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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Bobby Conn And The Glass Gypsies
The Homeland
Thrill Jockey

Now a man in command of a band, Dancin' Bobby Conn is convinced your sins are beyond redemption, and now the littlest red engine of a rock 'n' roll preacher is teaching you not about the glories of Himself, but of the damnation of his Americkn nation, his texta-scrawled forehead bearing the devilish mark of a denizen dwelling in the Home of the SLAVE. In casting an eye on his Homeland, Conn has made an unexpected protest record (even singing "it's hard to protest when you're so confused"), an explicitly political disc on par with Trans Am's Liberation as a comic rock 'n' roll vehicle swerving deep into something serious. Which, surely, must be representative of the dire state of the USA today, it having reached a point where obscure indie-rockers, content for so long to indulge in in-jokes and rip off their record collections, suddenly come out with commentaries on the damn'd nation. This disc's central song, "Home Sweet Home," offers "you know, ironic distance isn't very far" amidst its evocation of a land of "concentration camp beauty queens" where the populace has "a gun by every door," and is thus "free to live (their) life in constant fear." Of course, you know all this because Conn's reprinted the lyric sheet, something he didn't do on his last longplayer, The Golden Age, a cutesy concept record ironically living out the glory-days glory-daze fantasies synonymous with '70s AM-radio hits. Perhaps feeling he has something more salient to say here, Conn spells out his sentiments inside the booklet, something he also did on 1998's Rise Up!, a record that equated social revolt with buying into the upwardly-mobile myth of Christ-like antichrist Bobby Conn, even if it did break stride to take a broadsides at Americkn politickal clout, with the "United nations under the rule of Satan" and all. Here, whilst he's still mounting an earnest crack at creating a musical persona on par with Bowie's Thin White Duke era, Conn is no longer content with draping himself in Jim O'Rourke string sections and striking disco poses; even The Homeland's most disco-ish pirouette, "Relax," offers a chorus attacking governments for pacifying the populace with tax breaks whilst undertaiking revenge killings in their name. Elsewhere, well, he hardly holds back, with "We're Taking Over the World" offering a crotch-grabbing falsetto chorus condemning corporate radio in so many words ("Franchised Jesus Christ/ Organized paradise/ Clear Channel, bargain priced"), and the disc's spacey flute-fluttering white-funk closer "Ordinary Violence" firing the final salvo: "Stupid people, that's most of us/ Got to find somebody else to place our trust/ Tell us the difference between wrong and right/ Good and evil, keep it black and white/ But if you're willing to die for what you believe/ Then we're happy to kill you all... for the homeland."

by Anthony Carew

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