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Charming Hostess / Punch
Album:Punch Collection:General
Artist:Charming Hostess Added:09/2005
Label:Rer Megacorp 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2005-11-20 Pull Date:2006-01-22 
Week Ending:22 Jan15 Jan8 Jan18 Dec11 Dec4 Dec27 Nov
Airplays:2214332

Recent Airplay
1.Wed, 12 Mar 14:Emma.
Femme Fatale
4.Fri, 01 Dec 06:Sarah Bellum
the jewish alternative
2.Thu, 05 Aug 10:Mason Smith
Elite Syncopations
5.Fri, 27 Oct 06:Sarah Bellum
the jewish alternative
3.Thu, 29 Nov 07:Benjie
Trip Over Zero
6.Fri, 08 Sep 06:Wedge
Memory Select: Dewey Redman, RIP

Album Review
Ben Wolfson
Reviewed 2005-11-15 
Balkan feminist commie polyglot prunk, with amazing harmonies between the three female singers. Very hard to summarize; they incorporate lots of different folk musics and sing, especially in this album, thematically about gender and sexuality as often as they cover trad folk songs. Lots of odd meters. Formerly locals, too. This was their last album as a big-band, nowadays Charming Hostess is an a-capella group. Nils Frykdahl and Carla Kihlstedt are in this lineup. For me this is their weakest album (not counting Trilectic, which was released under Jewlia Eisenberg's name) (but still quite strong! Don't be discouraged w/r/t this album, be encouraged w/r/t the others); it's not as immediately head-turning as Eat was, and lacks both its more funkified tracks and the vocal showcases like “Mi Dimandas” and “Sha Shtil”, and it's not as affecting as Sarajevo Blues.

Best: 3, 4,8, 10, 11, 12. Yes, that's a lot; it's a good album.

1: Upbeat balkan/klezmery music, accusatory lyrics from the perspective of one of Lot's daughters.
2: Palestinian words and music. One of the more straightforward songs on the album.
**3: This one's kind of a jumble—wobbly bass line, dissonant vocal harmonies, and sax blurts more suited to a much happier-sounding song. It all sort of sits together, but it's also sort of off-putting—which may well be the intent. Ends -0:05
**4: Added trumpets and 'bone give the full-band sections a big-band feel. (There's even an odd hoe-down section!) The lyrics appear to concern an estranged lover addressing her ex (not unlike “Never Two Weeks” by Red Pocket, also led by Eisenberg, except much more accusatory). Rather affecting.
5: Turkish Sephardic song. Rollicking, dancy. Great singing.
6: The well-covered fake American folk song. This is a relatively straight-up cover, but the trading off between the singers is pretty effective.
7: Comes in quietly with some disparate string scrapes and bowings, and then rocks out, with accordion. Quieter verses have a throbby bassline, the lyrics are adapted from Bruno Schulz, and there's a musical saw. What's not to like?
**8: Sweet harmonies here. In fact, the whole thing is kind of sweet and innocent-sounding, if you don't listen too close. Sounds kind of like a campfire song, actually, except a lot more sophisticated. Ends -0:06.
9: Flute intro. One of the most musically and lyrically ambitious tracks; the music is at its most removed from any folk feel (I'm not going to say it's got a modern classical sound, but it's more like that than folk or rock). IMO it works; I'd recommend previewing, though, as it's hard to sum up.
**10: Band's own description is best: Albanian anti-assimilation-pro-honoring-the-old-world ballad. Whole band sings on this one, accompanying themselves with claps and footstomps.
**11**: Hungarian song with Transylvanian music. And a didgeridoo, you know, they're common in Eastern Europe. Mournful, as befits a song about eternal suffering and love.\
**12: You know you want a Child Ballad crossed with a klezmer tune, complete with clarinet solo, right? Because that's what this is. Really just great. Ought to cheer anyone up with the power of its sheer awesomeness. Ends -0:14
13: Relatively straightforward of a poem by Roxanne Meer. Good song, but nothing special.

Track Listing
1.Ms Lot 7.Street Of Tubing
2.Aish Ye Kdish 8.Two Boys
3.Heaven Sitting Down 9.Rise
4.Torso 10.Kaffe Turke
5.Esterlu 11.Szerelem
6.Long Black Veil 12.Lady Gay
 13.The Procedure And King Cobra