Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Record Reviews: Mason Proper and Tindersticks

The other day on my way to work I was listening to the new Mason Proper record in preparation for my review, and I started to think about the whole Freemason thing - mostly about how little I understand about the organization as a whole, and about that Simpsons episode where Homer joins "the Stonecutters" and they sing that song about how their secret organization is behind everything, including Steve Guttenberg 's stardom. Before my mind was able to drift to Police Academy, I saw a billboard that featured a younger man and an older man with the phrase, "Michigan Masons: Share the Secret." What? This supposed secret society is actively recruiting through billboards? Are they hard up for members? Did that whole shooting the guy in the face thing really cause that much of a drop in those willing to be initiated and possibly also shot in the face? The Michigan Mason's even have a web site, which I am not going to link to here, for fear that I might suddenly disappear in the night. But suffice to say it seems all innocuous and normal. That makes it way creepier to me. But what I WILL link to, is my review of the new Mason Proper album found in this week's Metro Times.

Moving on, Tindersticks have long been one of my favorite bands, and their new album The Hungry Saw is finally out here in the states. So, so good. I reviewed it for Detour. I saw them at 7th House, a venue in Pontiac that the young people most likely don't recall, many years ago and it was one of the best live shows I've ever seen. Elliott Smith opened the show - his album Either/Or had just come out and not that many people knew who he was at that point. It was impossible to guess that a couple of years later he'd be on stage with Celine Dion and Trisha Yearwood looking uncomfortable and out of place during the Oscars. Looking back that was probably a sign of the impending apocalypse... I am fairly certain another such sign was when I caught a moment of Martha Stewart's show a couple of years ago and her guest was Maya Angelou. You know, now that I think about it, I bet the Freemasons know a thing or two about both of these incidents... Damn you, Freemasons!!

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