Red Pocket — Thick
(Tzadik TZ 7710, 2004, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01
Fans of the wonderful Charming Hostess can now rejoice. While this is not a Charming Hostess album, it does feature Jewlia Eisenberg in a somewhat similar setting. Her vocal foil for this outing is Marika Hughes, and Scott Amendola fills the percussion role; all three multitask, with Eisenberg on bass, Hughes on cello, and Amendola on electronics. Aside from the obvious absence of guitar, the sound is sometimes a bit like a cross between Charming Hostess and folk singer Ani DiFranco. As in CH and Eisenberg’s solo recording Trilectic, a variety of styles are melded into a seamless and interesting whole, with New York art music, modern chamber music, poetry slamming, soulful cello, angry distortion, and frank sexuality pushing against each other like modern dancers inside a giant elastic covering, no longer distinguishable as individuals, just a hand here, a head there. Given the seemingly limited palette, a large variety of combinations keep things interesting. Sometimes the cello takes a rhythm guitar role, providing short chords over the bass and drums; the women sing alone and in combination, sometimes in harmony, sometimes counterpoint; drums provide a subtle groove for treated vocals while bass (I think) adds creepy distortion; the cello takes on a wah-wah pedal for a kind of twisted funk. The vocals are superb throughout, expressive without going over the top, soulful, technically accurate, and the lyrics are never trite or predictable.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more