Two much respected institutions of Athens, Georgia indie music teamed up this year to put out a pretty great album. Vic Chesnutt
and Elf Power
released Dark Developments
through Orange Twin Records. On February 2nd
, My Old Kentucky Blog and our friends at Standard Recording Co. bring them to Indianapolis for only $6.
Vic Chesnutt + Elf Power - And How
Vic Chesnutt + Elf Power - Teddy Bear
Vic Chesnutt + Elf Power - Little F*cker
Read Pitchfork's review
of Dark Developments
. Hear more at Vic Chesnutt's MySpace
and Elf Power's MySpace
Buy your tickets now!
Locals Only Art & Music Pub
Phone : 317-255-4013
2449 E 56th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46220
No one under 21 years old will be admitted. Locals Only Art & Music Pub is a smoking venue, full service bar and pub.
Read about the collaboration AFTER THE JUMP...
A tuneful collision of Athens institutions finds fruition this fall when Orange Twin releases Vic Chesnutt's collaboration with Elephant 6 originals Elf Power, Dark Developments.
As intriguing as this combination may seem for hardcore fans of either act, the final sonic results reveal a daunting sum much greater than even the involvement of such esteemed parts would imply. The Elves' lived-in dexterity as a live band goads Vic's vocal delivery to a menacing new muscularity, imbuing this batch of songs with a sinister vibe not dissmilar to John Cale's black classic "Fear," the harsh, articulate sleaze of Lou Reed's "Street Hassle" or the defeated lowkey soul-music of Nick Lowe's last few records. As useful as these benchmark-records are in identifying Dark Developments' own unique spirit, this record truly stands on its own as a brilliant statement, a classic addition to Athens' legendary pantheon, and, most importantly, as an organic meeting of two separately-evolved and vital musical entities that never feels forced, flashy or false. This is an important album endemic of a natural partnership, and a great way to spend an afternoon.
Vic Chesnutt's songwriting retains its trademark literary bent, as a tune like "Stop The Horse," or the withered gallows-stroll of "The Mad Passion of The Stoic" flash the narrative weight, sturdy construction and lexical mystery of a longlost Raymond Carver story. And he can still woo you with the odd, beautiful chord-change, the compelling melody and the strange sonic turn in the road: opener "Mystery" moves from a desperately wordless lullaby into a torchy, fragile folk-waltz and back again in about three minutes time, all the while supporting an intuitive rumination on loss and the passage of time. There's a reggae stutter buried in the bridges and verses of "Teddy Bear," an oddball keyboard vamp suturing them all together, and a chorus of strange beheaded whispers orbitting just outside the elemental and poignant refrain: "He ain't never comin' back." Again, this all transpires within the pop-sanctioned three-minute borderline, and the song stands as a totem for just how action-packed this record is on all levels.
Recorded over the course of a winter by Vic and Derek Almstead in Chesnutt's own attic studio, Dark Developments revels in the intimate, home-recorded atomosphere you'd expect from an Athenian union like this. And Elf Power sounds characteristically powerful in this setting: there's the crack rhythm section of Almstead and Josh Lott (making his final appearance as an Elf) to anchor the affair, the subtle and tremulous interplay of guitarists Andrew Reiger and Jimmy Hughes, and the esoteric whimsy supplied by Laura Carter's improvisational Moog and accordian. Indeed, the band's famously-honed instincts and dayglo pop-smarts provide the contradictory musical notions that never allow the album to sway too far in one bleak direction or another: it's that friction extant between Chesnutt's shadowy worldview and the inventive bounce and bray of Elf Power's euphonous intraband chemistry that buoys Dark Developments, provides its freshness, and makes for rewarding repeated listening.
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