Music » Music Reviews

Music reviews - 10-11-06

WEB DECK: New CDs by Tiger Cried Beef, Publick Musick, DJ Shadow, and Paul Birch

Untitled Document


Tiger Cried Beef
The Facts About Fascism

We hate to blow anyone’s cover, but for those who don’t recognize the name “Pat Rocles,” who is credited as Tiger Cried Beef’s guitarist-leader, he’s none other than local music fixture Keith Parkins. Since resigning from his longtime post as the Quitters’ secret weapon --- Parkins’ bass lines walked left, right, and center through the Snyder brothers’ irresistible hooks to help propel the Quitters’ exhilarating rush --- Parkins has had his hands in several pies, including Hinkley and Kill Myself On Monday, two bands also anchored by strong creative leadership.

Left to his own devices (and the guitar) in Tiger Cried Beef, Parkins’ compositional mind wanders as much as his hands on the bass, which makes for a much less unified sound than any of the aforementioned bands. Of course, this is what ultimately makes Facts About Fascism so rewarding and fall into place with graceful nonchalance. Though he sometimes risks enclosing himself with his underground indie influences, Parkins has a unique musical mind and it’s a joy to hear it blossom here backed by equally imaginative players.
--- Saby Reyes-Kulkarni



Publick Musick
J.S. Bach “Missae Breves”
Musica Omnia

There are reasons why the music of J.S. Bach is still being performed and recorded almost 300 years after it was written. Not only was he a figurehead in the shaping of tonal music as we know it, but the amount of music he composed is awe-inspiring. When combined with the expertise and professionalism of Rochester’s own Publick Musick it is easy to hear why the group’s latest recording of Bach’s Missae Breves is not one to miss.

The two discs contain four masses (BMV 233-6) totaling about two hours of music. Though these pieces are less frequently recorded, they are still excellent examples of Bach’s later church music. The choral arrangements are not new to the Bach aficionado, but the lush arias and varied Gloria movements have less than standard instrumentation, and shades of both Italian and French influence. Any fan of period instruments or well-sung Latin should check it out.

--- Alex Frissell




DJ Shadow
The Outsider
Universal Motown


I don’t listen to DJ Shadow to get crunk. I certainly don’t care about what a fantastic producer he is. What I do care about is his ability to create instrumentals and trip hop that is instantly haunting and delicate, epic and deeply sensitive. I’m not looking for Endtroducing II; that kind of expectation would make anything he does sound like shit. But Private Press was grossly underrated, and his soundtrack work is fantastic, so it’s obvious his talent isn’t some kind of fluke. So why is he creating this “featuring” fest lined with beats that sound like vintage Neptunes? Even Q-Tip --- my pick for greatest MC ever --- can’t make his appearance sound good. Gone from Shadow’s latest is depth, emotion, and intimacy; instead, we get afterthought tracks that melt into the faceless cache of yawn-hop. And don’t even get me started on this Chris James fuckhead, the latest in a disturbing trend of Dave Matthews/Jack Johnson soundalikes who guest on hip-hop records. Sorry, Shadow. This sucks. You have no idea how hard it is for me to say that.

--- Tim Goodwin


Paul Burch
East to West
Bloodshot Records

The overriding question on East to West, the sixth album by alt-country fave Paul Burch, is whether his powerful songwriting and storytelling can overcome his less-than-compelling vocals. While his voice contains echoes of numerous country and roots-rock greats, it also simply can’t measure up to that of, say, Ralph Stanley --- whose guest vocals grace this disc --- in terms of power and impact. The good news is that in general, Burch’s songs are beautifully crafted gems that splash across several musical genres and buoy Burch’s vocals. “Before the Bells” exudes a distinctly Latin feel, while “I’m A Takin’ It Home” rocks like the best Buddy Holly or Carl Perkins single. While “Last Dream of Will Keene” evokes a brooding Johnny Cash, “Little Glass of Wine” sounds like it could have been crafted by Bill Monroe himself. If Burch could somehow add some oomph to his overly sublime singing, his spirited songwriting could eventually make him an underground country legend.

--- Ryan Whirty