A 'canzonet' (to save you a trip to fetch the dictionary, just in case) is a light air or song: A drinking song, perhaps, or a cheery tune you whistle to yourself while walking past the graveyard. Or maybe it's that ditty your mother sang to you to fool you into thinking everything was gonna be alright when, in actuality, the monsters under your bed were indeed real -- just waiting for a better time to make their move... Just to be clear: the narrator, central character, or spirit haunting the album is not the songwriter listed within the credits. But it's someone he knows: Some geezer who grew up and came of adult mind amidst the published and extrapolated works of Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag, Mad Magazine, JohnPaulGeorge&Ringo, Jack Kerouac, John Coltrane, Jean-Paul Sartre, Vittorio De Sica, George Carlin, Kurt Weill, Thomas Pynchon, Captain Beefheart, Dante Aligheri, The Clash, Bugs Bunny and a million musicians recorded, unrecorded, celebrated and forgotten. And when a guy like that finds himself in a world of market-tested war, aggressively backward religious revivalism, un-'intelligent design,' and bait-and-switch deniability, he begins to feel, well, excommunicated. An important distinction, this notion of excommunication: he hasn't quit -- he's been asked to leave, or (if he's lucky) just to keep his thoughts to himself. Strange, because he's no threat, and of little consequence. After all, his vote is no longer courted -- there are plenty of others ranked and filed to bring about the predetermined result (and even if there aren't, the requisite numbers can now be summoned by means of clever software). His fringe ideas, or, more accurately, those he bears a standard for, are passé, because where no questions are asked, no answers are needed; where nothing but dogmatic piety is said to have morality, no inquiry into Truth need be conducted. Could be he thinks we're in the last stage of Oswald Spengler's organic civilization model, when a culture reflexively retreats into it's quasi-mythic past as it withers into violence and farce. Perhaps, but who knows? After all, the documentary about the bastard and his impenetrable theories was programmed against the American Idol finale. One must be so careful these days... Thus, them ol' Fellaheen (for our purposes: the great mass of peasants who adapt and survive from one civilization to the next without becoming part of any, thus remaining separate from the great movements of history) step aside as the locomotive of this particular history hurtles down the dark track. At some point over the horizon, the rails do indeed diverge, the wheel carriage snaps, and the engine explodes against the silhouette of What Comes Next... So, the album? It's got a good beat, and you can brood to it... Reviews: Trippy, dark, and rumbling...The Excommunicate's Canzonet will shroud you in storm clouds and blow your mind.' By Jennifer Layton, Indie-Music.com In the press kit, Fellaheen's Bruce Hanson writes that this CD has a good beat, and you can brood to it. You can also be a bit spooked and shaken by it, and if you let yourself get drawn into it and find that you can stop playing it, you can expect friends and loved ones to stop in from the real world and ask with genuine concern if everything is OK. Trippy, dark, and rumbling like a clumsily approaching lumbering monster waving a bong, The Excommunicate's Canzonet will shroud you in storm clouds and blow your mind. Lou Reed would get high to this. Tim Burton would write an animated movie to go with this soundtrack. Johnny Depp would be too spooked to lend his voice to it. And in the case of scatty tracks such as "Like Zero," Gary Numan and the Psychedelic Furs would do a cover and ponder such great images as: I wanna get myself a clock that does whatever I say When I say 'slow down' it'll crawl So that a minute's a day And I'll be able to see the things I missed When the time really flew ... The humor behind the CD title is that a canonzet is a short, lighthearted song. If you consider ominous, occasionally punk, often growled and whispered progressive rock to be lighthearted, there is way too much stress in your life. But immersing yourself in this darkly swirling (and highly intellectual and literate) music is not a bad way to channel your darker energies. Hypnotic and psychedelic, equal parts Monty Python and Captain Beefheart (with a little Frank Zappa stumbling in), this CD is a wild ride. Once the room stops spinning, I want to see where Bruce and Crew will take me next.
You May Also Like
Page 1 of