Thursday, December 20, 2007

The kid comes around

I heard Kid Dakota years ago. They sent in a press kit and demo to a label I worked at that dropped a lotta names (in a way that makes you think, my, they are trying hard), and a demo of some songs that were, well, good, but nothing that would make you want to take them home, dub, or listen to in shipping while working all day.

My neighbor Dan lent me their follow-up CD The West Is The Future well over a year ago. It's a perfect record. It's recorded well. It says something. The varied vocals and lyrics both work. It comes in a gorgeous package. There's great flow song to song. There's incredible musicianship -- the drumming itself is beyond human. The sounds of the instruments and the sounds in the background cast settings they're so perfect. I think I'd quit my day job to be in an outfit this good.

The fellah that sings could have done an acoustic bit with these numbers. The lyrics hold up on themselves, and the subject matter, or perhaps locale -- South Dakota and Minnesota -- kinda lends itself to acoustic music. But fleshed out in this magical way, the songs are so much better. And that's quite an achievement.

The lyrics have a tone as consistent as a literary work would, a collection of related short stories, perhaps by someone like Sherwood Anderson.

duck huntin', ice fishin', Paul Bunyan, pilgrim, the thought of ten thousand lakes, at the Prairie Bowl, winterkill, be a better man, high on the horizon, the west is a promise, they're blood-related, drums in the distance, and there's unrest, and now the minister has come, tumbleweed at breakneck speed, this here county, in spite of the airplanes, bless you my beauty, the west is an old lie, bless you my little one, howdy there, pilgrim.

I've had this CD in my life since 2004. It's one to own, to cherish. It's held up as high art. I finally found a copy in Chicago last weekend. I forgot how much I liked the art ("by Will Schaff" it says). It's one to reflect on, because it's saying something. It's one to take apart musically, because this drummer Christopher McGuire, is downright incredible and original in a way that you know that mentally he has to be ordered unlike most humans, but has found a way to use that to his advantage, because the drumming seems inhuman, beyond human, yet at the very same time not too too showy.

My favorite three tracks are:

Pine Ridge
Atomic Pilgrim


The Swan said...

Arum turned me onto this a while back, and yes indeed, it is a perfect record. I love it.

SMSorrow said...

Will Schaff is definitely a real person, though I haven't seen him in ages and I barely knew him to start with...