Thursday, January 05, 2006

Parricide v1.01

Mathieu Malouf expends much energy attempting to wrestle the title of Master of the Melodica from Augustus Pablo.

When James Murphy so eloquently gave a voice and beat to the vulnerability and fear of obsolescence housed in the mind of the aging hipster in LCD Soundsystem's Losing My Edge, at least a couple of us laughed along while secretly shuddering inside, betraying a latent fear of the hungry young, whom, while appearing the wholesome, apple-cheeked and milk-fed youths fresh from suburban enclaves outside mid-sized Canadian cities, weren't averse to baring their teeth and chewing up their elders. What of history? It couldn't be so irrelevant, the projects and bands and feuds and all that ate up so many hours and so many dollars from trust-funds and student loans and minimum wage jobs, could it? Well, yeah, kind of, I guess.

The specific cultural craving for novelty in place of innovation in an independent music scene demands the slaughtering of sacred cows moments after they cease being calves, which, to my mind, is a positive thing. Better the cows graze off in search of the greener pastures of middle-aged responsibility and stable, well-paying vocations than for them to hang around, embarassingly drunk and lowering a leacherous eye towards the nubilians. And thankfully, in Montreal, the elders can take solace in knowing that though these kids might not show sufficient respect for the monument to human ingenuity and creativity that say, Sofa's Grey album is, they've got their own shit going on, and in many cases, it's good.

So, over the next couple of days I'm going to put up some mp3s and blurbs about newer Montreal artists who're doing inventive and awesome things, fashioning their own aesthetic and maybe occasionally sticking it to the aged.

Graham busts it in a typically handsome sweater.
Miracle Fortress - Watery Grave
Miracle Fortress - Eschatology
Think About Life - Snowee Caterpillars

The first artist I'll mention is Graham Van Pelt. The tall fellow with the shock of red hair sits behind the controls of his Miracle Fortress project, in addition to co-piloting Think About Life, providing excellent soundguy skills, and being a member of the Friendship Cove household/venue/conceptual space. Any listeners to Andrew Rose's Pop and podcasts will recognize the above names, and may have even witnessed Graham's recent performance at the For The Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens benefit in December.

Graham's songs are thoughtfully composed and home-recorded, they bounce like all good pop music should, and also present a variation on the ubiquitious (and oft-times poorly executed) genre of casio-pop that interacts with some of its unspoken rules, without sacrificing craftmanship or veering off into kitsch.

Watery Grave is a sea-shanty or stumbling waltz, comprised of sparring melody lines, vocal overdubs and Glass-ian arpeggiation that's half exubriant pop song, half expansive soundscape. Curiously, Eschatology begins with a beat more than familiar to the above-mentioned James Murphy. Note the bass line and hyper-active kick drum!

If you're interested in acquiring a copy of the EP, go check out Graham's myspace page for ordering info.

1 comment:

Andrew Rose said...

It's all about Magnus! Actually, all of Graham's stuff is good. But the aformentioned group is his hip-hop duo, and watch out!