22 April 2004

late last week, i received e-mail from a gentleman wishing to inform me of the existence of his band jackdaw. as a slogan "brick-throwing celtic rock" isn't quite as intense as "face-pounding rock from dallas, texas," but few things are. (where have you johnny solinger?) i've received these before, but i'll discuss this one since, even if you received one, they were nice enough to personalize it with my name, unlike so many others. (and, besides, i like the idea that i'm an influential tastemaker -- oh, the places flattery will take you!)

he described the band's music as "the pogues filtered through the american working class experience." okay, good start, i like the pogues. [...] but then i think about that statement a little: yeah, i do like the pogues, but i don't really care for the brawling, distempered numbers, where the use of traditional instruments can't help but evoke images of darby o'gill & the little people, no matter how pissed (in both the us & uk sense) shane manages to sound. instead, i like the tracks that can only work because of these songs, the ones that counter the belligerent side of shane, the hard rock with the heart of gold numbers like "rainy night in soho," "fairytale of new york," and "misty morning, albert bridge."

b-but i like the waterboys! they're irish, right? (sort of?) make use of traditional instrumentation. but even here, i only really care for the lush songs, "whole of the moon," "this is the sea," the ones that are as immense as mike scott's dreams.

all that said, i think that if one does enjoy the pogues, i think he or she will like jackdaw. it seems as if they have a rather substantial following as it stands, whose advice guided me through my listenings (i'd recommend "broken cans" from armed and legged). i admire the decision to make their own way professionally; that they've generated such a following should attest to their ability. i wish them the best of luck, while adding that there's nothing wrong with adding a string section, when budgets allow of course.

find out for yourself.

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