Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cavedweller-2016 pt. II & III CS (2012)

Richard Linklater's "Slackers" is one of my favorite movies. In case you live on Mars and haven't seen it, the film meanders through 24 hours in the life of Austin, Texas and in and out of the lives of a bewildering variety of characters. Events take place, but mostly it's the story of the spaces between people as opposed to the story of a traditional hero(es).

I don't mean to peg Austin/San Antonio's Cavedweller (Dirk Michener) as in any way associated with the movie, but they share an important sensibility. The songs on this LP, like Linklater's first film, meander in and out of focus in an entrancing, strangely hypnotic way. This is very quiet music, that on first listen is dead on arrival.

Listen closer, however, and you start to pick up on the subtle crests and dips in Michener's work: the lightly plucked minor notes and guitar crescendoes on "Kevin Grows Gills," the lowkey guitar buildup and gradual ebbing away in "Poison." This is psychedelic music, but not in the sense of howling, heavily distorted guitars and screaming vocalists. Rather, it's music appropriate for a variety of moods, and which warps and shifts depending the mood you're in. I was extremely depressed today at the office and it resonated just as much as it does now, at the end of the day and in a good mood. That sounds trite, but take a moment and think about the albums in your collection: most of them are one-shot, single-emotions pieces. Michener's work manages the tricky feat of responding to a number of moods, from sullen despair to blissed-out calm.

This is the first recording I've heard from Michener, but apparently he's been at it for twenty years, now, long before "lofi" became the hot buzzword for the shitbirds at Vice Magazine. He deserves your support, so you should buy the tape here. You can read the detailed, well-composed liner notes here.

No comments:

Post a Comment