Monday, January 10, 2005

When My Blue Moon Turns Red Again

I've posted about the Bassholes before, but I figured it was time to revisit given some recent developments. Mainly, the impending release of a new Bassholes LP, followed by a recent post discussion over at Agony Shorthand on the recent release of a Bassholes singles compilation (Can I get an amen?!??) Fans of bluesy lofi roots music have reason to rejoice with a new Bassholes album. It's been over 6 years since their last full on effort, the sprawling 2xLP When My Blue Moon Turns Red Again.

It will be tough to top When..., as for many it is the band's true masterpiece (some will understandably argue Blue Roots). A solid 21 song effort that is consistently top notch with none of the experimental sounds that filled out previous albums (Deaf Mix, Long Way Blues). In comparison to earlier efforts the sound on this one is remarkably clean, but not in a way that sterilizes the material. It does the opposite, providing depth and power to the new songs and bringing the re-recorded versions of past Basshole classics ("Nakema", "Judge Harsh Blues") to life with the fidelity they deserved. A couple of my favorites:

Bassholes - Microscope Feeling.mp3
One of the best album openers that I can recall. This one hits you right away with a blast of wailing harp that knocks you out.

Bassholes - I Saw Beauty.mp3
A strong, muscular beat from Bim Thomas drives this one. A dark, menacing undercurrent runs throughout, but that's true of so many Howland songs

Bassholes - Virginia Valley Blues.mp3
A mournful tale of things gone wrong in a Southern town. A shuffling beat with a thick and sticky guitar sound. The buried organ gives this one a funereal feel. My favorite off of this album.

* Froogle listings for When My Blue Moon Turns Red Again
* Some tunes from Dead Canary's Mp3 page
* Bassholes info at Grunnenrocks
* A new fan page for the band
* A description of Don Howland's 2002 solo LP The Land Beyond the Mountains (which I've been meaning to pick up)