Monday, September 29, 2008

Record Reviews: Ohtis and Monkey

Tiny Mix Tapes recently posted two reviews of mine - the first one being the second release from the band Ohtis. Their new album is called If This Country Had A Heart That's Where I Was Born and it is just as catchy and clever as the title suggests. I was first introduced to Ohtis thanks to Prussia who brought them up to Detroit a couple of times - first for their CD release party and then for Summer Smash. Ohtis is actually responsible for my favorite Summer Smash memory: Early afternoon on Saturday while we were still getting things ready for the day, Ohtis and Prussia rolled in as they were playing earlier sets. They started unloading and I went about checking stuff and prepping before folks started arriving. A little while later I walked out into the backyard of The CAID to find Sam Swinson of Ohtis and their touring bass player (I sadly can't remember his name) inside an empty garbage can in their underwear holding a running garden hose. I am guessing the expression on my face said, "What in the world are you doing?" as they looked at me and said all innocently, "Is this OK?" Apparently they'd been on the road for awhile and were desperate for a shower. :) I thought the whole thing was hilarious, particularly when I went in and told the rest of the folks that Ohtis was taking a group shower in a trash can in the back yard - thanks to the security cameras, we were able to back up the footage and everybody saw for themselves that I wasn't making up stories (for once).

My other review is of the new Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett project Monkey. I used to love Damon Albarn, but that was back in the 90's when Blur vs. Oasis could be counted on as the cover story for every other issue of Q and NME. For me there was never a second thought - Blur hands down! I still love Parklife and think that The Great Escape, despite its many detractors and the blatant slagging of my husband Morrissey, is a fine record. But I never really got that into Gorillaz. That said, I was pretty geeked about the idea of Mr. Albarn working on a Chinese opera related project - which is what Journey To The West is. Alas, it didn't quite live up to my expectations, but if you are willing to take me to London to see an actual production of the show, I will gladly accompany you and give it a second chance.

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