The Knife/They Might Be Giants
Surrounded and set up by bizarro-world electronic "dance" music as engaging as prime Burial and playful to boot, even the arty stuff signifies‑-sometimes as soundscape and sometimes as slap upside the head, as in the scraped cello-I-think of "Fracking Fluid Injection." The one exception, the 19-minute electronic-drone-with-apostrophes "Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized," isn't calming or trancey, just an inoffensive tune-out. Conveniently, however, that one's a bonus track even if neither band nor label advertise it as such‑-available only on a two-CD "deluxe edition" whose sole additional attraction is a comic book satirizing the superrich, who I guess they figure won't think twice about buying it. Poor me recommends the single disc, an hour and a quarter of music that's the opposite of inoffensive‑-an exciting, multivalent Dreijer sibling showcase. Karin provides saving shades of humanity by exercising the vocal cords nature gave her. But Olof's imagination, sense of humor, and bent rebop carry the day. A
They Might Be Giants: Nanobots (Idlewild/Megaforce)
They're such novelty nuts that trying to get into a groove with them would be like trying to build a go-kart with Legos. They're about individual pieces, not structural strength, and thus always demand a count. My calculation: overlooking the nine subminute snippets‑-most annoying even at that length, with bows to the nine-second "Tick" ("If it wasn't for that tick/We would not be in this predicament/Not be in this predicament that we're in," over and out) and the 24-second closer (she neither killed him nor made him stronger)‑-that leaves 16 songs that pretend to be songs, including one A plus, two clear A minuses, and six close enoughs. One of these is as strong as‑-and more soulful than‑-anything in their catalogue: the 2:04-minute biography "Tesla." Thumbs up as well to "Black Ops," because it's always fun to hear the word "communist" in a song, and "Replicants," because for some arbitrary reason it tickles me. The arbitrarily amusing‑-their specialty. B PLUS
You said it. I certainly hoped for more than a Top 40 breakup.
Which doesn't say much one way or the other about the quality of his music . Lots of artists are jerks. Definitely a calling that attracts the large of ego.
Edit for Cam, who posted while I was writing. Unless he's an even bigger jerk than I think, we won't get his side of things. Which is sure to boil down to, It just wasn't happening for us in the sack anymore.
Also, take a look at the Allston Pudding blog page--they've put together a huge mixtape of bands--many, but not all local--also organized as a fundraiser for those in need of support in Boston.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
live local music on
Enter your ZIP code to see concerts happening in your area.
Data provided by Zvents