eye (2006-38)

Your Book Has Been Banned!

Finger-pickin’ Good

Local CD Review

Industrial Hippies (Self-release)

Your Book Has Been Banned!

This week, Carpe Librum Booksellers will celebrate the official Banned Book Week (Sept. 23-30) with scofflaw activities that will be so amazingly liberating that the good folks at the bookstore can’t tell us about them. Well, to be fair, they said that they won’t have the activities finalized until later this week. But we know better; we know that it’s all just newspeak and that we’re supposed to read between the lines. Remember, freedom is essential, and the freedom to read what we want when we want is critical. So, grab your favorite banned book and don’t be afraid to scream, Yes! I’m reading Daniel Cohen ’s Curses, Hexes and Spells . And, yes, some douchebag once tried to ban this book!

Call Carpe Librum at 588-8080 to get the skinny. The double-secret password is “Hello.” Or, perhaps, “Howdy.”

Both’ll work.

Finger-pickin’ Good

We made the trek over to the geographically confused city of Bristol. (Is it in Tennessee? Is it in Virginia? What is the bloody sales tax?) Amongst some of the talented performers we heard on the streets were Red Stick Ramblers and Railroad Earth . The Red Stick Ramblers blew us away with their banshee-precise drumming. Pickin’ and poundin’; it was as though the gods finally saw fit to answer our pleadings and prayers, and combine two things as natural as fruit flies and five week-old trash. The Ramblers certainly sounded better than trash and flies, though we can’t vouch for how they smelled. 

Next up was Railroad Earth with their distinct jamband sound. They kept us rolling long into the night, even after many had left the festival in favor of bed, and some had left the stage in favor of laying in the streets. Sadly, hours of dancing eventually took a toll, and even the most devoted of music lovers had to leave. 

There were full days of music Saturday and Sunday as well. Only the most hardcore ’grass fans made it all three days. If you were like us, then one was plenty.   

Local CD Review

Technically, the group delivers the types of polished chops to be expected from vets obviously doing what they want rather than what they think the audience wants to hear, and the results at times are both substantive and interesting. Guitarist Bailey particularly stands out, seemingly melding every slick, classic picker from Santana to Clapton into his own distinguishable style. Vocally, the quartet harmonizes well, but there is an unfortunate lack of range in Voss’ lead vocals that keeps the songs at a perfunctory level leaving you to wonder “what if…?”

A tonal smorgasbord, the record offers elements of rock and folk; acoustic and electric; jazzy and spacey; mostly composed in diametric counterpoint as to intentionally solicit an emotional response. When it works, it blends together like peanut butter and jelly, when it doesn’t it’s more like peanut butter and baloney.

Some of the selections are even memorable, with the epic “Burn Down” invoking images of progressive art rockers like Genesis and King Crimson .  But with rough-edged packaging, and bare bones engineering of material split between studio and live tracks, the disc comes across both visually and sonically as more a polished demo than a serious commercial release. After all, these hippies have respectable day jobs and seem quite content gigging around town, so you might be best off checking them out in the flesh anyway.