Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I've mentioned the World/Inferno Friendship Society before, but don't think I've blogged a track. So, here goes. The WIFS are a band from Brooklyn NY, by way of NJ, that are emphatically NOT part of the "hot new Brooklyn sound." Yes, they are rockers. Yes, you can dance to it. But lump them in with the hipster bands and yer likely to have a whole mob of angry WIFS fans calling foul. Nominally, they're a Ska band, mixing in healthy doeses of cabaret theatrics - weimar chords and all, goth sensibilities, and a fair dose of Klezmer riffs. It's great stuff.

These two tracks are in sequence from a live album - listen in order to have the second song introduced! (if you actually care about such things)
The World/Inferno Friendship Society - Peter Lorre (Live @ NorthSix, 10/31/02) Let's open things up with a straight ahead, stomping rocker - not much to say about this track, except that it's a hell of a lot of fun.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society - Younger Man (Live @ NorthSix, 10/31/02) There's something jarring about the idea of a Ska ballad. It seems fundamentally wrong on so many levels, for what is, in essence, happy dance music, to try it's hand at tenderness, at restraint, at emotion. But the WIFS, intent on ignoring instinct, or perhaps going on it, have gone and written one anyway. And for what it is, it's beautiful. The story of a man looking back, a decade on from a relationship with an older woman, recalling it. it's a tale of lost innocence, of resignation, wondering what could have been, and yet, it's also utterly spiteful, a song full of that unique sort of venom that having mellowed, only becomes entrenched. It's bittersweet, and all the more powerful for the decade of distance in it's voice.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society - Pumpkin Time (Live @ NorthSix, 10/31/02) An encore that careens wildly between 50's rocker, riotous ska, bizarre carnival dirge, and a healthy dose of Halloween Preachin', this encore captures better than any other single track from the WIFS's live album just how insane and schizophrenic a band they are. And how can you NOT love a song that demands that you declare your belief in the Great Pumpkin?

In other news, I'm thinking about switching over to one of Bloggers shiny new templates. Whadaya think?

And I'm still sick, but in my fever induced semi hallucinatory state (I spent 20 minutes this morning trying to unlock my apartment with my car keys...), I was struck by an idea, unsure if it's ever been done. We've seen the Concept Album born, killed, killed again, butchered, roasted, spat upon, and eventually revived in some corners (by the likes of the Streets, The Magnetic Fields, etc.) But have we ever seen something along the lines of a concept compilation? Drawing from musically diverse sources to patch together a story? Is it a project worth undertaking over the course of a week or two?

All I know right now is how it ends.


At 5/11/2004 09:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: concept compilations
Dorothy Gambrell( of cat and girl fame)'s mixtape biography on Marcel Duchamp:
Not many people do these things i guess, and i have never seen any put out by a record label.

At 5/12/2004 11:51:00 AM, Blogger Arnold said...

You should change the template. This one reminds me of poverty.

At 5/12/2004 01:35:00 PM, Blogger El said...

mmm, ska :O

Go ahead and change templates X3 If only I could figure out how to get all the new freebies Blogger has (comments, etc) to work... -_-

Hope you feel better soon!

At 5/12/2004 08:31:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

There are plenty of really good ska ballads, particularly from Hepcat, the Slackers, and even the Pietasters. Back in the day, Moon Ska even put out a compilation called "Songs in the Key of Love" that actually had some decent songs on it (notably Chris Murray's Thrill me Up).

Poor ska. It's so fucking dead. What happened?

At 5/13/2004 09:21:00 AM, Blogger emg said...

Definitely switch to a new template. There's a marked disconnect between the wonderful content and the blah visual appeal. Find a template that's in-yer-face.

At 5/13/2004 10:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The layout is fine, a different colour would be nice though.

At 5/15/2004 07:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

didn't like the Streets new concept one, "A Grand Don't Come For Free". Way less of the cheeky humor I liked in the first one, and more of the whiny, my-girlfriend-blah-blah ballady stuff. The song with Chris Martin is about as hack as you can get.

At 6/29/2004 04:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call World/Inferno Friendship Society ska at all..they are the punk rock cabaret. Don't let the horns fool you, they are not ska. The lyrics in many of the songs are quite literate and wary..not just angry and apolitical.

At 10/02/2005 01:19:00 AM, Blogger tweedledeetweedledum said...

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