Friends of Dean Martinez

    Lost Horizon (2.5), Live At Club 2 (3.0)


    “Hey Adam, what did you think of those Friends of Dean Martinez albums?”


    “Friends of who?”


    “You know, the instrumental albums I gave you, with all that slide guitar? The band that was on Sub Pop back in the day? The one that spawned members of Calexico? Anything? I lent you the new album, Lost Horizon, and a live album called Live at Club 2?


    “Was that the instrumental thing? I don’t know, that stuff was kinda boring. I mean, there wasn’t anything really indie-rock about it. It sounded like a watered-down version of Man or Astroman? in slow-mo. I thought it’d at least have some singing or something to keep my attention.”


    “Not really indie-rock? It’s on Bill Elm’s record label, Aero Recordings. You don’t get anymore independent than that. They’ve been making records for ten years, and he’s had his band on all kindsa labels, from Narnack to Knitting Factory. He does it his way and always has. You can’t get any more indie than that, man.”


    “Who’s Bill Elm?”


    “He’s the main guy in Friends of Dean Martinez, the slide guitar player.”


    “There was slide guitar on that?”


    “Shit, Adam, did you even listen to it? For how much you like Calexico I thought you’d love this.”


    “Nah, I didn’t love it. I mean, from what I can remember there wasn’t anything worth remembering.”


    “Nothing worth remembering? I’d understand if you thought it wasn’t as solid as their earlier releases, but not memorable. You didn’t like the moody country shuffles and sonic soundscapes that are sprinkled all over the album? I mean, there are parts of Lost Horizon that sound like My Bloody Valentine scoring the soundtrack to a spaghetti western. You know what your problem is? You’re just too programmed. You need that token nasally singing of some lonely love song about an ex-girlfriend to define music for you, some song that needs a cereal-box translation key to decipher lyrics that read more like Madlibs than poetry. This stuff is way over your head, man. You need to let go of your notions of how it should be and just get lost in the moods that these guys create.”


    “Dude, just because a band’s music is instrumental doesn’t make it overly intelligent or way over the heads of a standard indie-rock fans. The music was flat and didn’t have much going on. That’s why it couldn’t hold my attention, not because I’m a victim of MTV’s short-attention-span side effects. It’s just that there isn’t anything memorable about a lot of noodling guitar and shuffling drums.”


    “Well, I guess this stuff is just wasted on you. I thought you’d at least find something good in Live at Club 2 because it was a show from 2001 and a little rawer than the studio stuff, but I guess you just don’t get it. You just need music that’s easy to pose to.”


    “Better to pose to music for posers than to music for cerebral wannabes.”




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    Prefix review: Friends of Dean Martinez [Random Harvest] by Brad Angle