Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Confession

A few years ago I was a real sourpuss about the Strokes and the Hives and the whole museum-quality renaissance fair-ism happening in "garage rock." It's not that they were awful, I used to say, just not terribly fulfilling. Calorie-free. Empty suits. Deracinated and cynical. "Boutique replicas of the past," I sneered. While it's now clear in the rear-view that the Strokes were in fact an unsustainable confection, I must now confess I've come around to the beauty of precision simulacrum.

It may be that, as with weather in England, I just needed to wait 5 minutes. For the simulacrum storm has caught up to music that I actually wanted simulated. To wit: Fleet Foxes. This Seattle group sounds like equal parts My Morning Jacket, Fleetwood Mac and CSNY, a seamless amalgamation of 70s folk-rock with a vaguely Celtic pinch of Fairport Convention. They're not original by any stretch, yet they're SO DAMNED GOOD at doing what they do, I just can't resist. It's like Craig Venter and NASA got together to solve the problem of making a band that sounds exactly like what Lefty wants to hear.

I'm reminded of Cypher in the Matrix (Joe Pantoliano) who decided he didn't care if he was living in a dream and secretly being used as a biodegradable battery for evil robots. "You know, I know this steak doesn't exist," he says. "I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [Takes a bite of steak] Ignorance is bliss."

Indeed. This song's combination of sweet, reverb-saturated harmonies and buttery acoustic jangle makes for a melodious bliss that can't and won't be denied. At least not by me. Seriously, listen to this song all the way through and observe just how utterly perfect it is from front to back. It's very hard to care that it lacks the context of, say, 1972. That is, unless you're somehow hung up on authenticity and the evil robots who've stuffed your carcass into a gelatinous goo for making the big reality machine run its nefarious program of doom. To which I must now say: Sucker!

Mykonos - Fleet Foxes

You should download their EP "Sun Giant" from SubPop. Only five bucks!

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