MP3 koozito - midnight movie stills, volume one
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16 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Americana, FOLK: Folk Blues
Koozito is San Francisco based artist Craig Koozer and friends. Currently Koozito is performing around San Francisco as a stripped down guitar/drum duo, but this album brags a full compliment of interesting sounds and textures from Upright Bass to pedal steel guitar to bamboo chimes to some kind of crazy bubbling melodic distortion thing that I'm not sure how they did it (#10 - autopilot).
As the name of this album implies, Koozer weaves a variety of dissimilar moods and songwriting styles into a connected experience -- like flipping through channels on a TV midnight movie binge, viewing an afternoon short film festival, or browsing a compilation of short stories. One gets the sense that each silence and environmental sound is as considered as any lyric, rhythmic turnaround or chord change. Some songs have lyrics, some don't. The lyrics that are there are minimal and concise.
This is a well-recorded album, and is really best listened to with a good pair of headphones. I have to warn you, it took me quite a while to get through, clocking in at approximately 76 minutes of music, and some songs are definitely easier listens than others. While it seems that the song order is important to Koozer in communicating his message, segregating the sugar from the salt was clearly not one of his goals. The song order does, however, pull you through the listening experience and give you breaks like a good white-water rafting trip. Now that I have gotten more familiar with the material I really enjoy listening through the whole album end to end.
After many listens I'm still regularly hearing interesting new things, and randomly find myself humming some melodic or lyrical hooks unexpectedly. For the strongest hooks listen to #1 - his radio song (pop with undertow), #5 - halos (sensitive guitar/drum duo), #7 - st. annie (driving barn-burner), BUT -- My favorite in this category is #9 - hindsight. Koozer's chorus is "get it right, get it right this time". He repeats this as the theme repeats, idling, then starting the theme again, each time with an additional melodic thread, as if the song structure is having the same experience that the lyrics are outlining. Trying over and over to get it right.
Another highlight for me was the dark instrumental that includes sampled frogs or locusts (I'm not sure which) over the entire song, #8 - the second plague. It ends somehow vaguely hopeful after a largely menacing journey. This more than any of the others really seems like it could be a snippet of an interesting movie sound track.
The artwork is clean and very eye-catching. It's all photography, and I noticed from the liner notes that some of the photos at least were taken by Koozer himself. The images feel linked to Koozer's "movie still" universe, but not in a literal way that I can see. More like being somewhere outside of time, as an invisible observer that is incapable of acting on what they see.
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