Hear The Track HereLast one out of the pile this month is another side of our old friend Thomas J, saxophonist, musical oddity and experimental artist whose specialty is often couched in the 'wtf?' mode. I first encountered him in his very enigmatic Station For Imitation phase and, to be honest, we didn't really eye to eye on that one. However, since he has branched out into other things (less electronic) I have become more and more interested in what he is up to. The Pong Bandits, The Men From San Deigo and others have all featured various facets of what Thomas does, but its the Antennaheadz we'se talking about here. I first reviewed their LoL oMG wTF!!11!! (Bingo Bongo Mix) (January 2006) and liked its original style and showed some promise.
Unfortunately, even after reviewing another three tracks throughout 2006, none of them really displayed what I particularly wanted to hear; either for a idea or musical standpoint. Sure the stuff was interesting, but it's not something designed to knock you on your ass. Still, knowing this artist, maybe that's the point. Take Garden Party for example, given everything that I have said above, what would be the least obvious musical direction for him to go in? The one direction I would never have ascribed to him is to come up with an acoustic folk tune, yet here is Garden Party which is exactly that. It's also probably a one take jobbie featuring just guitar and vocal, so its a given that the term production values holds no sway here.
My main bellyache about the track isn't that it's folk, surprisingly enough. After all, when I thought about it, it is a fairly logical step for Thomas to make. He is, like me, a native of the UK which has a fine folk tradition going back thousands of years so it's obvious that he would have encountered it in some form. I think this is probably the first time I have heard him play the guitar OR sing for that matter, and he does it well. Although the song arrangement is decidely flabby, not so much a song, as a poetic ramble, it still has some decent qualities - the sound notwithstanding. It should be understood that you should like lo-fi, lo-tech music to really get anything out of this but you may that very person. Me, I've heard better from this artist but this is a interesting sidestep nonetheless...
Thomas J, folk troubadour, who'da thunk it?