Monday, May 18, 2009
The things you find when you're aimlessly browsing the 'net whilst trying to stay sane hanging around the house for 3 weeks w/ a 2 y/o and new-born in tow. The above is one. That's AZALIA SNAIL. You mighta heard of her. She was based in NYC for many years, though she now lives in California and has been releasing records for two decades. I interviewed her for my fanzine back in '94/'95 coz I was convinced her two albums from the early '90s - 1992's Burnt Sienna and 1994's Fumarole Rising - were some of the finest records of their era. They were. Ms. Snail was the queen of the lush psych sound, all strummed 'n' echoed acoustic guitars, layered vocals, wigged-out keyboards and the kinda songs - hooks 'n' all - which made you want to spin her records for days. I'm having a hard time thinking of anyone I could compare her to. She remains in a league of her own, so I won't pull the usual B-grade rock crit move and simply list a whole buncha other artists. Or perhaps I will. Her "contemporaries" were the likes of Supreme Dicks, (early) Sebadoh, Trumans Water and the New Zealand school of drone-pop, so maybe that'll give you a ballpark to play in. I basically lost interest in contemporary music from 1996 to 2000 and concentrated on back-catalogue shenanigans instead (and don't accuse me of being a burnout: just the last week I've been a-floggin' Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Necks, Zombi, Sunn O))) and David S. Ware: ALL MUSIC OF THESE TIMES, thank you), and some artists I'd been tracking heavily for the first half of the '90s I let go, never picking up the pieces of their "career" in the meantime. Azalia Snail was one of them. For now I'll stick w/ the well-worn classics, though there's a smorgasboard of post-'94 goodies I might need to jump into one of these days. The lady's a goddamn original and deserves yer time.