That kid that informed this band that he/she would “take (your live show) as the one hour of the day I didn’t want to kill myself” just goes to show how much misery loves omnipresent yowling vocals and accompanying accordions—and all of this on an album completely bereft of choruses. Vanity Fair isn’t too much of a jolly rainbow on a sunshine-y day, and those of us who don’t want to kill ourselves might by the time we get to the end of these tracks. But aside from the vocals being akin to a dying cat, the inventiveness of arrangements (they depict their sound as Southern Blues-rooted, of jazz ensemble methods, spiritual, and romantic) has the album wandering vagrant and genre-less, which can only mean that they are onto something. If you clench your teeth hard enough you just may be able to make it through 22 minutes of J. Christian King’s sobbing poetics, and you’ll at least have heard something…original. Check out “The Ribbon Moves”, at least.
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article