Sunday, January 24, 2010

Smooth and Wavery



Denmark-born, Washington DC-based Lyn Vaus sings in a way
that comes across as smooth and wavery at the same time, while
the depth of his baritone recalls Dinosaur Jr.'s Mike Johnson.

Joined by a trio of talented players, his Floating Celebration
sounds like it could've emerged at the same time as the Bevis
Frond and the Screaming Trees. I could do without some of the
'60s flashback lyrics, such as "I'm the rock in her roll," and
"Sunshine laughing in her mind" ("Slipping Crown"), but
hey, he's got an Omnichord—and he knows how to use it!

Click here to download "Teraphim."

Vaus - "San Francisco" (directed by Brad Anderson)

The Organ Beats, Sleep When We Are Dead, self-released

The phrase modern rock was invented for outfits like this Boston
trio. I wouldn't describe their music as hard or alternative rock,
but more like an amalgam of the two, kind of like Joan Jett by way
of Garbage. Perfectly listenable, but not especially memorable.

Philip Stevenson, Starless, Night World [3/23/10]

"His songs make me want to dress
in black, smoke picayune shorts,
and drink Irish whiskey."
-- Jim Dickinson

I'm not completely surprised that Philip Stevenson would meet
with Mississippi producer/musician Dickinson's approval. There's
a sort of swampy vibe that runs through Starless, particularly
"Deuteronomy," my favorite track. For the most part, I like what
I hear. Unfortunately, my player doesn't feel the same way about
this disc, which makes it hard to evaluate in any depth (skips and
stutters all the way through). Suffice to say, this DC denizen has a
dreamy voice, kind of like Lloyd Cole, but he can testify as needed.

Endnote: A compatriot of Boston
director Brad Anderson, Lyn Vaus
played the lead in his 1996 film The
Darien Gap, which de-
scribes as "a deeply personal, richly
entertaining account of one man’s
search for true love…and giant sloths"
(Vaus also appears in Anderson's Next
Stop Wonderland and Happy Acci-
dents). For more information about
the actor/musician, please click here; for the Organ Beats, here; for Philip Stevenson, here. Sad-
ly, Stevenson admirer Jim Dickinson passed away in 2009. Click here for a review of Indian Giver, his '08 collaboration with Sonic Boom's Spectrum. Vaus portrait from Planetary Group.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry my cd did not play well in your player. Proudcion quality is terrible these days. I'd be happy to send another.

- bright moments, philip

kathy fennessy said...

I appreciate the offer, but the player was the real problem. There's been a lot of skipping lately, so I got a newer model, and it's made a big difference.