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Free Associations

Headless Household

Label: Household Ink Records
Released: 1999
Views: 328

Tracks

Tiddly Wink; My Baby Left Brain; Requiem for a Vacant Lot; The Eiffel Tower Made Easy; Laconics 1 (Mancheadlessini); Honey, I'm Home; Green Swipe Pattern; The Real of the Lake; Surf Punctuation; Angry Poodle; Man (with) Hat (and) Tan; Sullen Gypsum; fragMentor.

Personnel

Album Description

The center has held, more or less, over the past 15 years. Things have changed/stayed the same. Politicians have sinned, theologians have sighed, and the price of potatoes has oscillated. And the combo known as Headless Household still doesn’t know what to make of itself. Such is the socio-musical backdrop against which the band’s fourth feature-length album, Free Associations, has come into being. As the album title implies, the group relies on the kindness of outside associates to freely contribute, instrumentally and vocally. A running theme is the associative imperative: musicians often engage in dogpile dialogues, i.e. talking at the same time, in the interest of a richer musical experience. As usual, style is an elusive, additive thing, ushering in C&W, blues, free jazz, brooding ballads, art rockishness, cabaret, conceptual trickery, broken CD players, and other ideas turned into sounds. Press clips: "...The group's third CD release is full of angular lines, tricky meters and 'difficult' music that gives way to moments of raw, irreverent stretching ("Tiddly Wink"), modal jams ("Green Swipe Pattern") and pure improvisational cacophony ("Surf Punctuation"). This impossibly eclectic mix suggests a strange meeting of Captain Beefheart, Ernest Tubb, post-comeback Miles Davis, the Band, Ornette Coleman, Carla Bley and Edith Piaf, with touches of Sonny Sharrock, John Cage, Bill Frisell and the Art Ensemble of Chicago thrown in. Music this wildly diverse can never be properly marketed in this age of specialization, but that doesn't make it any less extraordinary. **** (four stars) --Bill Milkowski, Tower Pulse magazine, Oct. 1999 "Another scintillating release from this Santa Barbara combo, featuring a solid jazz foundation with avant-garde underpinnings. This deft combination produces a characteristically unique album that will please a wide audience with its variety and skill. At one moment, the Household sounds something like a magnificently orchestrated big band ("My Baby Left Brain") and with one quick nod of the head, an anarchical deconstruction of all musical elements occurs ("Laconics 1"), flinging the band into the corners of Knitting Factory experimentalism. And just when you think you've nailed the band into a stylistic pigeonhole, Bill Flores whips out the heavy duty steel pedal gee-tar and the Household goes 100% country, duet-style, with "Honey, I'm Home." ... The monstrous musicianship on this CD could squeeze your feeble brain like a zit, but instead, the group chooses not to will its awesome power upon you. Rather, they befuddle listeners with wry wit, harrowing humour and refreshing vivacity, creating a release that will certainly cure you of the overexposed rock ‘n’ roll blues." --Andrew Magilow, Splendid e-zine, 7-13-99


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Album uploaded by Josef Woodard

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