Archive for “Bend Beyond

SHOCKER: Woods Beats Out Ty Segall To Take Tulip Frenzy’s Album Of The Year!

Posted in Music with tags , , , on November 23, 2012 by johnbuckley100

If you followed the internals of the polling, did not try to skew them, but had a rationalist’s belief in data, by Election Day it would have been clear for all to see: Woods’ brilliant “Bend Beyond” was shooting up like a rocket en route to taking Tulip Frenzy’s Album of The Year, even beating out the great Ty Segall, who many people believed would be a lock.

But if the phrase, “Album of The Year,” has any meaning, of course it would go to Woods.  For Bend Beyond is an album that encapsulates all the musical goodness of 2012 — a glorious mix of garage rock, Byrdsy jangling, and smart songwriting — and is one of those records we’ll still be talking about ten years hence.

Here’s what we thought when we first heard it — and we should note, we’ve played it almost daily since then:

Bend Beyond ranks in the Pantheon with Darker My Love’s Alive As You Are, John Hammond’s Southern Fried, Luna’s Penthouse, and The J. Geils Band.  You know where this is heading: yes, the declaration that Bend Beyond is a *perfect* record.  That’s right, perfect.  As we’ve commented before, perfect records are as rare as baseball pitchers’ perfect games.  (Even with that pronouncement, whether it will end up as Tulip Frenzy’s Album of the Year is not yet known, for as perfect as it may be, and it certainly is, the world has to account, and likely this year, for the greatness that is Ty Segall.  Does “World Historical” beat “perfect”?  We shall see.) [Editor’s note: And now we know.]

“Bend Beyond does something we never even considered possible, it is an expression beyond our previously far too limited imagination, for it melds the aforementioned folk-rock marriage between Neil Young and Galaxie 500 to farfisa-lubricated garage rock with ambient traces of psychedelic fireworks exploding softly on the edge of your vision.  Somehow, like a Ben’n’Jerry’s flavor combo moved to the realm of geographic mash-ups, we have achieved this brilliant union of Brooklyn with Woodstock with Topanga Canyon sliding in muddy goo right on top of it, and the tasty output, while perhaps a mite bit lacking in carnivorous gristle, is nourishing and fine.

“Go listen to “Find Them Empty” and tell me to my face that if it were slipped into a pail of nuggets taken from Lenny Kaye’s latest archaeological dig, you wouldn’t think it was the ’60s garage find o’ the year.

“Tell me — we dare ye — that if you heard “Cali In A Cup” while lying outside on an autumn sunny day, headphones on while you stared at that red leaf falling from a maple tree, you wouldn’t contemplate chucking it all to go work in some Williamsburg wine bar, dedicating your evenings to reading Richard Brautigan novels.

“Play “Is It Honest” loud from your Mustang while driving on Sunset Boulevard, and the remnants of the Paisley Underground would all march out with their hands up, their eyes blinking from behind Roger McGuinn half-shades.  ”Hey man, what is that?”

“It’s Woods’ Bend Beyond.

Like we said, a perfect album.”

And now it is Tulip Frenzy’s Album Of The Year.

Woods Levitates The Roof Off Of DC’s Red Palace

Posted in Music with tags , , , on November 3, 2012 by johnbuckley100

iPhone 5

That Ghostbusters charge of lightning surrounding the Nation’s Capitol last night had nothing to do with the election four days away; it was Woods, who came to the Red Palace on D.C.’s H Street Corridor and levitated the roof off the building.  Sure, they started with their sunshine jangling and fermented ’60s pop, but by the time they left the wind was howling in a psychedelic squall.  But as usual, we get ahead of ourselves.

Let’s start where you must when writing about Brooklyn’s finest, Jeremy Earl’s voice.  On Woods’ records, even the amazing Bend Beyond, which the entire gang at Tulip Frenzy World HQ went kinda nutso over a few weeks back, you keep waiting for Earl to play it straight, to make the transition Dean Wareham made between Galaxie 500 and Luna, when he dropped the falsetto and began singing in something closer to his own real warble.  But when you see Woods live, you realize that Jeremy Earl’s high-pitched voice is a Robert Plant-like freak of nature, an instrument so pure that were he to begin hog calling in Illinois, the Mighty Mississippi would become a solid porcine wave, as every last critter in Iowa harkened eastward.  Some singers need digital help to reach such pitch perfection, but Early barely needs a microphone to lead his kickass colleagues through their animalistic evocation of Byrds and Crazy Horses.

We were blessed with much, if not all, of Bend Beyond, and yep, it’s true that the title track live is like some exhortation.  The transformation of the band, from beginning to end, through its many linked personalities, was like listening to a playlist that begins with Neil Young’s Harvest and ends with Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine.”  Happy we were to stand near the stage as they got to At Echo Lake’s “Blood Dries Darker,” which made us think of Camper Van Beethoven — the only other band we know that can stretch from folk rock to literally playing “Astronomy Domine.”  And from there they went into a song whose name we don’t know, though we will dedicate our life’s remaining days to finding it out, because it stretched for 12, no 15, no 20 minutes of jam-band bliss, until finally things reached such a crescendo that the aforementioned roof did lift off into the night, and the lightning bolts flew, and hovering above all was the answer to the question of whether there is a God, and yes, there is, and He bears a stunning resemblance to Sun Ra in his full glittering robes, his Arkestra surrounding him as squawking angels.  And by that time we were stumbling out into the street, and our grin, the grin on our face, it was wider than the Mississippi.

Woods’ “Bend Beyond” Is A Gorgeous Psyche-Folk-Garage Melange, And A Perfect Album

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on October 25, 2012 by johnbuckley100

If the slot for shimmering alterna-folk in last year’s Tulip Frenzy Top Ten List ™ had not been taken by Kurt Vile’s Smoke Ring For My Halo, then surely Woods’ Sun and Shade woulda made the cut.  An artisanal byproduct of Platonic Brooklyn, where everything is tasty and hand-crafted and somewhat left of center, Sun and Shade was like a Galaxie 500 record produced by Neil Young, punctuated with 7-minute ambient ragas.  It was pretty great, but excellent as it was, it is still a solid step below Woods’ astonishing Bend Beyond, available now in digital music stores hiding just behind your browser window.

Bend Beyond ranks in the Pantheon with Darker My Love’s Alive As You Are, John Hammond’s Southern Fried, Luna’s Penthouse, and The J. Geils Band.  You know where this is heading: yes, the declaration that Bend Beyond is a *perfect* record.  That’s right, perfect.  As we’ve commented before, perfect records are as rare as baseball pitchers’ perfect games.  (Even with that pronouncement, whether it will end up as Tulip Frenzy’s Album of the Year is not yet known, for as perfect as it may be, and it certainly is, the world has to account, and likely this year, for the greatness that is Ty Segall.  Does “World Historical” beat “perfect”?  We shall see.)

Bend Beyond does something we never even considered possible, it is an expression beyond our previously far too limited imagination, for it melds the aforementioned folk-rock marriage between Neil Young and Galaxie 500 to farfisa-lubricated garage rock with ambient traces of psychedelic fireworks exploding softly on the edge of your vision.  Somehow, like a Ben’n’Jerry’s flavor combo moved to the realm of geographic mash-ups, we have achieved this brilliant union of Brooklyn with Woodstock with Topanga Canyon sliding in muddy goo right on top of it, and the tasty output, while perhaps a mite bit lacking in carnivorous gristle, is nourishing and fine.

Go listen to “Find Them Empty” and tell me to my face that if it were slipped into a pail of nuggets taken from Lenny Kaye’s latest archaeological dig, you wouldn’t think it was the ’60s garage find o’ the year.

Tell me — we dare ye — that if you heard “Cali In A Cup” while lying outside on an autumn sunny day, headphones on while you stared at that red leaf falling from a maple tree, you wouldn’t contemplate chucking it all to go work in some Williamsburg wine bar, dedicating your evenings to reading Richard Brautigan novels.

Play “Is It Honest” loud from your Mustang while driving on Sunset Boulevard, and the remnants of the Paisley Underground would all march out with their hands up, their eyes blinking from behind Roger McGuinn half-shades.  “Hey man, what is that?”

It’s Woods’ Bend Beyond.

Like we said, a perfect album.

UPDATE: And so we find they are playing at D.C.’s Red Palace on November 2nd.  Ho ho ho. Can’t wait.

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