Moe.

The Conch

2007-01-24

This is an accomplished, musically skilled and talented rootsy jam band from Buffalo with about 20 recordings having fun using a nifty bag of tools to create a collage of 17 interesting, often artfully playful and thoughtprovoking music hinting of illicit adventures on the other side of the looking glass that lead to perspectives on reality that the rest of us can only imagine with the help of this band and their music… hmm, so this is a guided tour, sans map and compass, for the intern(ation)ally impaired of us who cannot afford to fly off to Bangkok or Cancun whenever the urge strikes, so do our traveling from the comfort of our overstuffed chairs, where our toes can still tap nakedly on the floor, should the urge strike us, armed only with stereophonic headphones and a desire to decipher the inexplicable, realizing, to our good fortune, that due to their tendency to remove one from contact with the planet, in this context, hammocks and reclining lounge chairs are bad ideas and we don’t have either, anyway. Wait! Some of these tunes are tangible: the guitars sing and wail, the lyrics resonate: 4-Tailspin, 6-The Pit, 10-Down Boy, 11-She, 12- Where Does the Time Go. We used to have Screaming Yellow Zonkers to pass around the circle during music like this. Let it be known: It is difficult to listen to this music and write a review at the same time. One or the other has to find its way through this musical maze to a cluster of reliable brain cells. An oxymoron? Or a grim truth about the nature of multitasking in a Moe. dreamworld? So, here we are and, by the way, how did we get here? Trapped, it seems, in sublime absurdity and the only way out is through the fading portal at the end of the culminator, a tune called Brittle End, no “the” as in “The Brittle End,” just Brittle End all by itself – “…push me twice; if you didn’t die you’ll be in your grave…” – because of “f-ing the duck,” a song that cannot be played, so there’s no way out, really. And, earlier on, the title song, The Conch (notice the “The”?), a 54-second musical pause presumably about a covey of conch mating in the Caribbean sun at water’s edge on the beach, well, if you try really hard you can imagine…oh forget it. I’m gonna have to go back to the beginning and start all over again. Yes, I know: Be careful, there may be no way out. Any questions? -- Mostly

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