“Time Without Measure” The Chairman Dances
Intelligent, accomplished indie rock from little-known Philadelphia six-piece band. The album features songs named for ten prominent activists—from Fannie Lou Hamer (a black civil rights leader) to César Chávez and Jimmy Carter. But these aren’t dreary protest songs. They’re melodic, well-arranged compositions that are musical and catchy. RIYL: The Decemberists, Belle & Sebastian, Dan Bejar/Destroyer, or the Mountain Goats
Recommended: 1, 2, 3, 10, 5. FCC on Track 8.
1. (2:33) Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin – Up-tempo. Plucked bass and guitar. Intricate drum patterns. Jangly guitar. Male lead vocals with female counterpoint. ****
2. (2:36) Augustine – Fuzz guitar. Mellotron wall-of-sound. Driving beat. Big backing vocals. ****
3. (2:16) Fannie Lou Hamer – Good-time road trip! Hammond organ. Reverbed guitar. Handclaps. Fun! ****
4. (3:00) Therese – Big sweeping synth strings. Bell-like guitar. Yearning vocals.
5. (4:37) Jimmy Carter – Languid pace. Cascading layers of music. Rich tenor vocals, with female echoes. ***
6. (3:11) César Chávez — Complex, march-like stop ‘n’ go rhythm. Guitar stingers.
7. (2:58) Kitty Ferguson – Strummed electric guitar. Synth effects. Mountain Goat-sounding vocals. Builds to power pop-rock with big drums and more effects. Chicago horns in lead break.
8. (4:25) Catonsville 9 (Thomas and Marjorie) – Storytelling vocals. Big jangling guitars in a swirling soundscape. FCC: “bullshit.”
9. (3:26) Peter Gomes and Nancy Koehn – Begins as a peaceful ballad. Meandering, fingerpicked guitar. Builds in the middle. Ends softly.
10. (3:31) Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Glistening synths and persistent guitar. Epic closing anthem. Very Destroyer-sounding. ***