Exposé Online banner

John Curtis — Short Songs about Affordable Food
(Big Balloon Music BBM503, 2007, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01

Short Songs about Affordable Food Cover artAn interesting concept — and a successful one too, that certainly lives up to its title. There are 43 songs here, and only a handful break the minute-and-a-half mark. Some are instrumentals, but most have lyrics with subject matter about... well, candy, burgers, snacks, pizza, soup, burritos, bagels etc. and their ramifications and importance within the larger scheme of things — and let's not forget the coffee! Within that context, Curtis' vocals are outstanding, and the music is impeccably produced throughout; he is joined by a number of guests on various instruments to augment his own guitars, keyboards and drums, while others contribute lyrics to some of the songs. Stylistically, one can hear the influence from Todd Rundgren, Mike Keneally, The Tubes, and even an occasional flash of Uncle Frank himself, in the widescreen production, jazzy segues, vocal harmonies, and wry wit. The material crosses all kinds of boundaries from 80s styled new wave MTV rock to progressive to art-pop with elements of soul, country rock, old-timey big-band with bits of jazz and classical woven in seamlessly, all saturated with the brilliance of vision in these vignette length pieces; perfect mind fodder for the attention-defecit generation. Throughout, Curtis establishes himself as an artist and composer that won't allow himself to be painted into any corners.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): John Curtis

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sun Ra - Disco 3000 - Complete Milan Concert 1978 – Most of the Sun Ra I’ve heard before (and I’m far from an expert on his extensive catalog) was in large ensemble settings. Here we get an Italian quartet gig from 23 January, 1978, featuring the...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues