Thursday, March 24, 2005

Extraordinary Machine

It's been a while between postings, which is a thing related supremely and completely to school starting to wrap up and all those promises I made to myself in the beginning of the semester starting to ring oh.... so hollow...

However, when I'm meant to be writing papers one of my favorite things to do is look around for new music. I normally have a 'net radio station on and when something catches my ear I'll download it, legally or otherwise. One of my favorite radio streams is Radio Paradise, which broadcasts raw eclecticism out of Paradise, CA, and features some of the snarkiest, Warhol-channeling people on the discussion boards (there's a different board for each song) that you'll see outside of a $7 Black Cat show. (1)

In the midst of studying for a vocabulary test (ayna al-ustadh? = Where is the professor? Al-ustadh tahta al-taawila. = The professor is under the desk) a catchy tune came on, which sounded vaguely like Fiona Apple playing with Bjork's band. Turns out it was Ms. Apple, who I haven't heard from in a while (musically, as she's not the sort to return calls) and have fond high school memories of. It would appear that she's had a new album complete, called Extraordinary Machine, since 2003, but Sony has kept it shelved because it's not, in the words of many a Fiona fansite, "playable" according to Sony's unspoken critique. There is even a petition you can sign if your blood is up.

While it's certainly not marketable, short of pulling a Liz Phair and adding some tween appeal, it actually sounds pretty good. Jazz/bluegrass piano fusion, plus a cartoony oboe, aren't going to end up on the radio, but I think that people like me, who were of a sullen age but coming upon Tori Amos right when she went into the batshit breathless lyrics phase and found Fiona fit nicely, would really enjoy some of the songs. I recommend Better Version of Me, Red, Red, Red, and Extraordinary Machine

The problem being, however, how to listen to it. Members of her backup band leaked the album, either to pressure Sony to release it or just to get their work heard. The files posted online, sadly, are mostly put out by Sony and assault you with hiss and static. For fifteen minutes. You can click forever and not find one that works and you probably have a paper you should be doing. However, I know a guy... wink wink winkety wink. Leave me a message in the comments or email me if you already know who fronts this masked blog.

(1) The Black Cat is a bar/concert venue in Washington D.C. that will play up-and-comers at $7 shows, so you can finally say, "I saw them BEFORE they sold out" and "Are you going to finish ALL of that blow?" or "That guy gave Steph the flaky CROTCH bumps."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

um yes. please introduce me to this "guy". i have been waiting not so patiently for that cd to finally come out. of course, to no avail. GIMME!!


11:41 AM  
Anonymous bridalhome said...

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1:52 AM  
Blogger zzzzzoe said...

Thanks for the tip! I ended up finding it by myself and it's amazing... But I guess my taste is not normal because the album seems very catchy and accessible to me. Perhaps I'm just comparing it to the other weird shit I listen to.

9:08 AM  

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