24 June 2005

Music Review: Iron and the Albatross

Back by popular demand, it's M. with another music
review. Take it away…

* * *

This week's music pick is Iron and the Albatross, fronted by
trumpeter/pump organist/glockenspeil madman Ara Anderson,
whose sideman credits include work with Tom Waits, Tin Hat Trio,
Jolie Holland, and others.

This is instrumental theme music for a silent movie about a kid
who goes to a carnival in 1890.

He discovers the strong-man smoking opium with the bearded
lady -- both of whom are hunched over behind the creaky,
wooden stage.

They look at him with red eyes and laugh scarily.

“Heh heh heh heh.”

Smoke drifts slowly out of the pipe that burns in the lady's
wrinkled hand.

"Do you want some?" *cough* *cough* she says hoarsly,
as the pipe is lifted in your direction.

Okay, well maybe only a couple of songs actually sound like
that. To describe all of the different songs would take forever
and seriously tax my already deeply depleted creative reservoirs.
But take it from me, all of the songs are surprising and beautiful.

Go to araanderson.com and listen to these songs from the album
Iron and the Albatross, and then email Ara and buy it.

- M.

* * *

M. lives in San Francisco. He is one half of the band,
The Speakers. He also plays guitar in Jolie Holland's
band -- touring the world and wooing hearts with his
uncomfortable stage presence and looks of pain
and doubt.

Thanks again, buddy. Keep 'em coming.