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Nobody - ...And Everything Else

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Artist: Nobody

Album: ...And Everything Else

Label: Plug Research

Review date: Jun. 9, 2005

I’m relieved that, as bad as things seem to be, people are still making desert island discs in America. By desert island discs, I don’t mean Signals, Calls and Marches. As writer Jeff Koyen noted back in the ‘90s: what the fuck would one need punk rock for on a desert island? Good, angry rock is the sound of mainland claustrophobia. Under our sad circumstances, it makes for an easy emotional attachment. But it’s all context. If you’re on a desert island and you’ve got an adequate food supply, you may as well relax and recall certain aspects of the mainland fondly, if at all.

Somebody makes perfect music for that, and that good soul employs the handle Nobody. The first record was good. This one’s better. It’s got a more refined musical palate and a more defined sense of humor.

Within the first 10 minutes, you’ve already got a blasé cover of the Flaming Lips’ “What Is The Light?” In Elvin Estela’s hands, W. Coyne’s prog-rock Bic flicker becomes a rickety mix-‘n’-match that rattles toward its conclusion seemingly by coincidence. The beat drops hard, and his sometime-colleagues in Beechwood Sparks and the Aislers Set pop in to help out.

“Wake Up and Smell The Millennium” takes a tack even less conceptually aggressive, running Curt Boettcher’s music over an unassuming beat and pretty much leaving it be. It works because Estrella is smart, smart enough to know when he needn’t flash his skills. He reminds us by counterexample why so many “turntablist” records are so unlistenable.

The balance runs the gamut, from the delightfully askew “Poor Angular Fellow” to the Spanish toast “Con Um Relampago” to the stomping “Go Go Interlude Go” to the wistfully Nico’d “You Can Know Her” (which features the understated vocals of forever up-and-coming balladeer Mia Dia Todd).

“Beat science” has been so thoroughly integrated into every corner of popular music, one barely notices it here. The rhythms that anchor And Everything Else are no more auspicious than gravity. For the most part, it sounds like giddy, faux-innocent psychedelia filtered through a kaleidoscope, moody but never mopey.

I’ll bring this to the island. You bring Everything Went Black. We’ll see who leaves with fewer unnecessary ulcers.

By Emerson Dameron

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