Friday, March 09, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 48: Clem Snide - The Ghost of Fashion

Album - The Ghost of Fashion
Artist - Clem Snide
Key Players - Eef Barzelay - guitar and vocals, Jason Glasser - bass/chelo/keyboard, Jeff Marshall - double bass, Eric Paull - drums/percussion, Pete Fitzpatrick - lead guitar/banjo/euphonium, Andrew Innes - saxophones, David Knowles - trumpet, Jeff Newell - saxophones/flute, Erin Elstner - vibraphone, John Roach - roachaphonic bandophones, Margaret McCartney - backing vocals.
Produced By - Jason Glasser

Release Date - June 19, 2001

What caused me to blow off the dust? Clem Snide is a band I actually stumbled upon and after just one listen to this very record I became a fan. Its not for everyone but there are moments of absolute beauty. It was time for this one to be spun again and talked about.

Overview - The third release from indie/alt country group Clem Snide began to solidify them as talents within the genre. TV Executives used "Moment in the Sun" for the TV Series "ED". The Foo Fighters "Next Year" was used during the first and third season but the single (and subsequent ep) helped Clem Snide become a smidge more of a recognizable band. The band gets their name from a series of William S. Burroughs novels in which a Clem Snide appears as a character.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The album opens with "Let's Explode". Eef asks to " I fix my makeup!". The song has a wonderful country feel to it and the sound is full. Production through the record is well done. Strings to horns nothing is buried in the mix.. "Long Lost Twin" opens with with an almost spoken lyric in that Eef feels like Elvis' Long lost twin. The guitar line runs clean and the drums are very simple. After a verse the horns and strings swirl around and the guitar gets that "50's guitar sound" ie: light reverb. "Ice Cube" still has the sound we are used to but there is more a stop/start feel to this track. Horns are used more in the breaks and the drums feed from the breaks. The lyrics ask "Does anyone really get what they want?" and "What do you mean when you talk about love?". "Chinese Baby" starts of very slow and quiet the bass swoops across the bottom. "Don't Be Afraid of Your Anger" opens with a slow build up of horns and guitar chords for a few bars. Once the lyrics get going its one of the more catchy Clem songs on this, or any other record. The twang of the guitars and vocals you'll imagine a vast landscape filled with fields and cows. Close your eyes..there you go..see it?! "Evil vs. Good" follows with a simple keyboard intro and guitars clanging in the background. It builds and builds and builds and until the vocals begin, then its slows way down once more and gets darker. "Moment in the Sun" is just a fantastic tune..just check it in the down load portion. (for the ending alone..and no..not because its over!)..all all fades in wonderfully to "The Curse of Great Beauty". Lightly in the background it sounds like an album crackling..its almost a full on acapella track. The segue is virtually flawless in to "Joan Jett of Arc". Again a beautifully sung song with quiet accompaniment. "The Junky Jews" is a little more up tempo than the previous tracks and it name checks "Corey Feldman". Towards the end of the track there is a heavy instrumental breakdown with some hard hitting drums and guitar work (well hard for Clem Snide that is). "Ancient Chinese Secret Blues" has the quietest intro of any track on the album. The tempo and mood set make a rare "skippable" track in this reviewers eye. You need to give them credit for using the line "Calgon take me away". "The Ballad of Unzer Charlie" is another throw away track of really nothing. The record closes with "No One's More Happy Than You". A more "triumphant" closer with horns and booming vocals it closes the record out on a high note.

Where are they now?
- As a band Clem Snide are still active. The band was primarily an outlet for Eef Barzelay and has had a revolving door of members. The biggest names are Eef, who released a solo album called "Bitter Honey" in 2006. Eef is currently on tour supporting Ben Folds. Jason Glasser left the band in mid 2006. Jeff Marshall left after this album was released due to the touring schedule.

Rumor has it a new Clem Snide will surface in 2007 but a label has yet to be selected. During this time it was reported the band broke up and then re-formed. The album was completed in 2006 but was never released.

FDF Personal Comments
(aka the Live experience) - Clem Snide I have not seen live. They are on a short personal list of "must sees".

FDF Overall Take
- Okay I'll admit two things. First Eef has a very unique vocal style and sound. Its not for everyone, but what he adds is what makes the band so original. Second, this is not a record you'd put on to get a party going. It is a record you'd put on after all the hangers on leave and you want to chill out.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

mp3's have been removed 3/15/07 11:20am ET

Lets Explode From the Ghost of Fashion
Moment In the Sun From the Ghost of Fashion

A second special down load. If you don't listen to anything else at least check this out. Yes its the Christina Aguilera song. Great great stuff...
Beautiful Taken from The Beautiful EP

The Ghost of Fashion you can buy it

The Beautiful Ep you can buy here

Even MORE download(s) **LIVE**
A Very short but very nice FM Broadcast
Clem Snide
November 13, 2001.
Le Mouv' Studios, Toulouse, France

Don't Be Afraid of Your Anger
I'm Like a Bird This is about an 18 second snippet of the Nelly Furtado song.
I Love the Unknown
Nick Drake Tape

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 5:36 PM, Blogger The Guinness Tooth said...

Very nice. I've never heard of these guys, but they are going on my lala want list.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Love it.


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