April March / Sue Garner + Rick Brown

Recent arrivals from Django:

April March: Chrominance Decoder

Right now I find myself incapable of saying more about this album other than that it is incredibly boring. Nothing of the rambunctious tweeness that made Chick Habit such a romp. The liner notes are amusingly pretentious and say things like “So April is a child. But nothing is quite what it seems. Could it be that she really loved you, Mr Clever? And what, or who, does she think of when the end-credits dissolve from the TV screen and the murmur of radio parasites wraps her in electrical snow?”, but I can write nothing about the music, because each of the four times I have tried playing it, it fades into the background within minutes, and believe me, when you have a very bored Michelle ploughing through the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1968 and longing for distraction, something has to be very boring indeed if it doesn’t distract. And this album is very boring. Please talk to me if you have heard this album and like it. I would like to stop being bored.

Sue Garner & Rick Brown: Still

Earlier this year I described them (inadequately) as “Sarah McLachlan’s voice singing with Ani DiFranco’s attitude accompanied by Sonic Youth remixed by Tortoise”, and I am unfortunately unable to come up with a better description, but they really do deserve better than my fumbling reductive comparisons. Different feels to the songs depending on who’s singing: her tones are as dulcet as anything the Lilith Fairies can warble, and his are as nondescript as most of indie-rock’s finest, but in every song you feel this is a band that likes the subtleties of sound – in a lot of the second track (I Like The Name Alice) the sound we hear with the most clarity and detail are the steely plucks of the guitar, with her voice farther away, and each note’s got a twang, a twist, an emphasis of its own that the other notes don’t have. A note of its own in the wider scheme of notes. This appeals to me. I’m a believer in the individuality of notes.

(Still eagerly awaiting Leaves Turn Inside You, which has yet to arrive.)

(Elsewhere in the convenient world of online music reviews, Pitchfork likes the new Silver Jews, Flak reviews the Piano Magic compilation, and I really wish I could rave about MJ’s latest as much as PopMatters does.)

(Did I mention Chrominance Decoder is boring?)