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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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The 1900s
Plume Delivery EP

Though they hail from my hometown, The 1900s sound far more California than Chicago. Appropriately named (ain't nothing 21st Century about this group except its Web site), this band of unusual size was signed to Parasol Records on the strength of its first-ever gig in the same month it finished recording the half-dozen ambitious pop songs collected on its debut EP, Plume Delivery.

Having gotten the indie noise and angst out of their system playing with a range of bands over the past decade, core members and high-school friends Edward Anderson (vocals and guitar), Tim Minnick (drums) and Michael Jasinski (guitars and keys) joined up with bassist Charlie Ransford in late 2004 to start writing and recording more pop-oriented material. Seeking additional textures, they added vocalists Jeanine O'Toole and Caroline Donovan and since-departed violinist Kristina Dutton — and The 1900s were born.

The smartly sequenced Plume Delivery opens with its most readily appealing track, the jaunty, O'Toole-sung "Bring the Good Boys Home." The organs swirl in all the right places while a sturdy rhythmic undercarriage propels the song forward, O'Toole waxing poetic around the song's anti-war theme, a swell of trumpets and Anderson joining in toward the end to help fill in the blanks about the wide-eyed, posin' dupe who sent the boys out on a fool's errand. Sharing a title and a sentiment with the Only Ones (as famously covered by Yo La Tengo), "Whole of the Law" is a sunny, breezy piece of near-perfect chamber pop, O'Toole and Donovan harmonizing with Anderson to nice effect, making for a pair of keepers from this EP.

Elsewhere, though, Plume Delivery evinces the fascinating yet frustrating tendencies of a band in search of its sound. "Patron Saint of the Mediocre" downs some of the brown acid as it stretches over seven minutes in length, building from a Velvets-by-way-of-Stereolab groove into trippier "White Rabbit" turf, the two female vocalists playing a monotonous game of hide-and-seek for a loooooong minute before the woodwinds and key runs take us on home. "A Coming Age" delivers a gentle, string-laded lament of the morning after — well-trod ground but ably executed. A peppy but inspiring instrumental and a song sketch complete this fairly promising start, with the next installment expected to drop in the form of a full-length album next spring.

by Steve Gozdecki

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