Tuesday, January 24, 2012

David Greenberger with Jupiter Circle “Never give up study,” David Greenberger/Mark Greenberg “Tell Me That Before,” David Greenberger/Bangalore )“How I Became Uncertain” David Greenberger/Ralph Carney “OH, PA”

(Pel Pel) We have written so much about David Greenberger’s multi-discipline “Duplex Planet” project (which is basically him presenting interviews he’s done with the elderly in retirement homes, but is not particularly basic at all) that it’s hard to find new things to say. Fortunately, by releasing a quartet of CDs of disparate, though unified, audio projects, Pel Pel made my job easier. “Never give up study” has all the elements that make the Duplex Planet formula so perfect. Blog sensibilities – “Julia & Julia” cutesiness + zine aesthetics filtered through non commercial instincts, executed with a voice that falls somewhere between resonant radio dude and Jewish nebbish, presenting  stories that become sublime due to the combination of the subjects’ confoundingly cumulative life experiences and old time vernacular. The jazziest of the batch of current CDs, this makes the best argument for Greenberger’s Ken Nordine-itude. On “Tell Me That Before” Chicago musical superhero Mark Greenberg manages to maintain idiosyncrasies and quirks while pocketing the straight up whimsy he sometimes messes around with to help Greenberger create some cuts that can be used as the perfect, unexpected garnishes on mixtapes, radio shows and ipod playlists.  On “How I Became Uncertain” it becomes certain that if Greenberger had a voice (or pretended to have a voice) like William Burroughs then maybe it would feel like he was being over-dramatic or exploitative of his subjects, but something about the two-drummer, four piece backing Greenberger brings out the sincerity in his tone. “OH, PA” sets the stories against the most interesting soundscapes that fall somewhere between futuristic apocalypse audio and nostalgic cartoon soundtracks.  This release also features some mini-plays focused on Duplex Planet all-star Fergie (not the same Fergie as in Black Eyed Peas, though she is starting to look nursing home-aged so I can see the confusion).

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