Wednesday, February 28, 2024 
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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
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Captain Comatose
Up In Flames

A sleazy record, a fun record, a party record, a nighttime record, a daytime record, their second record, a cheap record, a playful record, an aside record, a saxophone record ("Show Me Your Power"), an ironic record and an ironized record, a Berlin record, a Playhouse record, a camp record, a serious record, a legit-illegit flop record, a rubbish record, a bad record, an OK record, a good record, a great record, a whatever record, a trivial record, a bouncy record, a funny record, a challenging record ("How well can you dance with a drink in your hands?" — "Up in Flames") but a challenged record, a jumping record, a dancing record, a faux-yuppie record ("Douse it with champagne!" — "Up in Flames") so a tourist record ("Douse it with champagne!"), a sad record, a happy record, a record of the fears and hopes of the band during recording, a resolved record ("Let's go up in flames!"), a depressing record ("Let's go up in flames!"), a triumphant record ("Let's go up in flames!"), an electric-guitar record, a four-four beat record, an incongruous elements record, a colorful record, a side-1 record, a scary record ("Nothing in my hand but a gun and frustration!"; "Looking in your eyes and love has turned to terror!" — "Road to Devastation"), a silly record, a rebel record ("I took some wrong turns but I did it my way!" — "Road to Devastation"), a referencing record, a playing with notions of time and sense record ("Every day is just an excuse for the night to begin!" — "Night to Begin"), a ceding of authority to physics record ("[We sit and] patiently wait for the night to begin!" — "Night to Begin"), a rave record, a trashy record, a synthy record, a bassy record, a gassy record, a plinthy record, a "NO SYNTHESISERS!" record, a zombie record, a sci-fi record, a powerful record and a record about power, a glam record, a stompy record, a swampy record, a spacy record, a laughing record, a scowling record, a Lou Reed record, a sexy record, a love record, a cowbell record, an '80s-sounding record, a Eurythmics record ("Everybody needs somebody!" — "Built to Last"), a sizist record, a nudist record, a liquor record, and, importantly, ultimately — hold on to your cutlery! — all of the above and: A disco record.

Really it's OK for me to start my review that way, 'cos they do it themselves. Up in Flames, the second album from Captain Comatose, "Berliners on Playhouse," opens with a similar litany. "Theme From 'Up in Flames' (Cool as Ice)" is punctuated by a list of the Captains' favorite activities or the motivations behind their career, depending on how you see it: "We just enjoy our lives... we like to travel, we like champagne, we like to have fun, we like to go out, we like to see people, we like to meet people, we like to have sex, we like to eat good, we like to do interviews, we like to go on stage, and we like the spotlight, we like the noise, we like the leather sofas, and we like our hotel rooms, we like the mini-bars, we like... tambourines..." This super-cute and self-conscious riff is a shopping list for some dream QVC of the mind and taken as a statement of intent, well, it has to rate with "fuck art, let's dance" as the most ineffectual rouse to battle and contempt I've ever heard. Take it at face value, however, and you'll begin to understand the whim and charm, the fun times and trashy laughs of this queer, disco party-album.

"To My Song" should rake the charts and rend the social fabric alike, but it won't. "Say Captain" (not included on the vinyl!) is 2005's iconic anthem, exhorting the captains' exquisite mores with a cocked hip and winking smile. "Up in Flames" is all menacing '80s comedown and snarled regret upchuck, replete with requisite fiery chorus and challenged challenging lyrics. There is an airy feeling throughout — a sense that little matters and so they'll dance all night, any way they want, threatening with each sashay to take off in search of the other worlds.

JD Twitch (one half of the glimmer twins at Optimo) told a great story earlier this year on the ILM message board about playing with the Captains in France, which I think sums up a little of their magic. I've cleared this with Twitch and so I'll share it with you: "Last summer I played with them in Deppe (a tiny, run-down French port). The gig was sponsored by some local cultural institute to bring some entertainment to the culturally starved locals. It was in this big theatre which slowly began to fill up with kids. I was sitting in the auditorium watching it fill up and started to get a feeling of dread as I realised the average age of the audience was about 11. Hmm, that new Trapez 12" I had just bought isn't exactly going to take the roof off here I thought. Anyway, Snax and Khan go on the stage and within 30 seconds the place is in uproar. It was like a Take That comeback concert. None of these kids had ever heard CC before but they instantly fell in love with the music, the words, the singing and the outrageous dance moves. They ended up having to play the whole set twice by which time the kids had sussed some of the words and were singing along, climbing on to the stage, screaming, shrieking and genuinely loving every second of it."

I could write all night and in the morning I would still not produce any of that in the sum of all Neumu readers. That is why I sit here and they are out there, in the Berlin night, explosions in the sky.

by David Howie

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