Williams plays the distraught Wendy, who finds herself desperately searching for her dog Lucy in a small town in suburban Portland, Oregon. Her shabby clothing, ramshackle hygiene procedures and ruffled bob of emo-black hair designate her as part of a burgeoning class of nomadic neo-hippies and wanderers, but she has ambition, yearning for a job and a warm place to come home to. Early on, Wendy -- on the run from something, we never know exactly what -- encounters a pack of fellow drifters -- Joy's Will Oldham naturally plays the alpha named Icky -- who point her towards fishery jobs in Alaska. She begins to count her money and things look OK, but then she is busted for stealing dog food from a local supermarket, an act that sets off a set of relatively minor but nevertheless tragic happenings that keep Wendy from leaving Portland and drain her wallet.
Continue reading: Wendy and Lucy Review
Is It The Sea album review from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy with Harem Scarem and Alex Neilson released through Domino Records.
Recorded live in Edinburgh during his 2006 tour, Is It The Sea is the latest offering from the seemingly inexhaustible creative mine that is Will Oldham. Fourteen studio albums, countless EPs and now three live albums in a fifteen-year period constitutes a Herculean work-rate on the part of Mr. Oldham and his numerous alter egos. Accompanied by Scottish folkies-in-residence Harem Scarem and the apposite drumming of Alex Neilson, Oldham revisits, reinterprets and reinvigorates several of his best-known songs in a curiously engaging style. There is a distinct free-form, open air feel to the performance that contrasts with the darker, claustrophobic atmosphere of much of his studio work. Droning accordions and somnolent fiddles merge with Neilson's delicate, jazz-tinged brushwork to create a pervasive soundscape upon which Oldham's intense, brittle voice is rendered as alluring as ever.
On Love Comes To Me and New Partner, the result is glorious. The former is transformed into a yelping little foot-tapper (as is Arise Therefore) and the latter retains all its original warm country-waltz charm. The hushed, swooping harmonies that weave through each song, at once both sweet and ragged, complement Oldham's more unswerving vocal delivery impeccably, particularly on Ain't You Wealthy?, Ain't You Wise?. Conversely, Wolf Among Wolves and Master and Everyone perhaps suffer for a lack of structure; the torpid pace and punctuated rhythm diminish the lyrical impact that characterised the original Master and Everyone album. That said, Oldham's ability to deftly slow-build a song remains undeniable. Cursed Sleep swells menacingly for several minutes before erupting into a melodica/flute/whistle fireball and is surely the highlight of a very good album. Lo-Fi, Alternative Folk is very popular at the moment. Not all of it is this good.
Review of Bonnie Prince Billy's album Lie Down In The Light.
Continue reading: Bonnie Prince Billy, Lie Down In The Light Album Review
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
Continue reading: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Strange Form Of Life, EP Review
Mark (Daniel London) meditates on the back lawn of his tiny suburban home in the rainy desolation of Portland. Unlike his old best friend Kurt (Will Oldham), Mark has become a modern man: He has a wife, a kid on the way, and watches his health with a focused eye. Kurt, on the left hand, still makes his bed in his van or on a random friend's floor, has a hash pipe glued to his mouth, and still detests cell phones. It is Kurt's idea for them to hike into the maze of green foliage in the Oregon forest to find the hot springs they are so mildly excited about, accompanied by Mark's dog Lucy.
Continue reading: Old Joy Review