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Outsideleft Week in Music: David Benjamin Blower We're hearing from... David Benjamin Blower, Mike and Nate Kinsella, Wooze, Joseph Petric, Bella White, Danny Elfman, Peeping Drexels, Yeah Yeahs Yeahs, Eric Vloeimans & Will Holshouser and The Lounge Society

Outsideleft Week in Music: David Benjamin Blower

We're hearing from... David Benjamin Blower, Mike and Nate Kinsella, Wooze, Joseph Petric, Bella White, Danny Elfman, Peeping Drexels, Yeah Yeahs Yeahs, Eric Vloeimans & Will Holshouser and The Lounge Society

by Toon Traveller, Travel Correspondent
first published: August, 2022
"A new album, made of poems by William Blake. Blake was a radical poet, an artist, visionary and a mystic. It's thought he had tunes for these poems, which are lost to us now. Perhaps they were something like these." - David Benjamin Blower

This week Toon Traveler almost has the review field to himself. Is that the paucity of new releases at high summer? I don't know...

SINGLES

MIKE AND NATE KINSELLA - Summer Somewhere (Big Scary Monsters)
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by Toon Traveller

Lovely shimmering intro sounds that blend into a minimalist electro beat. I look favorably upon any cover art that features animals having a nice time. Do animals have nice times? Mike and Nate don't have a band name, maybe band names are too trite or something. Distant voices, slightly distant, riven through with occasional randomised power chord pianos and dashing strings. This is minimalistic music, repeated patterns, overlaid to create an aural soundscape. The passages are repeated over several time sequences, and the vocals, yes singing, is part of the 'piece', but this is NOT a traditional song. It's all BBC library farewell to the games bumper stuff. This is music to be followed with your brain NOT your heart. 


WOOZE - Cowardly Custard (Young Poet)
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by Toon Traveller

Cowardly Custard's intro hints of ambient sounds, then the vocals roll in slightly quirky and just tooo clever. There's the song structure that just doesn't work for me, too disjointed, almost as if it's been cut and pasted. But not cut up by William Burroughs cut and pasted. There's anxious pop sensibilities, and it's all well played, and the use of keys is fine and matches the lyrics, but somewhere after the middle eight and the keyboard swirls and stochastic guitar bridge and solo it slows and moves into some sort of three part pseudo rock anthem with fake ending just to get the live crowd moving, shouting and surfing. Derivative and confused, if they edited that last minute they'd have a reasonable song that doesn't end up sounding like someone chucked in the kitchen sink.


YEAH YEAHS YEAHS - Burning (Secretly Canadian)
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by Tim London

Channeling the Four Tops’ Bernadette as in ripping it off in an interesting-ish way. Not sure if Karen O has the chops to front something so nakedly, even when boosted with a load of vocal distortion. It’s a’right in a Because The Night kinda way.


BELLA WHITE - The Way I Oughta Go (Rounder Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Featuring Big Thief's Buck Meek on guitar, gotta mean something, on Bella White's straight ahead
country state namechecker. Momma's in East Virginia, mournful tears on the fiddle. There's the tap along on a bar room table as you sit alone sipping whiskey beside the beer. All the country cliches in one place then. And despite that or because of that this a great slab of broken hearted Country loss. Bella White's voice is the real deal an authentic delight. I rather liked it, and Cuunntreeeee is light years from my favourite music. 


ERIC VLOEIMANS AND WILL HOLSHOUSER - Tibi Gracias (V-flow/Challenge Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Tibi Gracias is from Eric Vloeimans and Will Holshouser's forthcoming Trumpet and Accordion LP, let me write that again here for you in case you don't bother listening up. Trumpet and Accordion LP, Two For The Road. Commendable sentiment for sure, one for each hand before you go. Released in September via V-flow/Challenge Records, a musical collection evoking sadness and that most human power of recuperation Toon Traveler writes. Read the entire review, here.


THE LOUNGE SOCIETY - Upheaval (Speedy Wunderground)
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by Toon Traveller

Love the old folkie vibe to this, lovely harmonies, acoustic guitars, steady and sometimes fancy drumming well up in the mix. The voices could be from the 70s. A touch of Robert Forster vocal stylings and the harmonies are a delight, the easy guitars match the mood of the song, the memories and the goodbyes. Like subdued Love, maybe. Good ideas, lovely vocals, but a bit confusing for me. 


PEEPING DREXELS - Days of Heaven (Brace Yourself)
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by Toon Traveller

Wow this is a bit of throw back, simple patterns, maybe first gen post-punk or new wave influenced. A touch of the Vic Godards and the Subway Sects here. And you can do worse but you can't do much better if that's what's in your record bag. Play along music that's all about the melody, and there's a simple timing, easy to clap along, sing along lyrics. a simple time signature, a lovey old fashioned middle eight,  then a fuzz guitar solo bridge, straight outta the good time summer happy sounds that pop up every few years. A great late afternoon festival sound, echoes of summers past, and references to past musicians, and faded memories. Despite my sometimes pompous, pretentious music tastes. *past reviews will attest,  I really like this, evokes last summer before college, edge of the city strolls, memories and hopes,  this a lovely slab of happy, lets share a few laughs, sounds. Four hearts, despite myself.


LPs

DAVID BENJAMIN BLOWER - Innocence and Experience (Bandcamp)
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by LamontPaul

It's no secret that I love the shifts David Benjamin Blower puts in. His experiments with wood and wires are superlative. And that voice... There's no one doing anything remotely like this in this city. He remains one of the uniquely brilliant and broadly undiscovered talents in the Outsideleft Universe, which is quite big since it incorporates anything we ever see, hear or touch. A new recording from the man is always welcome. Innocence and Experience tenderly sets a collection of William Blake poems to music. The effection, love and respect shine through, right there alongside DBB's 'syncrasies that make him great. As DBB's says "A new album, made of poems by William Blake. Blake was a radical poet, an artist, visionary and a mystic. It's thought he had tunes for these poems, which are lost to us now. Perhaps they were something like these."


JOSEPH PETRIC - Seen (Redshift Records)
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by Ancient Champion

Well. Like buses... Wait forever for one great accordion record to come along and this week we have two. Revered Canadian accordionist Joseph Petric returns with Seen, from Redshift Records, his first new LP in 12 years. Seen offers Petric's iridescent virtuosity and sensitivity. The electronics on some tracks serve to further the lyricism wrought from tha' old windbag. I mean box. I meant accordion, of course. Seen is gorgeous and uncompromising and daring. Petric's association with Redshift Records for Seen is significant, Redshift is regarded by many as the premier indie label for contemporary classical music and a perfect home for Petric. Wow! This one is a keeper.


DANNY ELFMAN - Bigger. Messier. (Anti-/Epitaph)
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by Spanish Pantalones

Bigger. Messier. is a remixed version of the solo album Danny Elfman released in 2021, Big Mess. It was his first solo release in 37 years, prompted by quarantine fever and feeling like he had "so much venom in [him] about life and culture in America in 2020." I don't know how much Elfman had to do with this release, he probably just emailed digital audio files to a mishmash of collaborators, and they produced this hit-or-miss compilation. "Native Intelligence," the song he does with Trent Reznor is strong. (I never thought I'd have anything positive about something he was attached to.) Then Iggy takes a ridiculously on-the-nose song about "celebrity" and makes it worse. Maybe Elfman's haunted carnival music plays in the multiplexes, but I'm not sure if the listening public is going to be into his politically-charged whimsy.


Essential Info
Main image, David Benjamin Blower from his new LP, Innocence & Experience on Bandcamp now

Toon Traveller
Travel Correspondent

Born - happy family, school great mates still see 7 / 8 in year, degreed, beer n fun, work was lazy but usually happy, retired. Learning from mum and dads travel exploits.
about Toon Traveller »»

"A new album, made of poems by William Blake. Blake was a radical poet, an artist, visionary and a mystic. It's thought he had tunes for these poems, which are lost to us now. Perhaps they were something like these." - David Benjamin Blower
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