August 28, 2003


Ken Layne's musical magic has arrived. I found it amongst the other mail yesterday afternoon, along with obviously fraudulent (and, as it turns out, dangerously flammable) demands from “telephone companies” and “electricity suppliers” and “lawyers”. The CD is excellent, and asks for no money. Here’s a track-by-track review:

1. The Apartment Manager

Hooky psychedelia draped over a beautiful, coasting keyboard line. “Should've listened to the apartment manager,” advises Ken. Words to live by.

2. She Thinks She’s Me

Extreem Country Honk-ish Rolling Stones with Whalen/Welch harmonies (“door, door, door, door!”) and the purest-of-pure Layne lyrics: “My God, I’m married to a freak.”

3. Come With Me

A child molester’s entreaty to join the circus. I think. Perfect scary clown music; whatever this collection lacks in technical prowess, it cannot be faulted -- as James Dickie once said of his poetry -- for originality of viewpoint.

4. Springtime in Budapest

Bleedingly pretty song of loneliness. And whores.

5. Like a Train

Features wonderful Kiko-era Los Lobos complexy drumming activity. There’s probably a word for this, but what do I know about music? Also lots of Exile.

6. The Monkey Cup

Layne and I once fought about this tune because it bears evidence of Nick Cave’s carcinogenic influence. I think I suggested it should be released in Australia as The Milo Cup, which Layne didn’t appreciate (or understand), leading to brief violence.

7. Worried

The single. Played it five times straight.

8. Another Sunday

This will evoke for sensitive people their own intense private regrets and amplify them terribly. Not being one of those people, I happily sang along like a retarded Ween brother.

9. Balloon Town

Layne loves the Big Echo. Who doesn’t? Could’ve been recorded in Sun Studios, assuming Sam Phillips was out buying amphetamines for Johnny Cash and forgot to lock the door, otherwise if he'd been around he would’ve killed lyrics like “cutest little two-headed freak”.

Six tracks to go! Just buy it now. Concluding reviews later. 10/10.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 28, 2003 04:59 AM

go out and buy "welcome interstate managers" by fountains of wayne

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at August 28, 2003 at 05:28 AM

Good review. It's a great CD, but I haven't digested it well enough to write about it yet.

And leave Nick Cave alone! The man's a genius. If you lived anywhere near my house I would have to prop your ears open with toothpicks and make you listen to And No More Shall We Part until you caved (pun intended).

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 28, 2003 at 07:46 AM

I have to shudder at the name drop of "Ween". My all time favorite band. Hideously forgotten in America. Rumor has it that they're more well known in the land down under than here, which proves Australians are bizarre folks.

Posted by: Matt from Vegas at August 29, 2003 at 06:02 AM