Kukuni – Dreaming Venus
The arching philosophy behind the first wave of psychedelic-rock was that the more strange sounds you threw at people, the weirder or more visionary you appeared. The arching philosophy behind prog-rock or fusion was that the more notes you threw at people, played in as rapid succession as possible, the better musician everybody was going to reckon you were.
Somewhere along the lines, modern technology allowed musicians to add more and more tracks of musical elements. Some have worked on tucking a gigantic amount of sonic arsenal into their work. Some have opted for a reversal, seemingly erasing and reversing tracks, giving music an expressionistic, cramp, otherworldly feel.
One of the artists that have embraced this strategy is Kukuni. Dreaming Venus feels like a space-age love song, but one that unlike its psych-rock predecessors is devoid of romance. It’s a song built on a steady rhythmic foundation, jazzy instrumentals, and a flanger effect that makes it sound like an airplane getting ready for take-off.
Sean Keel – Corn Palace
Becoming a pop star is a career choice. Nobody, despite the stories you may hear from time to time, doesn’t just fall into this profession. There’s a lot of tailoring and readjusting being done before a person can be seen, or heard by millions of paying customers. It’s the bordello of the entertainment world.
However, becoming a songwriter specializing in storytelling is unlikely to be a choice. If we’ve learned anything from the story of the great Townes van Zandt, it’s likely a curse just as much as a gift, a siren’s voice leading potential lawyers or diplomats away from the straight and narrow.
Sean Keel is a writer cut from the same cloth as Guy Clarke or van Zandt, which already makes his music a very rare commodity. His writing is designed to break your heart while leading you through intricate doorways back into time and into the things that hurt Keel so much that he just had to write and sing about them.