Monday, February 4, 2008
My band is about to board a plane for Japan to play pop music, eat udon noodles and speak slowly with our friends over there. So I can't go on too long right now.
All you need to know is this: Renaldo & the Loaf is pop music. Really, really weird pop music. Just about as far out as you can get while maintaining any semblance of a verse-chorus-verse dynamic. Like many, I first heard their music on the Residents' Video Voodoo compilation.
How does this make you feel?
It makes me scared, but aware of beauty. I can think of very little else in the art world that does that to me? True, much of that reaction comes from the video, not the music which is what I'm supposed to be writing about. But without the slightly disturbing yet whimsical video the music still makes me feel lost and bewildered.
RatL have been written off in the Trouser Press guide as "weird for weird's sake." Sounds like a cop-out. Music either connects with you or it doesn't. Maybe you just don't like it. But for those of us that like feeling something harmlessly strange Renaldo & the Loaf are magic, like Harry Partch making dance music.
Their second release on Ralph Records Arabic Yodelling is less aggressively weird than the music in the video, which is from their first album, Songs for Swinging Larvae. It's downright pastoral at times.
Okay, I've gotta go. I've got to make sure I've packed my purple lamé pants, so read this webpage, listen to the tracks. I find their music rewarding upon repeated listens.
"A Critical Dance"