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Issue #36 November 2001

An Interview with Danny Marcus
In The Heart of New York City
(Click Here)

Sam Bisbee
Nate Ashley

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Down With the Furies

Vital Cog Records
11 song CD

A band with two female vocalists? That's not unusual, but when one of those females is the drummer then it's safe to say the situation is a little unique. The dual vox of bassist Jen Stavely and drummer Teri Morris provides the strong "grrrl" foundation for this cacophonous little trio, even though the powerhouse guitar work is provided by a male in the form of one Joel Boultinghouse.

The key to Tizzy is dissonance. They specialize in a fuzzy and muddy guitar/bass/drums mix that bounces along in a happy yet haphazard pop fashion. Stavely and Morris blend their voices in blissful harmony, juxtaposing their sweet sounds against the noisy background with perfection. I have to say my favorite tune (mainly because I can relate to the 80s subject matter) is The Day Duran Duran Finally Came To Town, a messy little song which ironically does not belie the slightest shred of influence from the clean and neat boys of double Duran.

Tizzy's teen angst is conveyed in a most optimistic fashion, and perhaps that is why they seem to get under the skin so quickly.

MISH MASH Mandate: Sing Blue Silver

Vital Cog Website

Sam Bisbee

Terrible Records
14 song CD

Quirky and offbeat while encased in a thin and fragile pop shell, Sam Bisbee's Vehicle is a beautiful little discovery. His songs are strange enough to grab your attention, yet infectious enough to keep you coming back for more. They twist and turn with delight, offering new surprises at every listen.

Bisbee offers up a variety of musical choices, from the no-nonsense sounds of Miracle Car to the scratchy drum-n-bass beats of Shake Me, which gives way to the quirky alt-country of Cubicle Love Song and the fuzzy indie-rock guitars of Ride 'Em Mower. Lyrically, he sets up punch after punch with knockout lines like "You corner like a miracle car / Everywhere I look you are" and "I want to touch you in your cubicle...I know it's not your home / but since we never get to see our homes anymore let's not waste / any more time I want to take you on a date to the copy room..."

At times, the disc reminds me of Beck with it's lo-fi leanings and left-field ramblings. Now that I think about it, this is like a brilliant lo-fi album that just happens to have been recorded with great production values. And, like a classic homemade tape, this is a release to be enjoyed and treasured.

MISH MASH Mandate: Faux Lo-Fi Delight

Terrible Records Website

Nate Ashley
Darling I'm Your Devil

Left-Handed Label
15 song CD

Living up to his title, Nate Ashley devilishly toys with his listeners, brewing up songs which sound sneaky and downright mischievous. He realizes this effect with his breathless vocal delivery set up against a "demonically" jazzy background. Basically, he sounds like he's up to no good, and the result is a perfectly dangerous edge that's sure to drive the ladies crazy.

The opening track, Blue As My Eye sets the tone with its otherworldly beats and the Rocky Horror-styled vocals, presented with a cheeky sigh. The quiet and disturbing tones of No Other Love merge smoothly into the darkness of Undercurrents, which has a primitive tribal feel (like a subdued Sympathy For the Devil). Urban grit and grime shows up in the nasty jazz grooves of Sirens, which sounds like Sade gone over to the Dark Side.

And, much like the Devil himself, Ashley's tempting music suckers you in before you know it. Don't say I didn't warn you.

MISH MASH Mandate: Running With the Devil

Left-Handed Label Website


4 Song CD

This is a cool little DIY project that sounds like it was recorded in the bathroom, yet more often than not, the lo-fi production tends to add to its endearing qualities. Loaded with smooth funky beats and Prince-influenced falsetto vocals, Snowboot examines a markedly 80s R&B territory.

Sunday Mournin begins the disc with an acid jazz flavored sound replete with a beatnik vocal delivery. It gets somewhat repetitious, but the effect burns the song into your brain. Snowboot moves into more solid Prince territory with Radio Baby, which drives along solidly with a staccato guitar riff. The verse then drifts into an offbeat rhythm in the chorus which works in spite of itself, and in turn makes this the best tune on the demo. The Record Will Spin slows everything down a notch, wandering along in a soulful strut without actually getting anywhere in particular.

The overall sound tends to get tedious by the end, yet that probably has more to do with the lo-fi setting than the actual songwriting. Put Snowboot in a real studio and who knows where this stuff might end up.

MISH MASH Mandate: Diamonds & Pearls

Snowboot Website

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