Tuesday, January 6, 2009
What Is Old Becomes New Again...SFTOR Album Review. Issue #83
I had a dream the other night that I was in a far away land where WAL-MART could be found every 10 or so miles, where I ate deep-fried food every night, and where the wine tasted like melted TEEN SPIRIT deodorant. Oh yeah, that wasn't a dream...
Last week I was in Arkansas visiting the family and brought back about 5-8 pounds with me. The wifey and I had a great time and I was reminded how much I like it down there for many reasons including it's food and it's people. Well, maybe not the people who run the Confederate stores. The scariest thing I found? That was in the form of a bumper sticker rocking the Rebel flag printed on it the following...
"Yankees: 1 / Confederacy: 0.....Halftime."
There was even perfume with the flag as a logo called "Rebel-aire".
Hmmmm...."Eau De Racism" sounds more like it...
Don't let that represent the south entirely though; there you can find some of the nicest people you've ever met. Old school hospitality and manners never go out of style...
"Martin Luther King Jr.'s glasses and radio."
Readers of this blog know that for the past 3 months Jim and I have been hard at work on the KIRBY KRACKLE album (now in printing process!) and though I've been touring behind my solo album Songs From The Orange Room actively, the natural life span of aggressive promo for the disc is nearing it's end. That said, you can imagine how nice it was to receive this album review from renowned review website INK 19 to be published in a few weeks on it's site. I feel it's pretty accurate and fair review (especially about "Sparkle And Fall") and I'm always interested in hearing objective viewpoints regarding my work (i.e. people who don't care about my ego what-so-ever).
Seattle singer/songwriter Kyle Stevens inches toward the folky, Americana stylings that the Emerald City is gradually becoming known for without leaping full-bodied into it. Stevens is, first and foremost, a rock musician, and the fingerprints of Seattle's early '90s grunge heyday can be detected albeit in a relatively less noisy fashion. But there's no denying what inspired the guitar fuzz of "Getaway Car" or the brittle riffs of "Thicker Than Leather," which wouldn't have been too out of place on Pearl Jam's Vitalogy album. Stevens even sings with a deeper, more husky tone on "Thicker Than Leather," reminiscent of Eddie Vedder's arena-filling booming voice without self-consciously aping him. However, Stevens takes a rootsier approach than his Puget Sound predecessors, his songs expressing an obvious affection for Tom Petty and the Gin Blossoms.
The radiant opener, "Sparkle and Fall," sounds nothing like what follows, though. On this cut, Stevens veers closely to the incandescent New Wave of Echo & the Bunnymen. With its lush strings and ringing guitars, "Sparkle and Fall" could have been a killer Sire Records single circa 1988 when dreamy bands such as the Wild Swans and the Ocean Blue were championed on the college charts. "The Last Time I Was Bored" cranks up the amps while hinting at Stevens' direction towards Americana. By the third track, the kiss-off "This Is Not a Love Song" (no relation to the Public Image Ltd. post-punk classic although it would have been amusing to hear that given a country makeover), Stevens has embraced the genre, even having Patrick Porter to add pedal steel to the mix.
Although featuring only six tunes, Songs from the Orange Room doesn't feel half-full. Stevens doesn't cut us short here. Every track has a memorable hook or two, and Stevens is versatile enough to prevent singer/songwriter boredom from kicking in.
Robert M. Sutton
A nice little cap to the year pushing SFTOR and though supporting the album will continue to happen, we now turn our gaze to more pressing matters...KIRBY KRACKLE!
That's right, next week I can take the gag out of my mouth as we align the stars for our CD Release at the end of January and the announcement of some very exciting news regarding appearances in February. ROCK.
See you next week and until then enjoy some pics from the trip!