FAME Review!

FAME is actually the acronym for the “Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange” on acousticmusic.com. We’re delighted with critic Mark S. Tucker’s FAME review of Dot Dot Dot…especially as it regards Marilyn’s dramatic effect on the fictional Father Flaherty:

Don’t let the Dot Dot Dot CD title or the non-descript moderne cover artwork fool you. Chaise Lounge doesn’t engage in Kraftwerky bleep blopp music nor synth-drenched electronica, nor even minimalist glitch, but instead a return to the groovy elder cool of the 50s and before. Not the zany looniness of Spike Jones but the cut-up hipsterism of Louis Prima and ilk, much more mannered and urbane than Jones but just as enjoyable in its own way. There’s plenty of swing, era jazz, jivin’ jump, and that sort of thing, all of it led by a cat named, now get this, Charlie Barnett. Yep, just one little ‘t’ away from the great Charlie Barnet of bygone fame.

The song “Dot Dot Dot” isn’t about any dot.com, it’s not an ellipsis, nor even a sing-song redundancy but a reference to Morse code, an element of the S.O.S. distress signal, here applied to a metaphorical ship sinking in the sea of love, a way hip cut with Marilyn Older singing in her perennially slinky, sultry, sexy near-babydoll voice beside five highly talented and letter perfect instrumentalists (clarinet, trombone, drums, guitar, bass). Older’s sensuality would make a bishop sweat bullets, grow red in the face, and kick out a stained-glass window, but Barnett (guitar, piano, accordion, tenor banjo) and the boys ice the situation back down, putting the hold-on to the go-on as Father Flaherty hip-sways a little jig back to the sacristy to doff the vestments and deck out in reet pleat and pompadour.

Apparently the concert audience favorite is “The Coolest Car,” an infectious tune, but I’m going for “I Just Want All of my Stuff,” just as humorous but of the sort that drives home what happens when two lovers meet, love, lose, split, part, and get down to brass tacks:

I just want all my stuff
My TV and my Xbox and the records I love
You can keep your dreams
And your precious self esteem
I just want all of my stuff

…and, man o man, I think Barnett was listening in on a couple of my own romantic flame-outs. Everything’s not all grins ‘n’ giggles, though, as “Split in Two (Wreckage)” is a dead-set serious ballad of a marriage gone terribly wrong, sung in a light wistful tone but weighted down with confusion and memories, the good against the bad, wondering what the heck happened. This is the penultimate number, a superb and thoughtful but heart-panged track, just before a speedy instrumental version of “Old Man River” closes everything out.

Does being on Pandora mean you are famous? (by Marilyn)

According to my kids, the answer is a big fat YES!  They have long been fans of the Internet radio service and were recently inspired to type in “Chaise Lounge” and see what happened. Should I have told them, as the familiar song played and their little jaws dropped with astonishment, pride and adoration, that “getting onto Pandora” is not quite the same as getting onto the American Idol finale? I think not. So, as they basked in my fame, I appreciated the algorithm that likens us to Paris Combo and Nossa Alma Canta (Hat tip to Christian and Alejo!).  And then, famous mom or not, it was time to liven things up and go back to the Michael Jackson station.  (Wait until these kids hear about our newest chart – see Charlie’s last blog post 🙂 )


The Immediacy of Radio

Last night Chaise Lounge was featured on a radio show called “Everything Old Is New Again” on WBAI in New York.  I am amazed at how thrilling it was.  When everything is available all the time  on YouTube or on some web-based archive… it is amazing how exciting it is to hear something that is only on…now!  I was able to tune in via internet radio.   The fact that I was dropping in on a New York station from afar didn’t lessen the impact of the experience at all. They played 43 Good Excuses and I was wowed. Part of the thrill, I think, was the idea that any number of random people could have been listening to this.  In New York, or on the internet.  There is something just so “un-targeted” about this.  The difference between listening to live radio and ,say, Pandora is a lot. As perfectly tailored as Pandora is to your current listening needs, there is an awful sense of being manipulated while listening. Even to tracks that you have selected.  Sirius Radio is similar to me. The closer I can get to dialing in exactly what one wants, the less chance there is of  finding something really great, really surprising.   So here’s to old fashioned terrestrial radio. Huzzah