On record :: KJHK new music reviews

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

"La Maison de Mon Reve" (Touch & Go)

CocoRosie is the duo of sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady, going by the
codenames Coco and Rosie, which makes enough sense. What doesn't make sense is how an album this good was recorded in an apartment in Paris. Oh, nothing against Paris, just apartments. Anyhow, this genre-smashing affair mixes delta blues, traditional folk, hip-hop, and lo-fi electronic elements in a big pot to make some deliciously beautiful ear candy. Well, they probably didn't use a pot, but regardless the melodies are bodacious and the aesthetic is unique.
Ryan Patrick
New music rotation, 2-4pm Thursdays

TV On The Radio
"Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes" (Touch & Go)

After releasing an EP in 2003 that pretty much slaughtered any art-punk-funk pretenders in the place, TV On The Radio was set to take over the world this spring. Adding another vocalist in Kyp Malone as well as a lot more loops, Desperate Youth was supposed to be the band's takeover bid. Which it is. Kinda.
"The Wrong Way" is a starting line pistol, with grainy sax laid over an
intestine-loosening loop. This creates a perfect platform for
stereotype-shelving couplets like "Did I show off my soft shoe, maybe teach 'em a boogaloo, busy playin' the whore." The slightly industrial tinge of "Poppy" works well with the ethereal vocals of Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, and the breathtaking "Ambulance" serves as both the peak and counterpeak of the album.
Not in recent memory has a band meshed so many styles together with so
little effort, and with nods to even barbershop quartets and world music, TV On The Radio has more than proved their versatility. However, there's an air of indifference and sheen that permeates this whole album, and until the band can find the humanity in between the bars, they will never quite catch that genius label. "Desperate Youth..." is certainly a hand on the bottom rung, though.
Phil Torpey
Breakfast for Beatlovers, 9-noon Tuesdays

John Wilkes Booze
"Five Pillars of Soul" (Kill Rock Stars)

John Wilkes Booze have thought of an interesting idea for an album. Why not create an album of R&B explosion based off the under appreciated works of Melvin Van Pebbles, Albert Ayler, Marc Bolan, Yoko Ono, and Patty Hearst's alter-ego, Tania Hearst? Sounds great on paper doesn't mean...well, alright.
John Wilkes Booze features the scattershot style of the Make-Up, the scatterbrain of blues meets punk of Jon Spencer, and scatters their songs to near unlistenable garage-punk status. Could be on a future Pebbles comp that will remind you why you didn't care in the first place. They should learn from their influences and fade away.
Chris Knudsen
New music rotation 2-4am

"Venice" (Touch Records)

On 2001's "Endless Summer," Christian Fennesz took experimental music to a new level by doing two things: making music as beautiful and emotional as it was distorted and (structurally) making it pop as much as it was avant garde.
Hauntingly beautiful melodies and guitar chords were immersed in layers of feedback and distortion and then processed into oblivion via laptop - yet you could still hum the melodies for weeks afterwards.
With "Venice," the long awaited follow-up to "Endless Summer," Fennesz takes the elements of its predecessor to a new level, making Venice his most accessible album yet. The production is more crisp and digital, but it still retains a lot of the characteristic warmth. On "Transit" though, the addition of vocalist David Sylvian disrupts the ambient flow of the album, despite being a solid track.
Kyle Garrison
Courtesy Flush, 6-7pm Fridays