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Recent Faves from the WFMU Record Library
March 2003

Reviewed by Music/Program Director Brian Turner

GLASS CANDY / Love Love Love (Troubleman Unlimited)
Portland, OR's Glass Candy have ditched the "and the Shattered Theater" part of their monicker and done some overhaul on their line-up as well, with a new bassist and drummer (while Johnny Jewel switches to guitar from bass), clocking in at 25 minutes for this their first album proper after a pile of EPs (and with many of the songs reprised from those EPs in new studio versions). For the uninitiated, the band is fronted by a totally yowling and stylish frontwoman named Ida No (who's been referred to more than once as a glam/goth Debbie Harry for today; as if you hadn't heard that said about others enough, I'm totally down with Ms. No as superstar potential) with a sound of minimal, Suicide-ish throb with heavy bass and splashes of classic-rock riffery and death disco. Despite some added studio tricks (this record sounds a lot less lo-fi than the EPs and 7"s) the cool minimal vibe of the band is still well intact, well complemented by No's pipes, and sounding huge. Glass Candy deserves the same press hype as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for sure.

PASQUALE CANGIANO / Solo Piano 4 Dummies (Black Rhombus)
ERIK GRISWOLD / More Than My Old Piano (Clocked Out Productions)
So this guy Pasquale from Brooklyn, aka Flex Unger, did a Listener Hour here on WFMU and was an enthusiastic, fun n goofy kinda fellow. He's kept me in his loop of activity for the last couple years, and I'd hear all kinds of things like he was obsessed with Sofia Coppola and doing a movie about her, he was DJing John Allen's wedding somwhere in a field upstate, he was playing with Roy Campbell. I didn't know Flex was a jazz musician, so I when this CD of his improv piano appeared, I was intrigued. Putting it on, I listened to some stumbly plinkety-plonk and wondered what the hell this dude was up to. Then I read the liner notes and roared. Apparently our man Flex/Pasquale was taking lessons with a jazzbo bass teacher, and was quite suspect of the teacher's pronouncements on jazz theory, structure, improvisation etc. So, Flex recorded himself "playing" "improvised" piano, slipped it in a car tape deck riding with his teacher and told him it was a live Cecil Taylor record, and would the teacher explain what was going on. Needless to say, the teacher expounded, and then got busted when Flex explained that it was indeed not Cecil at all. Oddly enough, by track 3, I too am really into this record, it relaxes me and my brain starts to detect the patterns of his cat-walkin'-on-keys style. I say: Tonic, book our friend.
As michievous though a bit more performance-experienced is Erik Griswold, a pianist from Queensland, Australia, who has been releasing excellent music both solo and with the Clocked Out Duo. Incorporating post-bebop, Fluxus, visual shenanigans, and deflated takes on electroacoustic music, performances have been legendary down under, and unfortunately the music hasn't been too available up here. Erik's latest offerings have been truly astounding; dabbling in balloon music, Chinese traditional pop, improvisations of toy instruments, and more notably on his latest solo disc, lots of unusual applications of prepared piano. This includes takes on Stevie Wonder and Al Green, plus some other adventurous Brazilian and Cuban covers. Unlike some avant-artists that apply gadgets and gimmicks to standards, Erik/Clocked Out material is blanketed in a vibe all its own and is worth your visit to its little universe (

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