Two Year Touqe
Who says that honest-to-goodness love doesn’t exist in music anymore? The rest of the peons can sing of the booty ’til their hearts turn to dust, but when you hear the brutal honesty of Missoula four-piece Two Year Touqe’s self-released disc, there is hope for true love after all. These are home recordings that wander along the paths of The Velvet Underground, Beat Happening, The Vaselines and Unrest with just a smidgen of The Fall. Lyrical observations are drawn from the everyday existence of Two Year Touqe and its members, whether drinking tea or spending time on the toilet.
Mostly, though, Greatest Hits? deals with the deep love the main instigators, husband and wife Paul and Sara Copoc, have for each other. It’s pretty cool that they succeed, considering most musicians can’t get away with such a thing without sounding wanky. “Adorable” isn’t too wide of the mark, here, with innocent chemistry and singalong-styled arrangements. The Sara/Paul duets are great, and judging from the most recent recordings, which are the last three tunes on the disc, many better and brighter things are still to come. (Bryan Ramirez)
John Wilkes Booze
The Five Pillars of Soul
Kill Rock Stars
I can’t decide which is funnier: the name of this Bloomington, Ind., band or the fact that they used to call themselves the John Wilkes Booze Explosion (before breaking up and getting back together a month later with the new name). You might be surprised to learn what, or rather who, make up the five pillars in this anthology, originally released as a series of CD-EP “volumes” in 2002. According to John Wilkes Booze, the pillars of soul are: Albert Ayler, Melvin van Peebles, Yoko Ono, Marc Bolan of T. Rex and Patty Hearst! Yeah, that’s right—frickin’ Patty Hearst, the newspaper heiress kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in the early ’70s.
Without further ado, I’ll give you three reasons why you should jump all over this amazing band: 1) One of the Patty Hearst songs is an R&B soul shakedown with a call-and-response refrain, “White guilt! I got it!” 2) The between-song sample that precedes it is a snippet from the 1976 porn version of the Patty Hearst story, Tanya, and 3) There’s also a sing-along campfire song based on that snippet: “Death to the fascist insect that preyed on the lives of the people! Love to the beautiful people who preyed on the fascist insect!”
That’s the whole song. Totally out-there and all-over-the-place stuff, and totally awesome. (Andy Smetanka)
ohn Wilkes Booze rocks The Other Side on Wednesday, March 31.
This is an enjoyable record, but it has to be said that releasing this kind of music in album form does it kind of a disservice. This is live music, man, and part of me thinks it should stay that way. The recording (by Volumen’s Doug Smith) at least captures the live feel—pumping bass, rough’n’ready guitar and harmonica solos and all. But the music still feels trapped and, eventually, so does the listener. It’s like flying to another country and never getting out of the airport. Or hearing the band in the background when someone calls to tell you they’re having a great time and you’re missing out.
That said, these Missoula boys—Pat McKay, Norman Medley, Charlie Hopkins, Steve Jordan—sure sound like they’re having a good time, and it’s as infectious as the flu. That’s the most important thing, and it comes through loud and clear. The record’s got a fun selection of time-tested covers: John Hiatt’s “Feels Like Rain”; “Peepin’ and Hidin’ (Baby What You Want Me to Do)”—covered by everyone from Etta James to the Grateful Dead; Aerosmith’s “All Your Love I Miss Lovin’”; Warren Zevon’s “Crosscut Saw”; and so on. Of course, you could just as wisely spend the $10 on beer the next time these guys play The Old Post or the Union Club…(Andy Smetanka)
In This Place
Poor John Floridis! He had his CD release concert all lined up last fall, but a funny thing happened on the way to the Blue Heron…
“Well,” Floridis explains, “as you might remember, the health department closed down the Blue Heron three hours before my last ‘release’ show. So I’m kind of asking for a do-over, like when you’re playing football in the street and the kick-off goes out of bounds. So there you have it.”
In This Place find’s Missoula’s most prolific musical stargazer up to his usual mellow monkeyshines, writing Michael Hedges-inflected songs inspired by clear spring nights (“Late May Moon”), pets, love and loss and all the little intangibles that come with living in Western Montana. “Nature’s Way,” oddly topical for Floridis, even hints at tree-spiking (“With this hammer, with this nail/Up the mountain’s winding trail…We’re going to see how the shoe/Fits on the other foot”) as justifiable self-defense against rapacious logging practices.
In This Place also features covers of songs by Lyle Lovett, Robert Johnson and Ben Harper. What I like about Floridis, though, is that he just oozes place in his own songs. He writes them for everyone to enjoy, but for people who live here to enjoy just a little more. (Andy Smetanka)
The John Floridis Trio—Floridis with bassist Clipper Anderson and drummer Brian Oppel, who also perform on the new album—will perform at a “re-release party” on Friday, March 26, at 8 PM at the New Crystal Theater. A $2 to $10 donation is suggested.