|Cline, Nels / Dirty Baby|
|Bear on the Roof|
All tracks are instrumental. FCC CLEAN.|
This album is the crazed wanderings of a "rock orchestra", developing a soundtrack to a series of pop-art paintings by Ed Ruscha. It manages to combine an incredible level of musicianship with an outright refusal to do anything constructive with it. Each track takes off in a different direction from the last, and then gives up half way to wherever it was going. Overall, the album is scattered and musically incoherent, and the short track lengths make it impossible to explore its (occasionally) compelling themes.
The ensemble is lead by Nels Cline, currently the lead guitarist for Wilco, and includes guitars, banjos, the harmonica, a ukulele, violins, cellos, saxophones, trumpets, and a wide variety of percussion work and digital effects. Expect a lot of variety.
The longer tracks would work very well for some low-key backing music, but there's really not much on here worth exploring. Also, be warned that a bunch of these tracks have sudden, unexpected breaks in the middle, and/or endings that disconnect completely with the rest of the song. The only standalone track I'd recommend is #7.
1) slow, simple guitar instrumental, gets dischordant, harmonica, ethereal
2) guitars with more harmonica, slow and stately
3) waltzing guitar duet. gets a little snappier in the last minute
4) warbling electronic madness, effects everywhere, driven by bass guitar
5) heavy distortion, wailing psychedelic guitar, more effects
6) cellos and horns, ghostly guitars
7) very tight steel guitar playing. really starts going somewhere, had me hooked for a minute, but just gives up and goes home instead
8) jazzy upright bass, fast guitars and percussion work
9) another quiet ballad, sad trumpets
10) heavy distortion, death metal guitars with confused trumpet accompaniment. abruptly drops everything and turns into a marimba solo?!
11) slow, jazzy rock with another sudden transformation into a marimba solo
12) hair metal guitars and percussion for 20 seconds, and then nothing...
13) frantic, percussion heavy track
14) a cello quartet stuck in the rainforest, eventually rescued by trumpets and woodwinds. another total departure of an ending
15) jazzy trumpet bebop
16) bruce springsteen sits down to join an indian drum circle, and is eventually joined by the trumpets and cellos
17) 50 seconds of mournful violins and cellos
18) there are no words
19) intermittent cellos eventually joined by the entire ensemble for a quick finale