Sunday, April 8, 2012

Music: R. Stevie Moore "Advance" LP

This 14-song-wax item, a little too studied over, is just a drop in the bucket...

Of songs since then and around then, we're lead to believe. Fair enough.

There are in fact some gems here: for some of them you have to hold your nose and dig in cause they can be pretty sugary, see "Runny Nose, Money Woes", "Pop Music". But these are sort of your "Classic RSM" jams that I guess are what the money pays for. Unfortunately, we get no examples of the dude's preoccupations with performance art and impromptu poetry, that've been on display at recent live gigs around town. I'd also suggest there's a little too much respect paid to the influences, i.e. it's sometimes kind of derivative-feeling.

The first side feels lonelier and more interesting on the two left feild collaborations/covers. The lead off track is a tune by fusion/late-jazz guitarist, Ralph Towner called "Icarus", done alone, with computerized everything: MIDI keys and my-first-drum-machine, it's odd and fogey-ish in a good way.

There's also a Lennon-esque co-writership called "Theorum" with Lane Steinberg and Roger Ferguson, whoever they are.

Side 2 begins with some bubblegum/doowop pastiche but really hits its stride with the one-two-punch of album highlights "Kix Tarter Sauce" and "Me, Too". "Kix" is a subdued instrumental that really showcases Moore's talent for precise, efficient songwriting. It kicks around for like four minutes on just a few restrained guitar riffs and eventually, suddenly turns into "Me, Too", one of the most fantastically maniacal RSM pop numbers since "Schoolgirl". It's a lust-fueled Rhodes-rocker with quick drum-work that occasionally misses the changes, fully punk. (It's also one of only two tracks here recorded alone at home in classic RSM fashion.)

The production is a little off-putting. Gone are the multiple reel-to-reel recorders, in their place, clean, uncompressed digital recording that comes off a little un-nuanced. Still a pretty decent entry into the catalogue. Those unfamiliar with Moore have their work cut out. Don't start here.

Crowd funded, non-recycled material.

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