What I’ve Been Listening To

OK…I had started writing this before my inturwebs were taken from me. Here’s what I had before that dreaded day that shall live in infamy…

Ever since last Friday, I’ve been almost exclusively listening to Chris Buckridge’s Vessels and The Ne’er Do Evers Idiot Garden. In the sake of full disclosure, I should say that I went to highschool with Mr. Buckridge. I set him up with a girl who was almost, literally, the end of him. He set me up with my now ex-wife. So we are even, and those events will have no bearing on this review. Comprende?

Chris Buckridge –Vessels.. Vessels opens with the Sea-Change-Era-Beck-esque “Composure,” a meditation on pent-up anger and release.

OK…I don’t have my MP3 player on me, and I’ve listened to a bunch of other stuff since then (though last week I listened to Idiot Garden again while I worked out), so I can’t give these albums the detailed review I would have liked to give.

That said, Vessels is great. It’s just an EP, and at 5 songs, there’s no room for filler. Of the 5 songs, three of them (“Composure,” “Sunshine,” and “Into the Village (3-4 times a week”) seem to be written in a time of upheaval (and I hope that my opinion is not colored by my own knowledge of his personal life). This is especially obvious in what is probably the best song on the album, the aforementioned “Into the Village.” I wonder who this “Flimsy’ is that he sings about. If anyone out there (*coughcoughCHRIScoughMOcough*) would like to enlighten me, I’d appriciate it! “Nape,” which Chris describes as his most listener-friendly song, has a grunge-tinged surf-rock sound, and breaks up the melencholy that haunts most of the album. The final song, “No Hope in Dope,” is a catchy little jingle, though I prefered the extended live version he had on his site a few months ago.

Idiot Garden by The Ne’er Do Evers, is a different completely beast. The band switch between Punk (“Throwaway”), funk (“Thirteen”), blues (“You’ll Think of Something”), and that non-genre that is a genre, singer-songwriter (“You Want My Heart”). Though the band does switch genres, it doesn’t stop this album from feeling like, well, an album. Somewhere between the distortion and the slight, Frank Black flatness is Chris’s voice, there’s a signature style. The highlights on this one are “Throwaway,” “Hell is Other People,” “Front Row City,” which sounds like J. Mascis and Lou Reed had a bastard love-child, and the very dylanesque “BSS.”

Everyone should go to the above links and check out their music. Hey, while you’re there, buy something. Support independant music. Yadda yadda yadda.

My opinion? I loved these CDs. I would listen to them, even if I didn’t know the lead singer, and that’s probably the highest complement one can pay without being biased.


6 Responses to “What I’ve Been Listening To”

  1. Mo’s totally gonna accuse me of lying, cuz i tend to play dumb when i talk about my lyrics, but i honestly have no recollection of who Flimsy is, if flimsy is indeed anyone specific. i think it was just one of those mood enhancing words, fit well with my half assed attempt to write a David Bowie song.
    I like that you got the lou reed thing, though, in front row city, you totally busted me there. i had been listening to his New York record a lot when i wrote it, and wanted to write an “urban story” song like that. it’s about my old neighborhood in brooklyn.
    and for the record, wasn’t your set-up courtesy LH as well? so wouldn’t that mean she was almost the end of both of us? she’s my myspace friend now, by the by.
    cool, thanks for being our first press! guess who’s getting quoted!

  2. Yeah, you and LH hooked me up with the ex. It’s cool to see that she is doing better, though. I ran into her (LH, not the ex) at work (she just graduated from there, I think), and she seems to have her shit together.

    As far as the Lou Reed thing, I might not have even noticed it except for the one line you sing/speak with his cadence (is that the word for it?).

    Good job on the two albums…I’m going to work on getting ahold of Swear Jar and the other Ne’er Do Evers’ stuff.

  3. here’s what we’ll do. you email me your address (i feel like you might have already, but i’m too lazy to look for it…) and i’ll send you cds. or send me your actual email and i’ll start emailing MP3s to you. actually, i prefer that. and then you can tell everyone else that you paid for them, and how awesome it is you got my whole first two records for less than $10. cuz you can. on my myspace page. okay? no one will ever know.

    wait, is this public?

  4. yeah, he never tells me what any of the songs are about. I have to weedle it out of him, than later I find out more, when he let’s it slip…
    I really like both these albums, too. I have always been a fan. There is something about the tone that has that 90s but still friesh feel That I really relate to. It’s like if you took all the best bands from the early 90s mixed in some Dino Jr, Tragically Hip and Neil Young (among others) and boiled them down to a kind of NY gritty but sweet paste, you would have The Ne’er Do Evers.
    My favorties from Idiot garden are definately Thirteen, Front Row City, and BSS. but those are just the top of the top. I always new that You’ll Think Of Something would be a big hit.
    I’m glad you dig them!

  5. I definitely feel that 90s thing. Chris even does that little Kurt Cobain thing with his voice in “My Self is Benign”

  6. […] Chris Buckridge is one busy mofo. In the last couple years, he has toured with his band, the Ne’er Do Evers, with the band Balthrop, Alabama (recently actually traveling from New York to Alabama), he has played with several other bands, and his recorded output has been rather prolific these days. Balthrop, Alabama has released 2 albums and 3 Eps (Read my review of two of those EPs HERE and HERE. In 2005, Chris released a solo EP called Vessels, and in 2007, the Ne’er Do Evers released Idiot Garden. (You can read my reviews of those two works HERE.. […]

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