Some Things Sound Better in the DarkMy clock radio is tuned to Album 88, the college station at Georgia State. Last fall, I often heard the Lambchop song "Slipped, Dissolved and Loosed" when I awoke. As my consciousness reassembled itself in the early morning darkness, the music usually led me along the same train of thought. The blackbird in the chorus of the Lambchop song would remind me of "Blackbird" by the Beatles. Then I would recall that Paul McCartney wrote "Blackbird" in support of the civil rights movement, and that would inevitably lead me to wonder if Barack Obama was truly to become our next president. ("Blackbird" also made me think about Tenacious D's "Rocket Sauce", but that's another story.)
Sometime this spring, the Lambchop song gave way on Album 88 to "Young Master Sunshine" by Venice Is Sinking. Like the above-mentioned songs, "Young Master Sunshine" is gentle in its acoustic rhythms, and quietly hopeful in its mood. The instrumentation (particularly the trumpet and the expressive drumming) reminds me of the Atlanta band Smoke. On other songs (such as "Wetlands Dancehall"), Venice Is Sinking recalls the retro-futuristic music that Angelo Badalamenti and Julee Cruise made for the Twin Peaks soundtrack: the tremeloed guitar, tremulous harmonies, and whispers of synth. I recommend listening to Azar as an album, start to finish. The opening instrumental, "Azar One", introduces a melody that is recalled at the end of the climactic "Charm City". It's an impressive record, with a broad palette of lush and lovely sounds that my clock radio could only hint at.
Venice Is Sinking recorded a session for WOXY that you can listen to and download to get a taste of the band's talents. Venice Is Sinking also did a session for Daytrotter that should appear next month. And they are about halfway toward their goal of raising money through Kickstarter to press their third album on vinyl. Donate $20 or more by September 13 and you get the new LP, a brand new EP, and mp3s of the LP and EP songs. Plus your donation supports the rebuilding of the Georgia Theater in Athens. It's easy to donate (especially if you already have an Amazon account -- presto, you're a record mogul!) Or you can buy Azar for ten dollars from the label.
Lambchop: Slipped, Dissolved and Loosed
Venice Is Sinking: Young Master Sunshine