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Album review: 'Missed Connections'

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Small Signals

"Missed Connections"

Self-released

smallsignals.bandcamp.com

As Small Signals, Rochester musician Stephen Roessner (part of Pleistocene, Revengineers) has stumbled upon the intersection between profoundly sad and profoundly hysterical. By taking entries from Craiglist's Missed Connections and putting them to synth-pop sugar and lonely guitar, he creates little vignettes of, at times, dark desperation and desire. Just listen to some of the titles: "We fucked at Cobbs Hill Park, would like to see you again – m4w," "Your eyes focusing on the huge bulge in my jeans – m4w (your place)," "I am seeking a man – w4m (Pelican's Nest)," and so on.

These posts for the most part involve men (though there are a few women writers) — bathed in frustration with a creep factor cranked up to 10, fawning over a waitress or unsuspecting women in the supermarket or at the gym. Who told them this work?

Roessner's arrangements of these lyrical catastrophes are short-lived — about two minutes apiece for each of "Missed Connection's" 17 cuts — and the music breathes a little life and humor into the words with its lo-fi leanings. This is an absolutely brilliant idea. Happy, sad, and disturbing.

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