Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
The excellent two-disc set Analphabetapolothology collects the entirety of the Cap'n Jazz oeuvre, assembling all of the singles and compilation tracks as well as unreleased eight-track demos and live material from their... more »
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The excellent two-disc set Analphabetapolothology collects the entirety of the Cap'n Jazz oeuvre, assembling all of the singles and compilation tracks as well as unreleased eight-track demos and live material from their final show in their native Chicago. Jade Tree. 1998.
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Important, not to be missed
Christopher A Folkins | Canada | 02/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Listening to the raw unpolished exuberance of the music and looking at the pictures in the liner notes immediately brings to mind Operation Ivy's "Energy". The similarity lies not so much in the musical style, but the very essence of what this release is. This is one of those rare albums (or anthology, I suppose, would be more a propos) that captures a brief moment in time where a bunch of young musicians (and boy were they young, and that's part of why it's so damn impressive) just click, and produce something that, probably unbeknownst to them at the time, would remain relevant and influential and appreciated after they packed the whole thing up and moved on. This is the document of a band in its prime (and well, pretty much everything else they recorded too), and moreover, it's a document of being young and growing up and all that comes with it. That's probably why so many people relate to this release, and that's a big part of what makes it special.
The other part of that equation is the music itself. This is the first time we hear Kinsella crack his voice over notes just out of reach, the first taste of the trademark poetically-silly-thought-provoking wordplay, the beginnings of that familiar, beautiful layering of sound. Fans of future efforts will recognize the roots showing here. This hits harder than, for example, Joan of Arc, however. Some of it anyway. Cap'n Jazz is more raw, more is at the surface, and it's ultimately more accessible. There are big anthemic walls of sing-along crescendo that blow you away, but anybody can do that, right? It's the quiet parts in between the cacophony that matter here. Little stripped down moments interspersed throughout the tracks defy traditional song structure. The up/down dichotomy feeds itself, sweet sparse meandering making sweeter explosion making sweetest return to said meandering. Perhaps noodling would be a more apt description. The band certainly showed tendencies toward improvisation - their playing with sound is thoroughly evident, and the final versions you hear are unlikely to be the result of careful planning and structure, more borne of trial-and-error experimentation. And they're better for it.
Cap'n Jazz recorded a handful of 7"s and one LP, and this anthology collects all of the recorded material. In terms of value, this thing delivers - a truckload of great music that will keep you busy for a while. The first CD feels tighter and flows better - it feels like an album, because it is an album - the entirety of the band's only LP. The second disc is less cohesive and certainly more befitting of the `anthology' tag, but it's still good. The whole thing is good. There are no real misses here - just diversity. I highly recommend this release, but to whom is a question in itself. I think there are potentially several different musical tastes that this could appeal to. I can say with a good degree of certainty, however, that if you are reading this, you had to get here somehow, because of a recommendation, because of random discovery, because you enjoy seeking out new music - ultimately because you have an interest. And because of that, you will probably enjoy this band. Immensely."
K9 ate 7 sick 5 year olds
the sean | NYC | 10/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The name says it all. Analphabetapolothology. Elements of "anthology" and "apology" to show what it is, and "alphabet" to show how comprehensive it is. And let's NOT forget "anal." The liner notes call it what it is, which is a chronicle of youth; paradoxically thanking and apologizing simultaneously to the listener for listening to this. It is an apology on behalf on the band because, as Tim Kinsella says, "reissues are by their nature embarrassing." Or something like that. The album. It has a sense of place, having been compared by someone else to Slint's "Spiderland" as the definition of a style: the definition of a certain time and place. The liner notes say this, too. It is everything that a teenager is, but overall as a person struggling with identity ("We are young human beings"). The musical style and accompanying lyrics more than tell how it is to be a teenager; it illustrates it through and through. And without resorting to clichés or stereotypes, and I respect it in this manner. Perhaps the last song, "Olerud", is the resolution of the matter of how it grows to be a teenager of the album when it declares that "it's like finally realizing how lucky we really are to have had a few really good heartbreaks." It is a compilation, and can be easily pigeonholed into the category of "Greatest Hits" where the album has no cohesion or centrality. But this defies such categorization, because this has cohesion and centrality; it is a further paradox in this way. There is a certain something to it that begs for exploration and definition. Combine absolute rawness with pretty good poetry and a keen sense of the aesthetic and add that special something else, and you get Cap'n Jazz. I'm tempted sell out and call it destiny, but I can't say for sure. Maybe inevitability is a better word. But, as I say, it is a definition itself, and pinning down exactly what it is would be defining a definition. My review focuses on how influential this album is, and what it is, but I want to say that it has gorgeous, memorable hooks, and is, at its core, rock music. It isn't "emo," it is rock that is "honest emotionally." I hate almost all "emo," (see Dashboard, etc.) but I love this. Skating effortlessly between cacophonous and euphonious, and always euphonious in its cacophony, it is so well-layered that I would like this album even if he were singing gibberish. Speaking of the lyrics, however, Kinsella has a penchant for puns that build, double meanings ("I'm always bothering"), as well as a poetic sense of everything, especially alliteration. They are tight together, probably because they had played (and since are playing!)together in the Chicago suburbs (the city, now) since they started playing. Or maybe it is because they are really good. This CD serves as a standard for comparison for the other bands that these guys spawned (see Owls, Joan of Arc, Ghosts and Vodka... Promise Ring too, but not so much, as Davy plays only on the second disc, and his role is diminutive: a veritable "happy accident").Also, you know that a band who builds its sound around cacophony is good when they can pull of a cover of "Take on Me," not to mention the 90210 theme song! Do you remember those songs? The most unlikely covers and the most apporpriate: simply put, Cap'n Jazz owns them. I recommend this CD to anyone who is a conscientious fan of modern music: it truly is a definition and not a derivative. Meaning that while most music is nothing more than an obvious, albeit different take on something original, this IS original, and a source of inspiration for a later generation of artists."
I bought this w/o knowing... What a good call that was!
the sean | 06/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great, fast, dynamic, exciting. Wonderfully strained vocals that are buried just right. Hyper, sincere. This will live in my car for the summer."