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neumu
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 
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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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BARR
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Beyond Reinforced Jewel Case
5RC
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Brendan Fowler, AKA BARR, is a sensitive guy who thinks about stuff quite intensely. He's interested in life, relationships, philosophies, ideas and art, and what it all means. Like most of us. So he questions these things — heavily. But unlike most of us, he uses repeated, out-of-place phrases, awkward, confusing dialogue and vicious emotional outbursts to shake up us up and make us take another look at our lives.

He speaks, sounding nasal, snotty, adolescent, sarcastic, conversational and like someone you think you'd like to meet. He speaks, maybe raps, raps white and whiny, alongside irresistible beats that take days to clean from your brain. His words, full of conviction, slip out with the blunt, filter-lacking truthfulness of a child. Only he's not a child, so there's sophistication to what he has to say.

His compositions come off weird, arty and experimental, like you want to write him off for trying too hard, but he's not. His emotions are raw, intense and real, executed so that you want to keep listening. He tells you things that you already know, or that you thought you knew, but never spent enough time wondering about. It's too simple to be big, but too much of something to be nothing.

"How do you start something? You start it," he answers firmly and fittingly on the ominous, tumbling, hollow beat-led opener, "A Cover." "How do you start something? Rip something off? Cover your friend's song? Or this song is a cover. This is a cover."

Fowler believes in motivation; he believes in inspiration. He wants you to believe even when he stumbles over his words, repeats himself unnecessarily and checks to see if you're still there. Sometimes he talks to you, sometimes he talks to someone else, sometimes he speaks in narrative.

"Dad on the plane, why aren't you involved in your son's life?" he asks on "Like, I Use to Like," the "dad" sighing, sounding annoyed. "Do you hate your son? Do you hate your own life? ... Dad, I hope you're fully in the movie theaters workers union?"

"I don't even know what you're talking about," the dad, or voice playing the dad, answers, sounding annoyed again.

"I hope you're in the movie theaters union, benefits and everything, 'cause you sure are projecting pretty hard," Fowler gives it up like the butt of a joke atop suspenseful and infectious xylophone chimes.

And it's not the only mention of a father on BARR's new album. "I have waited eight years to say this," Fowler begins, all choked up. "... But this project even is based on a plan we had to do voice and drums, father and son, awhile ago/ My father had a beautiful wolf dog named Kodiak/ He gave him to the shelter because he could not care for him anymore/ And I worried about Kodiak and was sad that maybe he'd be put down and then my dad died.

"I sort of literally put off writing this/ ... He died and he's dead/ What does that mean?/ What if it wasn't that way? What if it wasn't that way?"

Fowler doesn't hide behind his art; he uses it to let go and, without hesitation, let his thoughts and feelings be known exactly as they were born, or maybe they were born, not before, but in front of the mic.

"It's OK that I'm overwhelmed/ But I don't want to ever remember this again/ Is it ridiculous to commit this to a record?

"Feelings repeat and vary no matter how shitty and how much we don't want to deal/ It's OK as a sentiment and as a reminder and it is OK as if to purchase this sentiment on iTunes for $.99/ Or it isn't too short/ It is how long it is as a thought and a feeling.

"It is how long it is as a thought and a feeling," he repeats, breaking to breathe it in, sounding more convinced this time.

BARR's beats, and occasional keyboards, are raw and you can dance to them, but only if you don't mind repeated notes. They're raw and simple enough to keep his forceful voice at the forefront, his words easily and clearly deciphered. You follow his words like a book on tape. His music, his words, his poetry — they're not meant for accompanying something else, like cooking dinner or folding laundry. His words, his stories, are self-assured and beat-up, maybe like a lot of us are, and you can't avoid being drawn in by them and the clever, hard-hitting music that accompanies them.

"How do you be in your body when you're so mad you don't even want to be in your body?" Fowler asks, dampened by knowing he'll never know on "Sing Sit Singing." "I'm so sorry I take it upon myself to realize that I cannot be all answers."

And he can't, but the way that he tries, the way that through these musical scribbles he tries to tell you everything without the filter that stops most of us from telling too much, it's so purely human, it makes you want to say more, makes you want to feel more.

As he shouts on "Anthems and All": "Always say them, always explode, don't put it off, never shut up."


by Jenny Tatone




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