Wednesday, February 22, 2006

2006, Part Five

Loose Fur - Born Again In the USA

Well, gosh darnit if Jim O'Rourke isn't awesome. And, about a week ago now, Steve Villa and I saw Jeff Tweedy, Wilco frontman, solo in concert, reaffirming to me that he is also awesome. It therefore seems entirely logical (to me) that combining the two would produce amazing results, and it has, here in their second side-project outing under the name "Loose Fur."

Producer luminary O'Rourke met Tweedy and other Loose Fur member, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, when he was called in to add "direction" to Wilco's now-classic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Much of what you hear on the final result of that weird, production-heavy album is partially a result of O'Rourke's finely tuned ear. O'Rourke himself has proved to be not only a genius in more abstract composition, but also has a sizeable cult-following through his solo pop outings. Some were a little dissapointed, then, when Loose Fur's first album in 2003 was not some sort of surpassing of both O'Rourke and Tweedy's solo ambitions, but rather was just a good record. You must remember, though, that this, in the truest sense of the word, is a side-project for both men; an excuse to have fun and bounce ideas off each other, not make the everlasting statement of their careers. Born Again In the USA is a continuation of that idea. Equal parts americana, pop, and experimentation, it just sounds really, really solid. O'Rourke has always been at his best producing organic instruments, and they are leveled and layered so well in the final mix that it's just an honor and a pleasure. An undeniably fun, great record; nothing groundbreaking, no, but certainly worth a listen, especially if you're already a fan of either Wilco or O'Rourke. It doesn't need any more ornate of a description than that.

Download "Stupid As the Sun"

(download instructions: right-click "Copy Link Location" in Firefox, or right-click "Copy Shortcut" in Internet Explorer, paste onto URL/address bar and change "hzzp" to "http", press enter, follow instructions for download. If you can't figure out how to download and listen to these files leave a comment for this entry and your Instant Messager name or e-mail address, and I will contact you. Keep in mind that if you are looking at an old entry, YouSendIt links like these expire after a given amount of time or a large amount of downloads, so the files may no longer be available. Sorry.)


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