Life Sentences, Day 123: Random Rock Band Reviews

February 1st, 2011

So, the meme: name your band, title your album, and select your cover art, all at random via the, umm, miracle of the Internet.

I got four entries (I think — am I forgetting somebody?) and they’re all ace.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see music companies try this.

Let’s begin our roundup of reviews with the most eclectic of the week’s new releases, the intermittently interesting Union of Kedainiai.

This is the Union of Kedainiai’s fifth year together, and their latest album, THE PERSON I KNOW, explores a haunting trance electronica reminiscent of Klaus Shulze’s TRANCIFER. Listening closely for any of the Polish and Swedish root music that was the centerpiece of all of their previous work, is an exercise in futility as this album is a complete departure.

The departure of bagpipe virtuoso MacLemore “Mac” MacPherson, who brought such brio to the polkas on last year’s KIELBASA KISSES will undoubtedly by mourned by some fans while others will line up to buy confetti and paper hats.

Next up:  The third outing by agony-rock thrashers Cape Vincent.

THERE IS NO GOD is the band’s attempted recovery from the collection that was supposed to be their breakthrough, 2009’s FEMALE CIRCUMCISION, which sold 191 units and racked up returns of 216.  In the aftermath, the band’s three lead guitarists tossed out group founder and bagpipe virtuoso MacLemore “Mac” MacPherson and sued for control of the band’s name.  To replace MacPherson and take the band in a different direction, they brought onboard the Peruvian roots ensemble  The Inca Pipes, the string section of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Michael Bolton.  The result is an uneasy blend, although the first single, Bolton’s bluesy “The Girl With the Cigarette In Her Hand With the Guy Behind Her,” is getting some play on junior-college radio.

PEOPLE WHO CARED ENOUGH TO HELP ME is a return to form for Lies & Crimes following last year’s disastrous television show, “Kate’s Closet,” in which the band followed around much-excoriated reality star Kate Gosselin and improvised on the spot a musical soundtrack to her life.   Gosselin’s lack of popularity meant low ratings until she embarked on an unplanned affair with the much-traveled bagpipe virtuoso MacLemore “Mac” MacPherson, who used his romantic leverage to fire the band and take over the soundtrack himself. Lies & Crimes were long forgotten by the time Gosselin, in one of the most widely viewed YouTube vids in history, took a pair of garden shears to MacPherson’s bagpipes.  PEOPLE WHO CARED ENOUGH TO HELP me puts icicle xylophonist Finland Eddie front and center again, following his lowered profile in the television series because his instrument kept melting.  “Cool” to have you back, Eddie.

A SUBJECT OF INTEREST is the first outing by Operation Pike, the newest venture by bagpipe virtuoso MacLemore “Mac” MacPherson.  In an act of bravado that some have called foolhardy, MacPherson, frustrated by his inability to find a band to play with, recorded this album on the sidewalk outside the Century Theaters in Portland, Oregon.  Armed with guitar, drums, bass, and his second-best bagpipe, he waited until a show let out and then waved twenty-dollar bills in the faces of departing patrons until he had three takers.  Each moviegoer would take an instrument and attempt to follow MacPherson through a Scottish drinking song.  By the time the police arrived, MacPherson had the five cuts on this EP.  I’ve listened to the EP three times, and I think you had to be there.

The CDs for this critical roundup were created by SUZANNA AGUAYO (Union of Kedainiai); EVERETT KASER (Cape Vincent); COLLEEN KENNEDY (Lies & Crimes); and BONNIE RILEY (The Pike Project). Thanks to all of them, and also to the I Ching. Just because.

8 Responses to “Life Sentences, Day 123: Random Rock Band Reviews”

  1. EverettK Says:

    Wow, that MacLemore “Mac” MacPherson, he’s the new John Lennon, huh?

  2. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    Wow, you guys are creative geniuses. It’ll be interesting to see where this “Mac” turns up next. Mine couldn’t be saved…:-(

  3. Colleen Says:

    I heard Mac hooked up with that Robb guy and they’re coming out with new CD… “Mac Blows Nashville.”

  4. Debbi Says:

    Reading this blog can be a psychedelic experience.

    Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after reading this.

    In other words, well done, Tim. 🙂

  5. Suzanna Says:

    This gotta lot of giggles. Mac MacPherson had quite a year! Thanks a lot for putting this together for us, Tim. Hard to believe chance could be so interesting.

  6. Laren Bright Says:

    What? I mean,what? What was the question again?

  7. Larissa Says:

    omg. roflmao. That’s all I have to say to that. (c:

  8. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Thanks, everyone. I actually answered all of these a couple of days ago but my Captcha didn’t go through and by the time it was rejected, I had moved on. Sorry.

    The one thing I DO want to make clear is that Colleen is a friend of Robb’s — there’s nothing derogatory in her comment. Not about Robb, at least. Not so sure about myself.

    This is a great meme, and everyone had terrific results.

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