Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Human Television

The problem with music review sites, especially brand new ones like this and ESPECIALLY little ones that narrow their focus to stuff the writers like rather than trying to review everything, is that there’s no frame of reference. Sure, I think the shit’s good, but who am I? Some dude. Some dude full of unsubstantiated hyperbole.

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned Human Television is the single greatest band on the face of the planet. It’s like someone was doing market research and concluded that I buy enough music that it would be worthwhile to custom-tailor a band just for ME. And they’re from Florida! Impassioned indie pop from fucking FLORIDA! I mean, it’s a tropical paradise and whatnot, and yeah, it’s home base for Iron & Wine, but an indie wellspring it ain’t.

To date they’ve released one three-song ep (“Orange”), and one mini-album (“All Songs Written By Human Television”) that includes re-recorded versions of the “Orange” songs plus 4 more tracks). They’ve got a full-length in the can (heh… full-length… can…) with nine brand new tracks and a probably re-recorded version of “Mars Red Rust,” previously a vinyl-only bonus track. I’ve included the “All Songs Written By…” version of “Automobile” for your listening pleasure. It sums them up pretty well – fractured jangle-pop marked by Mario Lopez’s galloping drums and frontman Billy Downing’s lazy, wistful delivery. He has a very effective tendency to cram a few extra syllables into each line, and, well, “Your voice is like a bridge to the moon?” Gorgeous.

I’ve seen these fine fellows play a few times and their live show is a huge disappointment. KIDDING! C’mon haven’t you caught on yet that these guys can do no wrong in my book? They rock it effortlessly, and if you’re lucky Billy may open the show with his one-man rendition of “All I Have To Do Is Dream” – CHOICE. And they use capos - that always gives me a boner for some reason. Be warned though, besides the fact that I might be there with boner in hand, Human Television may roll into your town accompanied by several rowdy University of Florida grads. They’re buddies who knew the band way back when and who will be getting AS DRUNK AS POSSIBLE and flailing around with unbridled enthusiasm. A bit scary for the uninitiated, but they’re good folks. If you ever saw Guided by Voices play in Ohio, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Hell, if you ever saw GbV play ANYWHERE you know what I’m talking about.

Fetch the mp3 here: Human Television - Automobile
great radio interview and performance here:



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