“Etchy Sketchy Skies” Artichoke
Guitar-based, indie pop that’s a little on the nasally, nerdy side. Storytelling style that fits well with a band that’s best known for its concept albums. (Its most recent album was 2010’s “Bees.”) Timothy Sellers is the lead singer-songwriter and the band is based in L.A.’s Highland Park. On this album, Sellers decided to skip the concept approach and simply write a collection of indie rock-pop tunes about…whatever. This led to one of the most unusual collection of song titles ever published. A lot of the songs sound like the Beatles or other bands from the 1960s. While the CD is a bit uneven and some tunes sound alike, you will certainly find at least a few things you like.
Recommended: 1, 12, 4, 8, 10, 13. No FCCs noted
1. (3:52) The Market of Farms — Song opens with a burst of sitar — then becomes an old-time rock-pop tune with lead vocals that sound like a bunch of bands out of the 1960s. ***
2. (2:27) The Ancient Flu — Up-tempo, punk-style number.
3. (2:05) Big Moon — Another throwback to the 1960s, with reverb-y vocals.
4. (5:26) How Long ‘til the Jesus Satan Reunion Tour? — Starts strummy with storytelling vocals. Clever lyrics about Jesus and Satan exchanging roles and forming a band that becomes bigger than the Beatles. Really!! ***
5. (2:45) Coffee and Pi: Daydream of a Mathematician — Up-tempo rock with Theremin.
6. (4:18) I’ve Got a Proposition for You — Similar feel to “Coffee and Pi,” only underscored by angular electric guitar.
7. (2:41) Don’t Worry about the Government — Simple song structure with surf beat and instrumentation.
8. (4:38) Etchy Sketchy Skies — Catchy, up-tempo indie rock. Sounds like Dylan at times, with a lot of words squeezed into some of the lines. ***
9. (2:12) We’re Goin’ Down the Tubes — Mid- to slow-tempo. Real Beatles feeling to this one. Brass in lead break.
10. (2:10) It’s So Easy Bein’ Me — Lighter, easily skipping pop melody. **
11. (3:09) Home to the Monzongranite Dunes — Instrumental. Big rock sound. Opens with feedback. Nice use of brass as well. Watch near false ending in the middle.
12. (4:30) Mr. and Mrs. Woobeewoo — Mid-tempo. Bouncy. Strummy. A David Byrne composition. Reminiscent of playful Kinks classics. ***
13. (3:52) Dr. Edmund Schulman and the Bristlecone Pine — Shimmering guitars and dreamy, storytelling vocals in a catchy tune. Big choruses. **
14. (5:07) 200,000 BC in L.A. — Standard rock melody — bird screeches over the last 23 seconds. Segues into last song.
15. (4:54) The Jesus and Satan Reunion Tour — Almost big band-sounding rock and roll that mixes guitar and brass well. Reprise of track 4.