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flag US - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 13 - 11/14/97

Once there were Mighty Wurlitzers: organs creating sensation when giving sound to films in the silent movie era. Then, during the 30's, the Wurlitzer Company made a new age for the jukebox, which originally was invented in 1889. These days Wurlitzer Jukebox also is the name of a small indie-label based in England, releasing exciting music on vinyl, both from Britain and the USA. Ladies and Gentlemen: let's take a look inside Bill Clinton's basement:

coverpic Buddha On The Moon
Crèpe Paper Airplane

Wurlitzer Jukebox, UK.

Was Neil Armstrong into Buddhism? I doubt it. Nevetheless, here's Buddha On The Moon, from Houston, Texas, this time as a duo: HK - all sounds, Warren - snip, snip, paste, paste, tweak, tweak, zoom (!?). Presenting some delicious, tender music. Crèpe Paper Airplane flies high, hovering above the ground. This one reminds me a bit of Galaxie 500 - some nice drone-and-echo-guitar, a charming song, carefully backed with distinct drums and bass. Very pleasant, indeed. This is mental-care for cold, dark evenings. It's almost so that you can see the paper-plane as it passes by your window. On the b-side BOTM is still up in the air, among clouds. Glider starts out more quiet, with acoustic guitars being the basic. A bit like Nick Drake on a happier day. Then comes a short "full-band" crescendo towards the end, before the organ and a guitar is rounding off the song, together with the line:

I flew to the edge of the cloud...

Way up high. Circling. Refusing to come down. BOTM is worth cheking out if you're up to some gentle and dreamy guitar-pop of the good kind. They've released a handful of singles on different labels (Entangled, Quiddity, farràgo) and are also having an album, Stratospheric, out. Click on the cover-pic., or write: BOTM c/o farràgo records, P.O. Box 130 148, Houston, Texas 77219 USA.


coverpic The Eleventh Hour
The Team That Never Wins

Wurlitzer Jukebox, UK.

Hmm. Sounding very 80's this one. Could this be sort of a "joke", as a one-off single? I'm not sure, but I guess the quartet behind this 7" have got a slight sense of humor. Normally they are known as Number One Cup (see Moon 9 for a review of their latest album). This time it seems like they've been working overtime, as The Eleventh Hour.

And they've got hold on some tiny synths from Casio, Korg and Roland. Weeeeell, I think I find this a bit to nerdish-on-purpose. They've been in their happysad mood when writing The Team That Never Wins, but, as I said, I can't get rid of this idea that they're really just kidding. A fight-song for losers, eh? Listen; you can't win every time, but you can't lose all the time either. I find the flip-side (or bottom-side) better. Bulletproof has even more quirky-sounding synths, but are a bit more bouncy and "up" than the top-side. Reminding me slightly of the quieter moments New Order had, ca. Power, Corruption and Lies.

"I am bulletproof today!" Yes, life can be tough. But, I must say: I prefer a Cup.


coverpic Transparent Thing
Car

Wurlitzer Jukebox, UK.

From Portland, Oregon comes Transparent Thing, another duo: Megan Pickerel, with the most fragile and beautiful voice I've heard for a while, and Michael Keating. From the cover you don't get much information about who's playing what. The instrumentation is rather sparse. Car is sort of a nursery rhyme song, with Megan's voice accompanied by an organ (played by Michael?) of an old type. At least the sound is. But, yet again, the second side is the best. Step Through Your Skin really is transparent. So calm and gentle you hardly dare to breathe. Everything is built around the glass-voice of Megan, contrasted with the dark backing vocals by Michael, with some moody guitars, one nicely fuzzy the other slightly slidy, giving the song the right colour and fundament. Magic and spooky, but most of all beautiful. A shining star on the gloomy sky.

I really hope Transparent Thing has some more recordings out, sooner or later. Sooner, I prefer! At least they've got a song called Gasoline Rainbow on a split 7" with Jessamine on Darla records, plus another 7" (Quitter/Ada) released earlier this year (?) on WJ. That's all I know. I look forward to hear them again. (To write and say hello: Transparent Thing, P.O. Box 42581, Portland, OR 97242, USA)

Wurlitzer Jukebox, 50 Queensway, Hurley, Atherstone, Warks CV9 2ND, UK

Copyright © 1997 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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