Tag Archives: Zinkline

1126-1128

1 Feb

Before I go diving back into the world of Spintunes, I want to talk about something very exciting. It’s February which means it’s time for the February Album Writing Month. Every year, I team up with the members of the Berkeley Social Scene (as Zinkline) to make a new album. This year is no different and I have already begun work on a very cool concept.

“But Niv, what about last year’s FAWM?”

I’m glad you asked. Yesterday was the official release of “Suntory Time” by Zinkline. I’m very proud of this album. It’s based on the works of Bill Murray and has a bunch of great songs on it. Please check it out at http://berkeleysocialscene.bandcamp.com . Here’s a taste:

Song 1126: “This Dirty Cage” by Zinkline

Now onto the Spintunes. Brian Gray is up first. He went in a different direction with the idea of the childhood nightmare. he went with a nightmare of being grown up and working at an office. That misses the mark for me. I appreciate a song with a guitar solo and it’s a pretty decent composition but I feel like he took a wrong turn on the nightmare challenge. Edric Haleen went with a lullaby and then askewed it. It’s supposed to be eerie and nightmarish but it never got there. Moody and a little weird but it never got truly chilling. I can see that he was focused on the rubato and trying to use that to create the scary atmosphere. Good experiment but experiments sometimes fail. Rosalind channels Spintunes veteran (and my bandmate in Mr. Nakazawa’s Book of Surprises) DJ Ranger Den with a girl and piano tune but it doesn’t make for much of a nightmare. I guess the song is about mosquitos (I’m not reading liner notes today)  which are more annoying than scary. Gold Lion started with some nifty (yes I say nifty) guitar sounds and she has quite a voice. The double tracking on the chorus is a good touch. The lyrics are thin but it all works. I dug that one. Gonna shine a spotlight on that one.

Song 1127: “Lady in Blue” by Gold Lion

Fate puts another female singer in line. Jess Scherer‘s voice reminds me a little of Erin of Zinkline which is a good thing (Erin’s got a little more old soul in her voice). Hey, you remember that old song “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Kix? You can totally sing it over the piano here. Try it. “Pray the lord your soul to take”? Take, not keep. Interesting. The song’s okay but I’m not racing to download it or anything. Jim Holmquist  has a sing-song little tune about the old man next door and the dreams he’s had since he was little. It’s got such a Hawaiian feel to it. At the end, he tries to rock it out some but the punch is missing in the song. I feel like the playful feel of the song takes the strength away from the nightmare visuals. I understand trying to create this clash but there’s nothing wrong with just going with the darkness. 🙂 Drei Vietrel Drei does the same thing as Jim but does it in a Syd Barrett Pink Floyd way but then breaks into some more sinister styles. The woke with a scream line was weak. No delivery. It’s all together odd. I’d rather enjoyable odd over bland, so you get a thumbs up. Hey, Emperor Gum is back. I appreciate his experimental leanings. He went with a ballad with some very familiar rhythms. I was sleep inducing at the start but turned around towards the end. It got more interesting but it may have been too little too late. The Orion Sound has song #19 and it’s about Nazis. Again, it’s another artist who decides to take the nightmare and go with it more playfully. And then it gets self referential with the rubato remark at the end. It’s catchy but emotionally threadbare which is amazing to me when you’re singing about a nazi nightmare. Last song for today, Trader Jack. He’s like 90’s 4 Track Tapes PJ Harvey as a guy. I dig guy and guitar songs and this has potential. I think i’ll give this song a few more spins.

Still a bunch more to go including some powerhouses like Jon Eric, Steve Durand, Chris Cogott and KSR-1 (That’s Kevin Savino Riker, I’m gonna try to get that to catch on). Until then, I leave off with Kix!