Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Michael Yonkers "Lovely Gold"

(Drag City) This is crazy fucking good! This strange, beautiful ball of weird miraculously never falls into the novelty zone, Yonkers' earnestness transforming absurd juxtapositions and strange voices and ideas into something that makes perfect (non)sense. Recorded by (the now lauded by psyche-heads, freak folkers, and obscuro-philiacs) Yonkers in 1977, and unheard since then, this song suite contains sweet songs. It alternates between strange pop, folk, old time rock 'n' roll, gospel, madrigals, goth, yodels, and Detroit punk that would scare the Stooges...all on one record in a half hour! Yonkers' vocals recall Roky Erickson, Jandek, Lux Interior, Moe Tucker, a puppet, Roy Orbison with a cold, Froggy from Andy Devine, and Klaus Nomi when he just woke up, and I know I'm missing about 900 others. Yet it's also delicately, strangely distinct. This is like outsider art done by someone who is actually a brilliant technical and formal expert on everything but just can't help making music that sounds like someone who lived in a cave and has never spoken to anyone but his friend the rock, was involved in all the decision making. Gold indeed!

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