Games (Hozac)

GamesOne friend of mine classifies albums that he likes into big and small records. Not according to the dimensions, but according to impact and depth of a concept laid out on the record. According to that classification, Games is a small record. Simple three minute love songs, no impact or concept whatsoever. Still, simple can sometimes be really great. In this case, Games reached a near perfection in my mind. Every song is super catchy and fun. Simplicity of the overall delivery here is disarming.

This is a bubble-gum, a candy. In my ears it sounds so dandy, lemonade and cotton candy. These lyrics lay the ground for this record. But it’s real sugar cane, no artificial sweeteners, no corn syrup. From the beginning, the record strikes you as something really fun, but things really take off with songs number 3 and 4 Different Times and Baby Put Down That Gun. This is when you realize that this record is really special. Urgency and whirl of Different Times take it to that different level. Baby Put Down That Gun keeps the level high with a great chorus, perfect harmonies and a bridge lifted straight from The Ballad of John and Yoko.

The highlight on the B side is When The Time, the only slow number with wonderful 70s retro keyboards and harmonies which are just right. Those harmonies are just slightly out of tune and weary, after all, this music is made by humans. It’s also the moment of the record where the lyrics become more ambitious then the rest of the bubble gum oriented song-smithery. In recent past, this record has the same retro feel and atmosphere as the debut album for Gentleman Jesse and His Men, which is not that crazy of a comparison having in mind that, just like Jesse, the boss of Games, Jeremy Thompson, was once in The Carbonas. Also, Dave Rahn produced and played drums on both records. Going further in the past, this record could easily stand head to head comparison to any of the Stiff, Rak or Buddah releases and maybe even win.

My pet peeve with record reviews in general is that whenever the writers hear some harmonies or power-pop attitude, they start comparisons to Big Star. I love that band, but this needs to end. Neither Games or Mikal Cronin have anything to do with power-pop or Big Star. In case of Games, this is your good old unadulterated, pure sugar-cane bubble gum and be ready for the rush.

The vinyl copy of this record is absolutely one of the nicest pieces of plastic out there. The sound of the record is absolutely flawless and it’s a great example on how vinyl should be done in this day and age. All major flaws are skillfully avoided – the sound is full, no inner groove distortion whatsoever, no sibilance problems, perfect groove centering. Just great. Credit for such a great job goes equally to all engineers involved in the pre-mastering process and Dave Eck from Lucky Lacquers in Midleton WI, who cut the lathe. United Press from Nashville did duplication. The record finishes with a sound of a soda bottle opening and a special treat on the B side is a neat locked groove which takes the carbonation all the way to the infinity. Locked groove is pulled away from the center, so it will lock even for the turntables with automatic tonearms.

The Bevis Frond – White Numbers (Woronzow)

The Bevis Frond - White NumbersOne of the most exciting and definitely the most monumental come-backs this year is The Bevis Frond latest album White Numbers. This once very productive band lead by Nick Saloman published three records in ’87, and then an average of two per year until the new millennium. They returned in 2011 after seven years of silence with The Leaving of London, just to remind us that Saloman still has a lot to say. But this year’s White Numbers is a masterpiece.

Nick Saloman was known as a guy who could combine the loud guitars of punk, post-punk and underground rock with psychedelic sentiment of The Byrds and songwriting skills of the British pub rock era. In fact, it’s one of the best kept secrets that Saloman’s vocal is the best Roger McGuinn imitation since Tony Poole of the Starry Eyed And Laughing. I’m a huge fan of all those people and I making these comparisons it in the most heartfelt way. Saloman was great at this all the time, but on White Numbers, muse has struck him really well. Songs are wonderful love songs full of ambiguity and contrast that draws you in. It’s the excrement floating on the sea, makes it beautiful to me. The best known Bevis Frond song is by far Lights Are Changing which was also compiled on Children of Nuggets. On White Numbers, song This One is probably the most similar to Lights Are Changing.

Now I need to explain why this record is so monumental. First of all, the quality is strong and my attention was kept for the entire of 85 minutes of the regular run of this record. No editing needed, no losers. You read it right, it’s 85 minutes of rock’n’roll, but only for the part of the record with convential songs, all the verses, choruses and guitar shredding. Then, when you think it’s all over, there’s 45 minutes more of something that the band calls Homemade Traditional Electric Jam. Now, most bands would cut it out, and let’s be frank, most bands can’t pull a 45 minute jam without shooting themselves in the feet. Not the Bevis Frond! The Jam is full with interesting passages and it wraps up this really big record in a most perfect way. I can only think of one record that managed to do that so effectively. We had it last year on our year end list, Rich Hopkins album Buried Treasures.

How do you put 130 minutes of music on a vinyl LP? You need three records. So, the vinyl version spreads out that much, putting the long jam on the third LP and also splitting it in two down the middle. This is actually a helpful thing for that demanding jam since you can take a break and flip the record down half way through. It’s a British import here in the US, so the triple record is a bit pricey. It also suffers a bit from a mid frequency distortion and sibilance throughout the entire length, especially the first LP. This seems to be common on most modern pressings. So get a CD or files for this one if you care about the sound. If you like the big cover, photography on the front and behind is very interesting to study, so get an LP if you care about the cover art. It also comes equipped with a lyrics sheet, which is always a plus in my book.

Meat Puppets – Rat Farm (Megaforce) and The Sadies – Internal Sounds (Yep Roc)

Meat Puppets and The SadiesThis article is a dual review of two similar, but equally excellent records that came out in 2013. The band Meat Puppets is one of the progenitors of what was known in the 80s as the “new american rock’n’roll”. This is not a place to recall their brilliant career through the 80s, their rub with mainstream in the 90s and problems that they were going through after that. Let’s just say, it would make one hell of a bio pic. Six years ago Kirkwood brothers Curt and Cris reunited, first with Ted Marcus and then with Shandon Sahm on drums. Three albums that they recorded in those years were good, but somewhat pale when compared to the classical records that they used to make. Last year, the fourth album since the reunion came out and it’s called Rat Farm. With Rat Farm, Meat Puppets are finally fully in shape. The new album can stand head to head with their diverse 90s mainstream records and poetically reminds of their abstract psychedelic work Up On The Sun. Puppets also sound fantastic live, and those who saw them “back in the day” claim that they are as good as ever. And this is all wonderful news.

Also, in past two years, their old SST catalog got a nice set of reissues on vinyl, all those records are wonderfully mastered and totally worth getting if you don’t have the old ones already. The records were specially pre-mastered for vinyl by Greenhouse Audio, lathes were done by Clinton J. Holey and duplication was done at Cleveland’s Gotta Groove. I also have Rat Farm on vinyl and it’s lavender colored. Vinyl master was done by the Canadian company Vinyl Record Guru and unfortunately, my copy has a slight distortion problems in mid frequencies. But a huge plus is a nice gatefold cover with big Curt’s art on the front and lyrics printed inside.

One thing that’s characteristic for Meat Puppets are Curt’s crispy guitars and great vocal match between the brothers Curt and Cris. Canadian band The Sadies is also lead by two brothers, Dallas and Travis Good. They also have a great guitar style and duet vocals that have a brotherly matching quality. Sadies are known as handling multiple musical styles. They are equally competent in country rock, especially their 2004 album Favourite Colours or in surf rock, as they were on their 2006 release Tales of the Ratfink. They are also hired session musicians for many diverse artists, from Neko Case to Andre Williams. This year they released Internal Sounds. The lyrics have that same nursery rhyme abstractness as the Puppets record Rat Farm and this is not where the comparison with the Puppets ends. The entire record sounds like a really cool lost Puppets record from the 90s to me, all with vocal mannerisms from the Good brothers, guitar solos, psychedelic country mood. Another comparison that makes sense is the Yardbirds, especially their ragas and nursery rhyme psychedelic craziness such as Tinker Taylor Soldier Sailor. The Sadies must be very proud on both of those influences.

Talking about ragas, the Sadies record finishes with one. It’s a song that puts the spotlight on the legendary sixties folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie. She guest stars on vocals, mouth bow and chips in as a lyricist.

In any case, both Rat Farm and Internal Sound bring back the exciting Meat Puppets sound of their prime, which made me listen to those two records in succession multiple times, which was also why I had to write about these two albums in one single article.

Vinyl copy of Internal Sounds comes in a pretty, shiny gatefold cover with embossed white lettering. The vinyl mastering and duplication is done by the Cleveland team Gotta Groove, but sadly, something went terribly wrong on this one. This is strange since this company had a flawless record so far in my book (I just said some really great things about their work with the Meat Puppets reissues!). Grooves are distorted pretty much throughout the entire record. Starting from the third song on each side, sibilance on high ends becomes pretty obvious. Mid frequencies start falling apart as early as the second song. Perhaps pre-master had some compression that simply wasn’t vinyl friendly in this case? The good thing was that the record came equipped with the download card, which was a must in this case for me.

Low Cut Connie – Call Me Sylvia (Side One Dummy)

Low Cut Connie - Cal Me SylviaIf you haven’t seen Low Cut Connie live show yet, you should. There is not too many bands out there that put such a fun, carefree show. They would surely prefer to have a full house, but even if there’s an audience of five, they’ll knock the house down. Adam Weiner carries upright piano to every show and it’s gotta be a hell to tune it while on tour, but that piano is a key instrument in the band and some synthesizer just won’t do. Weiner shares song writing and vocal duties with an Englishman Dan Finnemore. Dan sings in a flawless american accent though. The band will sometimes rotate not just vocals, but also instruments at their live show and in short, it’s the hardest working band out there on the tour.

Excellent sense of humor will keep a smile on your face and upbeat tunes will keep you on your feet. Their record Call Me Sylvia is in that sense an excellent representative of their live shows. Wild, unbridled atmosphere did not get lost in the studio. Chatter of the background singers was not taken out of the mix and sometimes you will feel that the band members also called in their friends to help with the hand-clapping. It’s never generous to represent some band as “this” meets “that”, but I cannot resist to say that Low Cut Connie sounds like Replacements would, had they decided to make an LP with Willie DeVille. And their live music enthusiasm can only be compared to the shenanigans one can see at The Fleshtones gigs. And of course, Weiner’s piano acrobatics and his ruffled bangs rightfully often draw comparisons to Jerry Lee Lewis.

Clevelanders should get a kick out of the song Cleveland, which is a hilarious story of a suicidal male stripper returning to his hometown after a failed career, perhaps in some bigger town, like New York City, which is where Low Cut Connie are based in. Call it black humor, but as a Clevelander, I am proud. That’s a Weiner’s song, whose writing is generally humorous, ironic and cabaret, while Finnemore’s tunes are generally more melodious, no-frills rock’n’roll tunes about cars and girls.

Although the record was originally published as a CD in 2012, the vinyl release saw the light of day in 2013. That and the fact that I got a hold of the record only in December last year, qualifies it for consideration for one of the best albums in 2013. The outer groove of the record indicates that the vinyl master was done by Joe Lambert at JLM and the vinyl sound overall is pretty good. It is wide and spacious, although slightly heavy on high frequencies, but that’s just my taste. I fixed it with an easy adjustment on my equalizer. I am not sure what pressing plant was used, but that factory could pay more attention to the quality control – B side of my copy has a slight eccentricity and some wobble due to it.

Flashlite #255 – The Best Albums in 2013

GamesAs usual, at the end of the year, we bring you the list of the best albums played here at The Little Lighthouse in the past season. I think this was an interesting year. Debutant band Games tops the list with a catchy selection of hits. The ghost of Jim Dickinson rules the list this year with several bands paying tributes to him. Memphis is the most frequent city on the list, remaining the capital of rock’n’roll still after all these years.

01 Games (Hozac)
02 The Trashed Romeos – Where Dreamers Never Go (Trashy Creatures/Burger)
03 King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – Eyes Like The Sky (Flightless)
04 The Oblivians – Desperation (In The Red)
05 Chris Cacavas – Love’s Been Re-Discontinued (Cactus Head)
06 The Fuzz (Munster)
07 The Bevis Frond – White Numbers (Woronzow)
08 Michael Tarbox – Works And Days (self)
09 The Sadies – Internal Sounds (Yep Roc)
09 Meat Puppets – Rat Farm (Megaforce)
10 Mikal Cronin – II (Merge)
11 Low Cut Connie – Call Me Sylvia (Side One Dummy)
12 The Dirtbombs – Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-blooey! (In the Red)
13 North Mississippi All-Stars – World Boogie Is Coming (Songs of the South)
14 Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – Your Turn (Northern Spy)
15 Bad Sports – Bras (Dirtnap)
16 Howe Gelb – The Coincidentalist (New West)
17 Jim Keays – Dirty, Dirty (Shock Entertainment)
18 Willie Nile – American Ride (Loud & Proud)
19 Jimbo Mathus And the Tri-State Coalition – White Buffalo (Fat Possum)
20 Left Lane Cruiser – Rock Them Back to Hell (Alive)
21 Barrence Whitfield – Dig Thy Savage Soul
22 Stan McMahon – La Di Da
23 Fuzz (Ty Segall)
24 The Len Price 3 – Nobody Knows
25 Miss Chain And The Broken Heels – The Dawn

Miss Chain And The Broken Heels – It’s Gone;
The Len Price 3 – My Grandad Jim;
Fuzz – Raise;
Stan McMahon – Let It Go;
Barrence Whitfield And The Savages – Hey Hey Little Girl;
Left Lane Cruiser – Juice to Get Loose;
Jimbo Mathus And The Tri-State Coalition – Fake Hex;
Willie Nile – Say Hey;
Jim Keays – Come See Me ( I’m Your Man );
Howe Gelb – Unforgivable;
Bad Sports – Eddie Bender;
Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – Special Snowflake;
North Mississippi Allstars – Rollin ‘n Tumblin;
The Dirtbombs – Sugar On Top;
Low Cut Connie – Don’t Cry Baby Blue;
Mikal Cronin – I’m Done Running From You;
Meat Puppets – River Rose;
The Sadies – Leave This World Behind;
Michael Tarbox – Capricorn;
The Bevis Frond – For Pat (On the Chaise Longue Dreaming);
The Fuzz – Air;
Chis Cacavas – On the Floor;
Oblivians – Pinball King;
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – Eyes Like The Sky;
Trashed Romeos – The Grass Is Never Greener;
Games – It’s Just Impossible;
Games – When The Time.

The Fuzz (Munster)

The Trashed Romeos - Where Dreamers Never GoThings are very complicated this year. There are two excellent bands with the name of (The) Fuzz. Both are special projects from previously well established musicians. There is Fuzz (without “the”) from San Francisco lead by Ty Segall, a band that has captured attention of music fans all over the world. The other Fuzz is The Fuzz, they are from Memphis and they are lead by Harlan T. Bobo. You won’t hear that much about this band in fancy web portals though, except in this one.

Harlan T. Bobo is probably one of the strongest songwriters active today. His three solo albums recorded and published between 2003 to 2010 are masterpieces of rock writing with topics ranging from rejection, to love and settling down. In 2010 Harlan on his record Sucker, Harlan proclaimed Live is sweet and we left him happy in a family setting. But this year he’s back hilariously drunk and boyishly angry and he needed another alter ego and a band to pull it off.

In the press material and in on the record cover, we learn that The Fuzz is a brainchild of Harlan’s brother Hector Bobo, but songwriting credits and vocal delivery is unmistakably Harlan. What we find on this record is a great example of Memphis rock’n’roll in its most uncurbed state. It’s loud and distorted and fun. It’s music of a drunken circus band staggering down a road, which how once someone described Jim Dickinson’s music. With masks and confused identities.

Besides Harlan T. Bobo, the record brings several other well known Memphis musicians, Steve Selvidge on bass and Doug Easley behind the studio knobs.

The record is sandwiched in between Air which irresistibly reminds me on Replacements’ Takin’ A Ride and When I Die which borrows a chant from Norwegian Wood. You will also hear a great tribute to Marc Bolan in Teen Rex. The musical ferocity is what will occupy your senses first, because it’s delivered overwhelmingly loud, but after you hear the record a couple of times, wise words of Harlan T. Bobo will make you rediscover this record again.

Few technical notes on the release. The record came out in Spain for Munster Records, so it is only available as an import in USA. The label on the cover says the the record is Made in Germany, but markings on the vinyl are more similar to the vinyls mastered and pressed in Russia. It’s a quality pressing considering that the record is so loud. I have a feeling that the vinyl is mastered from a digital mix, and it would probably sound better if it was mastered from an analog mix, if there is one around.

The Trashed Romeos – Where Dreamers Never Go (Trashy Creatures/Burger)

The Trashed Romeos - Where Dreamers Never GoSan Francisco is maybe the hottest rock’n’roll town at the moment. But, in the world of The Little Lighthouse, the rock’n’roll capital is still in Memphis, TN. On our year end list, six albums are from Memphis and only two are from San Francisco. But only one of those records reflects the spirit of rock’n’roll in its most traditional, old fashioned way and it’s from Memphis and it’s all about Memphis. It’s the Trashed Romeos record Where Dreamers Never Go.

Trashed Romeos is put together by Greg Roberson who has been a fixture in the Memphis underground through his involvement with Reigning Sound and Tiger High. Rick Steff from Lucero and Memphis musical guru Adam Hill also joined in to help. As the tagline says, this record is a love letter to Memphis and in particular, the bands that gathered around the legendary Jim Dickinson. The concept was clear, Trashed Romeos took their favorite obscure Memphis rock’n’roll and garage singles and covered each of them. Jim Dickinson appears as a songwriter in several songs and on two clear highlights on the record. His own obscure song The Grass is Never Greener, which is almost impossible to find in the original and he also closes the record with a touching title song, posthumously becoming one of the Trahsed Romeos.

Horn section is added to several songs, which contributes to the sheer ferocity of the resulted sonic delivery. Trashed Romeos gave us a gift of past and they extended the life of these obscure underground singles now delivered in a fresh, crisp new package. This is a must-have for all rock’n’roll devotees and scholars.

The Oblivians – Desperation (In The Red)

The Oblivians - DesparationOblivians are a band from Memphis, the godfathers of the garage underground scene in that city that just broke up when they were getting to be known worldwide in the late nineties. They called it quits after a great collaboration with Quintron in 1997. The band went separate ways, Greg Cartwright established himself as one of the most important songwriters with the new band Reigning Sound, Jack Yarber became the king of the minimalist garage and Eric Friedl was busy running the famous Goner Records label and playing gutter punk with True Sons of Thunder. This year they decided to ditch their real surnames again and return to The Oblivians.

It’s like all those years of separate careers did not even happen. The new record is a classic Oblivians chaotic mix of dirt and melody. Timeless quality comes form the fact that they recorded the whole thing on scotch tape, at least that’s how it sounds like. Inputs to the record are brotherly divided up by all three of them and among the excellent originals that already threaten to become classics, there are some hilarious cover choices: Paul Butterfield Band, Andy Griffith and probably the catchiest song on the record Call The Police which brings back Quintron and Miss Pussycat and it was written by Stephanie McDee – a popular local hip hop entertainer from New Orleans who mixes rap and zydeco traditions.

A few technical notes on the vinyl release. Cover on the font is a great photograph, but it’s a low resolution digital photo blown up to the 12×12″ record cover. Inside photography is beautiful. There is no clear information on the record or on the cover where it was mastered or pressed. I can’t say much about the vinyl cut, after all, the whole record sounds like it was recorded on a scotch tape. But that sort of visual and aural lo-fi chaos is what represents The Oblivians authentically. Anything more polished would be a disaster.

Mikal Cronin – II (Merge)

Mikal Cronin - IIMikal Cronin was our year end champion back in 2011, topping our list of the best albums here at The Little Lighthouse with his debut solo album. He hails from the most active rock’n’roll scene in the past few years, from San Francisco. Out of many excellent bands and authors from out there, Mikal stands out with fully mature songwriting and diverse records. His new album achieved a great success in the ears of public and critic equally. He was given an honor of being published on Merge records, which put a lot of energy in promotion and Mikal became one of the best known faces in the indie rock world today. The record itself finds him in further exploring the world of adulthood. But don’t expect any answers from Cronin. Indeed, this record opens more questions than offering answers. Am I wrong? Do I shout? Do I let it go? Do I need it? Am I different man? Can I help you? Can I try? Have I been learning nothing all along? The only two answers we are given are “I’m not ready” and “I don’t know”.

Musically, the record reminds me on Love’s Forever Changes in the mood and usage of strings. The mood is melancholic, but it can also rock. Strings take a central role in several songs and Cronin employed real strings, rather than relying on synthesizers. Too bad that the track Better Man was not included in the album, but one can find it on the Garage Swim compilation and I recommend including it as the last track when listening to the record.

In short, exceptionally strong second album further establishes Cronin as a serious singer songwriter.

A few technical notes on the vinyl version. The “A” side of the vinyl is one of the best quality pressings I’ve seen in years. Very clean and consistent mastering throughout, equally in the inner and outer grooves of the record. Unfortunately, that can’t also be said for the “B” side, since my copy of the record has a slight eccentricity. There is nothing in the copy that would reveal what plant pressed my copy. The cover says that the record was mastered at Fantasy Studios in San Francisco, but it is unclear whether this is digital or vinyl master.

Chris Cacavas – Love’s Been Re-Discontinued (Cactus Head)

Chris Cacavas - Love's Been Re-DiscontinuedChris Cacavas (ex Green On Red) had an album back in 2009 called Love’s Been Discontinued which we pronounced as the best album that year at The Little Lighthouse. This year, Chris Cacavas returned with an album which he called Love’s Been Re-Discontinued which was very similar to the 2009, not just in title. The songs on the new album were left over from the material written for the 2009 album and Cacavas felt a need to go back to those songs again.

Chris’ words are in italic for the rest of this text: Yes, at the time between 2007 and 2009 I recorded over twenty basic tracks with bass, guitar and drums. I was working on about fifteen of them doing vocals, overdubs etc. and in the end twelve of them ended up on Love’s Been Discontinued. At the beginning of this year (2013) I went back to revisit and complete the rest of those songs and those ten tracks are now on Love’s Been Re-Discontinued.

The lyrics in both of those record seem to talk about a break up. But it turns out, the topic does not necessarily relates to something that Chris experienced in his life. To be honest I’ve only had two “real” or long term relationships in my life. I’m happy to say I’m still in the second and although there have been hard times that brought us to the brink of breaking up we’ve decided to dedicate ourselves to each other and to investing the time and conscious effort to maintain a healthy, happy and respectful relationship. At the moment it’s working very well! I think you only need one real love or one devastating breakup for song material to last a lifetime.

Chris believes in love, muses about it and wants to learn about it. I believe love is real although I can’t tell you exactly what “love” is. I think it means so many things to so many people but I do believe the common thread for the definition of love comes from the first love we experienced and that came, of course, from our parents. I’m sure some would say “But my parents didn’t love me” and I can only say they loved you to the best of their ability. This is a very complex subject and I am certainly no scholar but I’m still willing to learn. Like death belongs to life so do breakups belong to relationships. Clearly the younger a man or woman is the less knowledge they have about relationships – what does this person want from me? What do I want from this person? What is the importance of companionship? What am I willing to compromise / sacrifice to be in this relationship? And do I make these compromises unconditionally? It’s a learning process and with any lesson more teachers and experiences give you more insight and confidence to decide what is best for you. Often people will go from one dysfunctional relationship to the next and usually blame the partner for the failure of the relationship without looking at the one constant that was in every relationship – themselves. “Happily Ever After” and “Until Death Do Us Part” are both lovely concepts that look good on paper but, sadly, don’t work that well in the real world. I think it’s a very individual thing. Some couples want their partnership to be recognized and certified by the church and others are willing to make a lifelong commitment to each other without this tradition. Both are okay by me, whatever works for those couples – hetero or gay. I would say breakups have less to do with rebellion and more to do with personal turmoil.

When I asked Chris what was the criteria for the song inclusion between the 2009 record and this new one, he was relieved that I stopped grilling him about the subject of love. Back to the record *phew*. With the 2009 release I wanted to use the crème de la crème and I wanted the record to be listenable from beginning to end, to have a flow that you wouldn’t want to change in a playlist or with your players shuffle feature. As I started working on the songs I noticed some were a bit too heavy (musically) and others weren’t really complete with lyrics and so on and in the end the songs that ended up on Love’s Been Discontinued pretty much chose themselves, that is to say, they rose like cream to the top ! With Love’s Been ReDiscontinued I took all the remaining tracks and and finished lyrics, sang them, added a few overdubs and that was it! Unfortunately there would have been another twelve (instead of ten) songs but due to technical difficulties two songs had disappeared from the hard drive, oh well.

I had the clever idea to call this record “Love’s Been Re-Discontinued” because the songs are from the same session as the previous release. In retrospect, I probably should have treated it as it’s own individual entity and not the step brother of Love’s Been Discontinued – and not just because people I trust have told me so…

So, it’s clear from Chris’s answers that he did not have an ambition to create two volumes with deep examination and (re-examination) on love and breakup, but rather the topic and songs somehow chose themselves like that. It’s one of those things where the art truly realizes itself in the ears of a beholder. We can choose to listen to it as a collection of strong songs, or a topical examination of love. In any case, both of the records are among the strongest material that’s been recorded by Chris since the earliest days with Green on Red. It is hard not to notice, though, that both Chris and his former band-mate Dan Stuart recently put out excellent records that are deep studies on the subject of love and in particular discontinuities and turmoil that happen as love evolves. Dan used a pseudonym of Marlowe Billings, but it is apparent that he is writing about the troubles he was going through directly, while Cacavas’ records are a bit more fictional based on an interview I had with him. Art is impossible to quantify, and we should not even try to understand which approach is better. In any case, Stuart and Cacavas are still capable of creating striking pieces of art, perhaps they are stronger at that than ever.