Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Joe and the Sonic Dirt from Madagascar's "Research and Development: 2006-2009"

All ye rejoice, for Matt Hickey has made the entahr recorded output of Joe and the Sonic Dirt From Madagascar, his solo alter ego, available for free download via Bandcamp. I've previously ranted about A to E Are X, Why, and Z, his meticulously-punctuated early 2010 release (which would be on my top ten list for the year even if we weren't the kind of pals who give each other haircuts, lend each other money, push each other out of windows). Equally astonishing was the follow-up single, "Out Into the Abyss of Night" (which, upon re-hearing, reminded me of nothing so much than "A Dream" from the Lou Reed-John Cale Warhol remembrance Songs for Drella, which I'll bet Hickey has never heard).

Maybe best of the lot is Research and Development: 2006-2009, which chronicles the evolution of the project from an outlet for material that other members of Hickey's last rock band, The Fellow Americans, deemed unsuitable, to a vehicle for exploring outer realms. The first two tracks, the titles to which are anagrams of their creator's given name, are saturated with Brit post-punk weirdness. "Dog Boofer" and "F" are extremely convincing simulacra for the Gunslingers and Les Rallizes Denudes, respectively. "Just Another Indie Alt Rock Song" is a fine example of truth in advertising, which Hickey delivers in his best Kermit the Frog voice. (He also does a wicked Carl Sagan and Jimmy Stewart; a recording exists of him singing the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" in the manner of the Harvey star which Terry Horn and I, at least, find hi-larious.)

Over time, JATSDFM (or "Sonic Dirt," as it's known to its fan) has gotten both more minimalist ("Parts I and II," _not_ an Isley Brothers cover) and more noisy ("Slavyansky Bulvar"). Matt Hickey remains a real fine Anglophile, ruralist, and Gorillaz fan to know and be associated with. If you've read this far, you owe it to yourself to check out his musick.


Blogger Grubbermeister said...

Ha! Guess I'm doing Kermit subconsciously now. That's what I get for singing "Rainbow Connection" over and over to myself. I probably need to get out more...

9:35 AM  

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