Music

Luke Temple: Don't Act Like You Don't Care

Despite the title’s imperative, the one thing that’s lacking after Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care has completed its running time is a reason for the listener to care.


Luke Temple

Don't Act Like You Don't Care

Label: Western Vinyl
US Release Date: 2011-09-06
UK Release Date: 2011-08-08
Label Website
Amazon
iTunes

The cover art of Luke Temple’s haughtily titled Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care is quite peculiar. Its rather odd, almost childlike drawings give the impression that no matter how weird or sloppy his art is, the listeners are still expected to have some interest in him. The sleeve art’s scribble-heavy aesthetic, though used to make obviously perceptible shapes, suggests a loose, carefree style of making music, one that doesn’t need intricate, complex attention to detail in order to be successful. The resulting product of Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care, unfortunately, indicates otherwise. Temple may not need to make music that's extraordinarily complex, but he could have benefited here from not chilling out as much.

Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care is, while just now being released, is a product of older recordings. Initially recorded before the moderate success of Temple’s indie outfit Here We Go Magic, this record then had the working title of "The Country Record." While working titles don’t always reflect the finished product, that nickname is quite confusing given the material on this album. The closest the record gets to anything country is the slightly Cajun-tinged "Ophelia," which sounds of classic sixties folk music. The rest of the album more or less sticks to the typical indie singer-songwriter style, which puts into conflict the way the songs are ordered on the record. The first half features the most unique moments in the record’s sound, notably the barroom blues of "More than Muscle" and the jazz accented drums on "Weekend Warrior." After "Ophelia," the album stops these variations and focuses on Temple’s voice accompanied by the softly strummed acoustic guitar. Instead of showing Temple’s diversity as a songwriter, the album’s synchronization ends up being very scattershot.

What’s more, the album’s production quality sounds as if Temple didn’t do much when he resurrected this recording for its release. The appeal of the lo-fi sonic is still around, but here the album’s low production value hinders what appeal much of the music could have. The tinny background noise on "Ballad For Dick George," for instance, instead of giving the song a more authentic, stripped-down feel, is intrusive and unnecessary. The album sounds as if it is somewhere in between the demo stage and the final product; while not quite rudimentary, the album doesn’t sound fleshed out, either. Taken apart, the elements reveal that Temple is still in his wheelhouse; he's a confident singer and songwriter, and the material here sounds like he is headed toward something, even if that sound isn't quite complete.

For all the album's weaknesses, it manages to succeed in its conciseness. At nine songs clocking it at just under forty minutes, the record doesn't waste any time dragging out any ideas. Though this is good, it's just a shame that the ideas that exist within that short time frame aren't as fully developed as Temple's talent should allow. Don't Act Like You Don't Care doesn't alienate, but it doesn't quite manage to draw in people to Temple's music and make them care about it. His voice is distinct, but this album isn't.

4

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
7
Music

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

Guitarist and band leader Gary Lucas and veteran vocalist Nona Hendryx pay tribute to one of rock's originals in this interview with PopMatters.

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

Keep reading... Show less

From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

Keep reading... Show less

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less
8

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow shines on her impressive interpretation of Fontella Bass' classic track "Rescue Me".

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow pays tribute to the classic Chicago label Chess Records on her new album Playing Chess, which was produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini, and the legendary Betty Wright. Unlike many covers records, LeGrow and her team of musicians aimed to make new artistic statements with these songs as they stripped down the arrangements to feature leaner and modern interpretations. The clean and unfussy sound allows LeGrow's superb voice to have more room to roam. Meanwhile, these classic tunes take on new life when shown through LeGrow's lens.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image