Chicken Fried - has moved to alexvcook.com

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Lunch tonight was: Carnitas, carnne asada and pollo tacos from the place by the Harley Davidson store. Washed down with a half litre Mexican coke!

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Alex V. Cook is an author, journalist and music critic living Baton Rouge, LA. His work has appeared in The Believer, The Oxford American, DownBeat, Paste Magazine, Hails and Horns and The Wire, and his first collection of essays Darkness, Racket and Twang: Essential Listening from the Fringes of Popular and Unpopular Culture was published by Side Cartel in 2006.

He is the music editor for outsideleft.com, editor for Sweet Tooth, and a frequent contributor to 225 Magazine, OffBeat and Country Roads.

He is a founding contributor to the Badasses of Contemporary Composition blog.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Son of His Own Pretend Preacher Man

x-post facto: http://www.outsideleft.com/main.php?updateID=546


Why do so many rockstars eventually find religion, like it was something they dropped along the way? Isn't just being Bob Dylan or Bono a messianic enough of a thing by itself? With our service economy in full lotus bloom, we are always looking for ways to streamline the final solution, and that goes for religious tinged art. Daniel Smith begun his ecstatic revival-tent themed journey back in 1995 as an senior art school project titled Danielson - a subversive mix of old time family gospel,shambolicc indie rock and bizarre cult-like enthusiasm. Having gone through a number of name changes over the years (Danielson Familie, Tri-Danielson, Br. Danielson) over the he has come full circle on the aptly titled musical vessel Ships. Smith definitely occupies center stage with his compelling raspy whine cutting through the impressive crew he's assembled here, including his bothers and sisters, Sufjan Stevens, members of Deerhoof, B.A.L.L. and even Shellac's Steve Albini.

The joyous choir of hand claps and Godspell freakouts will evoke other recent choir directors like Stevens or The Polyphonic Spree's Tim DeLaughter, but Smith's production has a decidedly more schizoid, feral tint to it. "Did I Step on Your Trumpet?" starts off like a Philip Glass horn array until it quickly descends into a cartoonish warning fable that is equal parts Cab Calloway, Flaming Lips and Tenacious D. "When It Comes to You, I'm Lazy" and "My Lion Sleeps Tonight" are fractured sunset love songs, doing battle with more volcanic numbers like the majestic "Kids Pushing Kids" and the endlessly ascending "Five Stars and Two Thumbs."

Smith's Pavement meets Pentecostalism routine never gets tiring on this album, since it veers wildly form quiet moment to full explosion without losing its course. It has touches of New Weirdness folk about it, but Daniel is not floating in the ether, he is plotting his eminent invasion of your soul. With a documentary about him making the rounds at film festivals, and our appetites for wide-eyed boys with a knack for orchestration whetted by Sufjan and Devendra, the time for Smith's peculiar vision may just be nigh.

Still aligning yourself with Satan? get some weird time religion! "Did I Step On Your Trumpet?" is now streaming on Danielson's Myspace Page.

5 Comments:

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I was just reading your profile and noticed the Occupation: line. How cool must it be to be able to list "Writer" and not even be fibbing? That is too good. Also, I haven't read your whole post yet, but I love the guy in the tree outfit.

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