HALF-HANDED CLOUD
Halos & Lassos

LIZ JANES
Liz Janes & Create (!)

[Asthmatic Kitty Records, www.asthmatickitty.com]


Fourth full-length from California outfit Half-Handed Cloud is a real treat for those that enjoy the art of a perfect 2 minute pop song. With all of the naďveté of a 3 year old, John Ringhofer belts out tunes like he was back in kindergarten. How do you fill 29 minutes with 19 perfect pop songs? It's not as hard as it seems if your name happens to be John Ringhofer. Take the first available idea that pops into your head; throw these ideas onto a sheet of paper, then throw in some cheap Casio effects, beat-box and you've got yourself an ideal little ditty that is as funny as it is brief. Don't ask me what John is singing about on this record. With titles such as "Feed Your Sheep a Burning Lamp", "Eyes Peeled", "You've Been Faithful to Us Clouds", "Rainbow=Warbow", you start to wonder if this guy is constantly taking acid or if he's simply living in an alternate universe. While not straying far from an equally naďve and tender Daniel Johnston, Half-Handed Cloud put more emphasis on instrumentation with the vocals. This all may sound silly! It may be that you're thinking these guys are just goofing off. Truth is, this is the world they inhabit so why hide behind some pretentious, glossy shtick?

Liz Janes joins California band Create(!) for a brief [24 minute] EP worth reinterpretations of songs that have been in the public domain for ages. Rustic, medieval and very much on the bare side of the scale, "Liz Janes & Create(!)" is an album full of meditative beauty and glorious celebration of the song. Stylistically, the EP runs the gamut, from the softly swaying "Lonesome Valley", the hypnotic allure of "Careless Love" to the mid-tempo ballad "Jesus is a Dying Bed-Maker". Liz's vocals are enrapturing and wrap each guitar chord with the warmth of a thick blanket. It's only fitting the album is an all-acoustic affair as electricity would only ruin the delicacy of this communal gathering [check out the clap-along, sing-along on "Run, Old Jeremiah/Keep Your Hand on the Plow" for proof]. My only wish [other then the brevity of the EP] is that the sequencing of the tracks was done with more care. In few places, the serene mood is broken off with a sharply moving song. With dozens of bands and song-writers coming out of the woodwork, there has rarely been a more fruitful time for a folk revival. Now, clap your hands and shake your heads in unison.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Anthony Rother - This Is Electro. Works 1997-2005
+ randomNumber - Golden Acre Sleeps
+ Radiq - Tomorrow`s Quest
+ Prima Materia - The Tail of the Tiger
+ Mouloud - Mr King And The Sonic Destructor
+ Mirror System - Mirror System
+ Mikkel Metal - Victimizer
+ Gary Martin - Another Place
+ Kiki - Boogybytes Vol.01
+ Bokaj Retsiem - Psychedelic Underground
+ Amps for Christ - The People at Large
+ Brötzmann/Bennink, Schwarzwaldfahrt
+ Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice - Buck Dharma
+ Les Rallizes Dénudés, Le 12 mars 1977 á Tachikawa
+ Alessandra Rombolá - Uruena
+ Wade Matthews - Absent Friends
+ 3/4HadBeenEliminated - A year of the aural gauge operation
+ Tape - Rideau
+ Best Of Exun - Vol. 1: 1999 - 2005
+ Crisis - Holocaust Hymns
+ Camping 2
+ Bauchklang - Many People
+ Sampler 6 - Quality Electronic Music
+ Aaron-Carl - Detrevolution
+ Territory Band-4 - Company Switch
+ Dub Tractor - Hideout
+ Ragis - Baltijos Karas
+ Dragana Mirkovic - Trag u Vremenu

- - - - - - - - -

+ OREN AMBARCHI & ROBBIE AVENAIM - Clockwork - Live Recording 21.4.99
+ GERMLIN - Youth Pixxel
+ DAVENPORT - Free Country
+ FRED FRITH / STEVIE WISHART / CARLA KIHLSTEDT - The Compass, Log, and Lead
+ 31 KNOTS - Talk Like Blood / HEADLIGHTS - The Enemies
+ AVAILABLE JELLY - Bilbao Song
+ TOD DOCKSTADER - Aerial #2
+ XIU XIU - Life and Live
>> HALF-HANDED CLOUD - Halos & Lassos / LIZ JANES - Liz Janes & Create(!)
+ HISATO HIGUCHI - 2004 11 2005 4 / She
+ DINOSAUR - Dinosaur Jr. / DINOSAUR JR. - You're Living All Over Me / Bug
+ SASCHA NEUDECK - Schattenwind / NACHTSTROM - Flush
+ MARGO - Furtives Furies
+ IBRAHIM FERRER - Ay, Candela / RUBEN GONZALEZ - Momentos
+ KEVIN AYERS - The BBC Sessions 1970 - 1976
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Le World.Reggae II
+ STEVE LANTNER TRIO - Blue Yonder / NATURAL HISTORY - Fur
+ ZION TRAIN - Natural Wonders of the World in Dub
+ O - Numero 0 / THE TELESCOPES - #4
+ sunnO))) - Black One / OREN AMBARCHI - Triste
+ ZE EDUARDO / JACK WALRATH QUARTET - Bad Guys / MICHAEL ATTIAS - Credo / JOE FIEDLER TRIO - Plays the Music of Albert Mangelsdorff / BERNARDO SASSETTI TRIO 2 - Ascent

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WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ TOP 7 - 2005