To avoid doing a Hari, the actual Press Release is in bold, as befits it's worth, its status, its totemic power.
A name, an art, a slice of Canadian now presented as memory of then... Evan Abeele (composer) and Denise Nouvion (vocals), hail from Toronto, which...
1) has a secret subway stop
2) stands in for New York (in films like.... add list, with snark) which was where I saw them play and where I bought their Lately single from a lovely earnest guy on the merch stall at The Mercury Lounge
Their music blends the contemporary with the forgotten, the traditional and the technological, the visual and the aural, within the sonographic landscape of pop.
It might... but this is a Press Release, and I'm starting to zero in on the:
1) PRESSING - which of course gives us urgency, agency, earnest persistence, insistence as well as the obvious record and cider presses
2) RELEASING - which gives us removal of bondage, of confinement, of life... or calls into question our callous use of almost-language ("I'm afraid I'm going to have to let you go...") or maybe implies loss (good or bad) or even catharsis
So, with an eye on words:
AXIS 1: Blending contemporary with forgotten - calls into question the Memory of Memoryhouse of course but may simply be a causal reflection of the name rather than a stimulus for it. The contemporary is actually slightly missing from their work in my ears, which is one of the reasons I like them, think they stand ever so slightly apart from their (yes) contemporaries... forgotten I'm willing to go with since this is the key to the difference... sometimes they sound like the bands that have been forgotten, that have names but don't keep cropping up in press releases... they sound like music that was around late 80s, early 90s and was even listened to then but has since fallen away, hasn't inspired the same adoration and hasn't appeared in Press Releases...
I'm thinking of bands like Whipping Boy. Not Whipping Boy; they sound nothing like Whipping Boy.
AXIS 2: The traditional and the technological - now this one is odd; I'm pretty sure that technological is kinda traditional now, especially with all the retro/downgrading that people are eager to promote these days:
So I'm not really sure their PR company has thought that one through...
AXIS 3: the visual and the aural - this is an interesting one and often mentioned but in my experience the two generally compete rather than blend (i'm no natural synaesthete). Certainly, the visual won on the night I saw them, the dreaminess of the visuals trumped the slightly less dreamy music, which is definitely slurrier on record...
Did I mention? They have a record out soon. And it's really good.
On September 12, 2011 Sub Pop Records will release a fully re-recorded, remixed and re-mastered version of The Years, adding two new tracks entitled “Modern, Normal” and “Quiet America.”
I was listening to it and tweeted "dreamlogical & immersive; like a dead slow drive at 4AM through unfamilar country" and I think that holds; that is what's its like (my Twitter self and my Blog self often disagree, we're different beasts) but I feel I should clarify:
a) dreamlogical because it doesn't ebb or flow, it's edited into a slowburn, no ragged edges... the situation/people/location/characters change? no problem, dreamlogic smoothes things over... the edits between scenes are too sharp? no worries, our casually causal little minds will simply condense and assimilate...
b) immersive because it's so visual... you can't help but swim in imagery (so much so, that sometimes you forget you're listening).... it's thick, you could swim in it... of course, you might not want to....
c) when I meant dead slow, I mean dead slow... i mean the kind of driving we used to do
Oh, I know you often don't jump to those old blusters so here's what I'm getting at:
We were somewhere around Sutton Bingham Reservoir on the edge of the Somerset/Dorset desert when the drugs began to take hold.
It's 2 AM. We're driving maybe 3 miles an hour, crammed into Rs hopelessly fucked 1978 Mercedes Benz, the lights all blown so it seems like we're just floating, like the car isn't even there. We're heading towards a usual druggy haunt, the deserted ruin of a Chapel Perilous on the edge of the water.
Which more or less brings me to:
AXIS 4 (WHICH IS NOT AN AXIS AT ALL): Within the sonographic landscape of pop - which implies that Memoryhouse are attempting to delve inside pop (the landscape I'll let go, poetry needs some space), to find an imprint, to go beyond the naive realist view that the body is simply the body (read: the canon is simply the canon, the art is the art, the music is the music) and to discover the constituent parts, the whirrings, the beating hearts and valves...
now, this could be nothing (IT COULDN'T BE) and I'm not exactly hearing that kind of in-depth exploration so far in their music...
...but the intention is honourable and maybe makes sense of the affinity I feel these guys have with David Lynch... they could soundtrack his movies and their music would benefit from his direction since he is almost unique in the ability to use sound and vision on (more or less) equal footing and so they wouldn't find themselves swamped by imagery... like his films, they deal in simple, but multi-layered, realities... they weave complex story lines out of simple patterns and echoes...
Someone sent me a black and white photograph of someone in a bunny suit riding a motorbike.