan and his friend Sean. I believe the band is larger in live settings now. Very unique and far-out post-free-folk aesthetic going on here. Whenever Evan sings, his whole soul is coming out of his face with an intensity and urgency that I rarely see/hear. It's also kind of startling. In a good way. "Crickets" is one of my favorites here. Clocking in at just under 18 minutes, its a free form drone folk banjo and guitar journey that adds washes of feedback and retains a beauty and feeling that is hard to place, let alone capture. Chanting the words "i love you, i miss you, i love you, i miss you" can be pretty universally resounding and cathartic for just about anyone. There's also a cover of "Not Fade Away" that only Evan would be able to pull off in this manner. Not to mention, he records a fantastic version of a song written by yours truly on this album. Open the gates.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Oracles - Beet The Meatles

I was perusing last night and noticed that the amount of listeners for The Oracles' first album, Beet The Meatles, was significantly lower than for their opus that is Optimus Grimes. Many of you who actually follow this blog probably already have this album and know the legend of the short-lived Oracles band. As I've explicitly stated numerous times before, The Oracles were and still are one of my favorite bands of all time. No exaggeration. The talent seeping from these 5 individuals was stunning enough in their own rights, but when you put all of them in a room behind instruments TOGETHER?! What happened was pure magic. The collective songwriting/arrangements that would rival John Lennon, George Harrison and Brian Wilson. The level of intuitive communication between the members on a more significant plane than we typically see on a day-to-day basis. The hilarious inside jokes that came about on stage that, sometimes, you feel you might understand as well. And then there were the jams. The all out heart-on-our-sleeve-let's-blow-this-building-up-with-nothing-but-magic-and-sound jams. Seeing this band play live would leave me happy for weeks. They toured once to the west coast in the summer of '05 and I'm glad they were able to do so. People NEEDED to see this band. Their mysterious demise will be left for another soul to relay, but for now let's celebrate what they made.
The first time I got this CD-R, it had the Bob Dylan cover (Love/No Limit Zero) on the disc. Later versions dropped this for some reason. An amazing rendition of that song, to say the least. "In The Dark" will forever hold a special place in my heart and brain.

These were the songs that started it all. Andy's description via

"A lo fi band with many vocals and generally good intentions."