July 6, 2011
Today's Hotness: Mike Quinn, Projekt A-ko
>> We were excited to hear from Mike Quinn, who in the prior decade fronted erstwhile Scranton, PA-based indie rock champions Okay Paddy. That band's 2006 set The Cactus Has A Point [review here] was one of our favorite records of 2006. Around the time Okay Paddy hung up its gloves for the last time, Quinn moved on to the more trad-leaning folk/vaudeville/bluegrass concern ...And The Moneynotes, which put out a couple nifty, sometimes wacky, releases including New Cornucopia!, which we reviewed here in late 2008. Well, all that set-up is just to contextualize the news that Mr. Quinn is back with an enjoyable solo set called Magico, which was released June 7.
The collection is proof positive that Quinn continues to both embrace traditional, roots-leaning styles and possesses a charming sense of humor. The uptempo, harmonica-appointed, acoustic strummer that opens the record is titled "Big Shit." We have no idea what the shambling rocker "What It Wud" is about, but Quinn's diction delivering lines like "then maybe we oughta go out to Fairmount Park, see if they got any chocolate sauce like they did before" is either aping Adam Sandler's portrayal of the undersmart or sorta satirizing a Pennsylvania accent, to brilliant effect. The highlight of Magico has to be "The Devil Has A Heart," which commences with shuddering slide guitar and buries a pretty piano melody before setting a wickedly jaunty groove. As with much of Quinn's recent work, the chorus sounds best when hollered with thick glass beer mug in hand. We've embedded the curious video for the tune above, in which Quinn appears to imagine a series of lonely accidental deaths out in the beautiful Pennsylvania wilderness. Buy Magico from Bandcamp right here.
>> It can't all always be good news, dear readers. Word came down Monday from amazing Glaswegian indie rock underdogs Projekt A-ko that a planned second album has been, ahem, scotched for now. Fronter Fergus Lowrie, he formerly of '90s luminaries Urusei Yatsura, contacted folks who had paid for a pre-order of the album last year, stating with admirable frankness that "[w]ork, births and deaths have all played a part in the delay, but the main cause has been a continuing evolution in my understanding of tone and texture. Multiple recording sessions have been ditched and each time I seem to be moving further away from any destination. Until I can work out where I’m at I can’t guarantee when (or even if) the next Projekt A-ko album will be completed." Mr. Lowrie continues working with his experimental noise outfit Obscure Desire of the Bourgeoisie and has devoted a lot of time recently to co-producing a documentary about the abstract noise scene in Scotland. "This exposure to experimental music has made me think long and hard about my own musical assumptions and experiences," Lowrie wrote. All of that said, he has left open the door to perhaps one day getting a second Projekt A-ko record completed, and we are quite hopeful this happens. The trio's debut Yoyodyne was our second favorite album of 2009.