COMPUTER VS BANJO
You can be pretty sure that if you meet someone at a party and they tell you that they are “cool” or claim to be “the funniest person you have ever met”, they are certain to not deliver on that promise. Indeed they will no doubt prove to be quite boring and you will find yourself desperately searching for a way to escape from the corner that they have backed you into. Such innate traits never require a lead-in and the genuine article will be so oblivious as to wear them like a second skin. With that said, I offer you “Computer vs. Banjo”, a band which, as their name suggests, mixes digital samples with a folksy blues sound.
Give Up On Ghosts
Now, my first thought upon being presented with this concept was that there are a shitload of musicians walking the line between the analog/digital worlds these days and doing it very well (Beck, Tunng, Radiohead?!?) but they don’t find it necessary to proclaim it in the title of their band. Computer and Banjo seem almost too aware of the fact that they are taking a folksy genre and adding drum machines beneath it. The whole endeavour immediately comes across as “clever ” –a trait that is about as shallow as piss on concrete and for this very reason, the two elements never quite gel, instead it remains in the realm of gimmick.
JOSEPH ARTHUR – VAGABOND SKIES
For the longest time now, I have had a tune in my music library called “A Smile That Explodes” by an artist named Joseph Arthur that I find unbelievably sublime. I did not know where it came from (figured it was caught in some late night tuna net style Acquisition binge) but it repeatedly found a place in my mellower playlists.
A Smile That Explodes
But upon the arrival this afternoon of Arthur’s EP Vagabond Skies, I can only assume that this above first taste was courtesy of my good friends at Sneak Attack Media.
Now, this would probably be a good time for me to admit that I have really only been listening to Burial as of late with its minimalist-fried-synapse-twitching-hour vibe and other twisted and strained rhythms of a similar ilk. It all just seems appropriate as I’m weaving through my caffeine-fed urban morning landscape. But Joseph Arthur could single handedly pull me back into the world of melodic instrument and human driven tunes again. Aside from Second Sight (which is strangely out of place on this album and really not all that good) this album recalls Neil Young at his best. Give a listen to what is by far the best track, She Paints Me Gold:
She Paints Me Gold.mp3