On Valentines Day last year, former Mayor Ed Koch stood up at the Algonquin Hotel and declared, I love Marc Anthony Thompson. Marc Anthony Thompson, the creative drive behind the musical collective known as Chocolate Genius, had described what had taken place when he violated the unspoken etiquette of subway riding.
9:45pm. Sitting in a dark London hotel room, he chain smokes with wrist poised watch-face up, the minutes ticking by, phone pressed to ear as he obligedly listens to endless blather in the earpiece as music journalists ask incessant questions about Underworld, Underworld, Underworld. This is how I picture Rick Smith as I attempt calling his hotel room at 3:45pm Brooklyn-time.
On the one year anniversary of the September 11th attacks, a new voice of protest did appear, however. Folk musician and political activist Stephan Smith released his anti-war song, The Bell, which he recorded with the legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, as well as hip-hop artist Mary Harris and alt rocker Dean Ween.
I caught Girl Harbor at Luxxs Williams-burg on a Wednesday night. While sporting the standard suits and ties and disheveled haircuts, their energy seemed a cut above the more-produced sound Ive been hearing lately on the radio. That also seems to be their CDs biggest downfallits not live. That sound is missing, though the energy is not.
Four Stills was recorded direct to stereo from an ever-intriguing trove of sonic devices. Coursing and static, highly detailed and unsettlingly sumptuous, each track becomes the aural equivalent of a genre scene: self-contained, highly referential, at once freighted with and disassociated from levels of interpretation that give way to the pleasure of pure music in sound.