Exposé Online banner

Jack o' the Clock — How Are We Doing, and Who Will Tell Us?
(Bandcamp no#, 2011, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

How Are We Doing, and Who Will Tell Us? Cover art

The East Bay area (Oakland and surrounding) has produced some interesting musical hybrids of late. A lot of that no doubt has to do with Fred Frith’s involvement with the esteemed Mills College, where many of the musicians involved in this musical renaissance have ties. Enter Jack o’ the Clock, a five-piece led by Damon Waitkus, who plays guitar, banjo, piano, flute, ukelin, hammer dulcimer, and sings. This is their second release. Other members provide additional voices (male and female), violins, bass, banjo, trombone, psaltery, flute, recorder, accordion, bassoon, drums, and percussion, as well as field recordings to the mix. Their sound might nominally be called experimental folk, as acoustic instruments tend to dominate, and the compositions – odd as they sometimes may seem – are song oriented, yet they are pushing those limits out in every direction, be it 20th Century classical, Americana, chamber, progressive rock, medieval music, just about anything one might imagine. For example in one section of the ten-minute “First of the Year,” Beach Boys-like harmonies mix with chugging metal rhythms flanked by beautiful classical-inspired melodies courtesy of violin and bassoon. Field recordings and sound effects mix freely with their inventive arrangements, where almost anything becomes possible, yet always remains listenable. Normally around this part of a review I would offer some reference points or comparisons, but in this case that would be futile. There’s an amazing amount of originality in these twelve tracks, and those looking for some intrepid, barrier-breaking music would do well to start here.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Jack o' the Clock

More info
http://jackotheclock.bandcamp.com/album/how-are-we-doing-and-who-will-tell-us

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Iva Bittová - Ne Nehledej – Iva is a Czech violinist/vocalist who worked with drummer Pavel Fajt on two stupendous albums (Bittova & Fajt and Svatba) before going it alone. This is her third solo work. (Caution: on her first...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues