Friday, February 10, 2006

Do the cockroach!

Download: "Young & Old" by Gregor Samsa

I think that band names are important, although I give a lot of bands I like a pass because I like them. I mean, The Flaming Lips? The Beatles? U2? I think all of those are sort of silly, but I like the bands, so it doesn't matter. I don't really like those kind of clever names like Kathleen Turner Overdrive or John Cougar Concentration Camp beyond the initial chuckle factor.

And I really don't like names that seem like that seriously date the band aka Uzi and Ari from the Royal Tennenbaums. That just seems too...NOW, you know? Too precious. For the record, I've heard really good things about Uzi and Ari, but, still, what's next, Vote for Pedro? Oh, wait...

I think you've got to give some distance to pop culture references and such. You've got to let them percolate for a while, so that you can see how it's judged by history. Call me a perennialist, I guess. So the Richmond band, Gregor Samsa, is totally okay according to my rules because Kafka is in great shape, zeitgeist-wise. And it doesn't hurt that their stunning debut, 55:12, might be one of the best records of this very new year.

I'm a sucker for a few genres above all else: power pop, space rock, Led Zeppelin, and orchestral pop. I'm predisposed to like all of it. But Gregor Samsa's gorgeous space rock transcends my predispositions. It's an amazing record through and through. If I had never heard a single delayed or chorus-ed guitar in my life, I would still love this record. I'm as struck by it as I was the first time I heard Godspeed You Black Emperor! (before they started switching exclamation points and became formulaic).

Gregor Samsa comes to us from the exciting new label, The Kora Records, who also brought you the Out Crowd and Meredith Bragg & the Terminals.

The post transformed and transmogrified by Team Clermont.

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