If Mike Watt's involved, you can bet something unusual's going on, whether it's his own unique solo work, touring and playing with Nels Cline, backing up the notoriously raging Iggy Pop, forming Floored by Four (here), perhaps even trying to drag the rocky ragged Palos Verdes coastline over to Long Beach just 'cause he'd dig the contrast (okay, okay, he hasn't done that yet, but, living in San Pedro as he does, it probably won't belong before he gets it into his head). This time out, though, the guy joined up with two spacey cats, guitarist Stefano Pilia and drummer Andrea Belfi, as well as various sit-ins, for a bang-away psychedelic extravaganza that's unexpectedly highly progressive, echoing such outfits as Roedelius' old gigs, snatches of Sensation's Fix, SFF, modern noiseurs, and Long Hello as mutated by the Bonzo Dog Band while listening to Durutti Column. Maybe a little Nash the Slash at his zenith as well.
I ain't kiddin', y'all, this is VERY progressive, highly RIO in spots, pleasing as fuck for a number of unhinged reasons, and 100% the sort of thing I hope to God Watt's going to keep at (along with everything else) with these blokes—wait a minute, what's Italian for 'bloke'? If it weren't for the fact that I know he's almost as old as me, I'd swear this was a surprise gig emitted by a gaggle among newer generations hybridizing everything in sight with unnervingly dimensionalized élan and the sort of familiarity only a differentiated consciousness can endow. Music has passed the demarcation line where chops account for everything, that's without dispute, and if'n ya don't have yer mind right, Luke, you'll be left behind and have to content yourself with playing Carpenters covers on a Casio at the Pabulum Cantina.
Don't be surprised when you see the cats over at Signal to Noise waxing rhapsodic over Il Sogno del Marinaio or if you catch the band at the next BajaFest, a progrock convocation. It's manneredly anarchic, toes no one's line, and the sort of thing that SST, had it a lick of sense, would've released in a heartbeat over such LPs as Paper Bag (heyyyy, maybe it's not too late to erase those slabs and substitute……naw, forget it, too much trouble). Uncommon music from uncommonly bent heads in ersatz Florentine Renaissance mode. Expect to get a little twitchy while listening but also look for finesse in equal measure to the bewitching slop, both shaking hands and winking behind the curtain, chuckling while having a smoke and planning the next strategem.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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