Listen to Hibernation by Beachwood Sparks.
Listen to Theme from Mount Oread by Charley D. and Milo.
Sorry for the interruption yesterday. I'm going to end this little series by playing a song I have really high regard for from Beachwood Sparks' apparent swan song, the unbelievably psychedelic Make the Cowboy Robots Cry EP (2002). This record best captures the direction the group was heading before their untimely demise...and hopfully where they'll pick up again. These are the ambitious "dreamscapes" previously alluded to--it's all campfires, Ponce de Leon, eternal springs and good friends. The things I like best about the songs from this EP are their articulation of an interesting, spooky vision and their musical adventurousness. They remind me of some of the best stuff on Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle. In fact, these songs strike me as having the same sort of "feel" that Grizzly Bear (and Midlake) managed on their most recent records. I wonder if Grizzly Bear ever heard this EP? Well, even if they did, you can be sure they wouldn't admit it.
And, as promised, how do the Sparks match up against the elusive Charley D. and Milo, mentioned on Monday as an influence? In a word, very well. This stuff ain't so hot. Don't you just hate indie bloggers who get you all hot and bothered about some lost masterpiece that turns out to be mediocre at best? Well, at least we have the comfort of knowing that never happens on this blog! And, since there's been a recent trend of posting songs here that have a scary tendency to drop Tolkien references ("Hey guys, I bet we're the only ones who've read these books...let's blow their minds!"), take a listen to "Theme from Mount Oread". Dig this clumsy fusion of fantasy-prog and country-rock!
Photo: Animal Friends.