MP3 The Lazy Eyes - tokyo could not be opened because tokyo could not be found
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10 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Pop Crossover, ROCK: Math Rock
You know the formula: successful artist releases an album of favorite tunes rendered in the style of an innovative producer. Bjork and Tricky, Sarah McLaughlin and the trance DJs, and, on a smaller scale, "Tom's Diner" by DNA Featuring Suzanne Vega. This is the same concept, except Steph is famous only to the East Village cognoscente and visitors to https://www.tradebit.com, who download her tune "Brown" by the hundreds but have yet to buy a single record. David is known for many things-drone guitar solos, modern classical compositions, his influence on a youthful Thurston Moore-producing not being one of them.
And yet what a masterpiece they have given us! We are used to hearing these songs in the alt rock arrangement, as she plays them with her Band of Davids at venues in the East Village. Here they are differently presented, in an array of sounds that test the limits of the synthesizer and then some: David chewing on a rice cake, Steph whacking her skull with her fist, drum loops, the whole schmear. The end product is remarkable, ten tracks of unadulterated aural pleasure.
You'll want to know the meaning of Tokyo Could Not Be Open Because Tokyo Could Not Be Found. I'm not at liberty to say, which is to say, I don't know. To me, the title suggests regality and mystery, irony and futility, Commodore Perry and empires lost, a quest for the Grail and Japanese electronica, the complexity of long titles and the simplicity of haiku. Let's leave it at that.
The St. John/First partnership began, like so many heavenmade matches, with an ad in the Voice ("Guitar lessons $20"). He gave her instruction. She played her early compositions for him (one of which, "Sweet on You," was written about David). And he believed in her, gave her encouragement. Even then, her songs had a quirky style, a unique melodic structure that showcased her preternatural vocal range. Later they decided to blend their two distinct styles together and see what happened. What happened is a musical your-chocolate-got-stuck-in-my-peanut-butter: candy for the ears.
It was David, back in those dark ages when Steph was making the transition from musical theatre vocalist to rock star, who introduced her to Joni Mitchell. The paradigmatic singer-songwriter became one of Steph's heaviest influences, as well as the namesake of her (male) cat. "Eastern Rain," the only track on this album not a St. John original, is an obscure Joni Mitchell tune, recorded by Fairport Convention the year Steph was born. This will, I think, become the definitive version of the song. The arrangement, the haunting oboe line, the ethereal feel of her voice...it is, in a word, breathtaking.
The other nine tracks represent a wide cross-section of Steph's work: "Beaver Dam," the rah-rah-sisterhood classic about a real trip to a real place in Orange County, N.Y.; "Big as the Sky," which channels the furious confident energy of early Springsteen while sounding nothing like that; the pared-down, almost lachrymose "Cab Driver," accentuating the pathos of the song instead of the humor; pop-driven "Elevator," which is, I can confirm, about sex; "Meaning," with its Far East guitar part and far out piano rhythms; "Pumpkinhead," sounding like something from a supergroup on MTV Unplugged; the purposeful cacophony of "Marsh is on the Boat"; the wild guitar and pulsing beat of "Over it"; and "Best Ones," the twelve-minute acoustical magnum opus. As it turns out, you can keep the best ones-they are here, on this compact disc, every track a cut of joy.
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