Several worthy tracks fell between the cracks of my 2008 mixes – mostly because while there’s a place for random tracks, and a place for songs from my favorite albums, there’s not a place for songs from albums I own that don’t make my top 20. (I don’t make the rules, I just – wait: I do make the rules. Guess I could change that.)
One album that might well end up among my twenty favorite albums of 2008, if I were to redo the list after some months, is Simon Bookish’s Everything/Everything. I’d just downloaded the album from eMusic a few days before putting together my lists. I downloaded it on the strength of the two tracks linked below, which had been sent around the flackosphere for months.
First, you gotta love a guy who calls himself “Simon Bookish”…and then puts out an album with this cover:
I suppose the simplest way to describe Simon Bookish’s music is that it sounds almost exactly what you’d expect music by “Simon Bookish” to sound like. It might also help to imagine a collaboration among David Bowie, David Byrne, and Philip Glass (even though Bookish has a song called “Terry Riley Disco,” the horn and keyboard arrangements are closer to Glass’s work than Riley’s). Both “Synchrotron” and “Dumb Terminal” feature extended, multipart structures, which isn’t necessarily typical – but I think Bookish does much to recuperate the diminished stature of the saxophone, abused over these years by everyone from annoying blues honkers to Sanborn-esque cheese merchants. There’s also much to be said for the sort of insouciant abstraction of the lyrics, along with Bookish’s alternately melodramatic and distant vocals.
Everything/Everything is on Tomlab (another good indicator, if you know that label’s work), and Bookish apparently has released two earlier titles, Unfair/Funfair and Trainwreck/Raincheck (noticing a trend?), which apparently do not necessarily sound anything like this.