Saturday, April 26, 2008

bring on the new kid revival.

i have previously posted praise for the post-break-up project (only if it’s good.) for my next act, i will simultaneously write about a side-project and the wonder of covers. i know, you’re impressed.

provoking this outburst is my current obsession with Marc Bianchi’s xoxo Panda. you are probably more acquainted with Bianchi’s effortless spoken-style vocals in Her Space Holiday. dropping the electronics and picking up every instrument he could find, he compiled a departure album titled “The New Kid Revival.” less a bunch of songs, more a collection of stories. the optimism contained in this album would be annoying if it wasn’t so fantastically simple. the words and messages, miles from didactic, are entirely unassuming. i love when an album is an album, and this definitely qualifies. there are rounds and repetition in the lyrics which i appreciate as vocal instrumentation. even more brilliantly, is that the song titles echo one another.

tracks of mention are as follows: all of them.

“The New Kid Revival,” opens a little Voxtrot-esque, and melodies along with clapping filled out with strings and lyrically making no excuses for what the rest of the album will sound like.

a title that makes my ironic little heart laugh almost every time I read it, “The Truth Hurts, So This Should Be Painless,” begins with the melody of a music-box. it fades into a plodding bassline accompanied by some harmonic banjo on the chorus. who doesn’t like banjo… p.s. i think Bianchi may have an obsession with shallow graves, as he makes one mention of two that i have noticed on this album.

according to itunes, i’ve listened to “Sleepy Tigers,” the most. which is understandable since the song proves tambourines are back (with a lively vengeance). i’m also a fan of the the side of xylo. the lyrics are cute, in a non-vom sort of way: “oh i like you so very much, so much in fact i’m going to switch it up”

my favourite song: “My Crooked Crown” is an acoustic track with a bit of xylophone. the lyrics are in the form of a letter, written to me. at least i feel it was written for me, it’s one of those songs my soul fell for long before i heard it. it’s pretty, it tells my life story, and its signed xoxo.

“The Day in Review,” has the most hidden gems word-wise. “even the best ideas fade,” and “our books are filled with failed plots and not the endings that we want. so write out, write out your words.” i rest my case. oh, plus there’s whistling and a harmonica, what more could you ask for…

“The Year in Review,” echoes “The Day in Review,” or vice versa. i don’t think it really matters. strings fill it up, and “ if time is measured in memories don’t set your clock to misery.” words to live by.

the jury’s out on whether this is an actual side project, since Her Space Holiday have announced their upcoming fall release “xoxo, Panda and the New Kid Revival” with the tracklisting identical to xoxo Panda’s “The New Kid Revival.” Their MySpace Blog explanation does little for clarification. if you figure it out, let me know. until then, i’ll be listening to the album in ignorance of the technicalities of the artist’s chosen title.

oh, and as for the wonder of covers, xoxo Panda’s MySpace conatins a cover of Wolf Parade’s “I’ll Believe in Anything.” i really, don’t want to compare it to the original, which is also fantastic. i will say i think the cover fits perfectly with TNKR album, its just different, which is how I feel the best covers should be. it’s a happy addition to my music collection. another cover worth checking out is Howie Beck of The Strokes “Reptilia,” j’adore.

signed, xoxo panda.

The Truth Hurts So This Should Be Painless - xoxo Panda/HSH

The New Kid Revival - xoxo Panda/HSH

I'll Believe in Anything - xoxo Panda/HSH

I'll Believe in Anything - Wolf Parade


girl 3 said...

that cover is amazing!
the kid in the intro is from streetwise, an old documentary about street kids. crazy.

[ pale made ] said...

dear stranger, i loved your thoughts on my close friend marc. I have come across many words that detail themselves on about their love for him...but havent expressed such a fond and serious interest within his music in such a lovely way, in which you have.

thank you for paying attention to the important parts